Monthly Archives: January 2016

Exercise? Me? Really?

Google images: telegraph.co.uk

Google images: telegraph.co.uk

Okay. New year. Lose weight. It’s not that I’m obese. I prefer to describe myself as fat. Thus I bought a weight-loss program so I could exercise in the privacy of my home without exhibiting my girth in public.

I popped in the DVD. Billy Betterthanu, in leotards, introduced himself and began the routine:

“Lift your leg and put your shin on your knee. Stand up. Lift your knee. Bring it to your chest. Stretch out your leg. Shift your hips. Put your foot on the seat of your chair. Pluck your hamstrings.

“Bend the left leg you’re standing on. Rotate your knee. Now jump back. Extend your tailbone. Move your glutamate to the right. Kick backward. Kick your cat with your kneecap on.

“Hold up the wall. Drop your dead weight and touch the floor with your thigh. Pull back your quadriceps with two fingers. Drop your weight forward without hitting your face. Feel a pull. Feel a push. Feel a hernia. Release tension. Increase tension. Stand and rotate all your joints at once like marionette hanging from a ceiling fan.”

Billy was going too fast for me. I tried lifting my leg and quickly put it down again, because it hurt.

“Change legs. Change feet. Change pants. Experience upper body pain. Cry. Deny. Throw out the trash. Now tense all your muscles while staying totally relaxed. Get blood circulating into the muscles. Now stop the blood flowing in the muscles.

“Lift up your abs above your wrists. Bark like a chicken. Pull your elbows toward your eyes. Drop your arms. Gently pull one arm back. Now snap your arm like a slingshot. Dislocate your rotator cuff. Drop your arms again. Now reach down and pick up your arms.

“Inhale. Check your pulse. Give yourself mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Hit yourself in the face with your forearm. Round your back. Square your back. Triangle your back. Tuck in your ears.”

I was becoming really tired watching Billy, so I sat down and poured myself a Mountain Dew.

“Twist your nose to the side. Release the tension in your sinuses. Constrict your arches. Reach straight up. Higher. Higher. Rotate your Adam’s apple. Feel the scorch. Bend both legs around your neck and hold. One… two… three. Now do the same thing all over again while holding a pebble in your mouth.”

Billy went on and on and on. I leaned back in my recliner and fell asleep.

When the video was over I woke up and ate several donuts.

Leave a comment

Filed under Accidents, Communication, Education, Exercise, Family, Fun, Growing old, Happy to help, Humor, Interpersonal conflicts, Life challenges, Oops, Technology, Time management, Trust, You're not alone!

What? This Is Black Friday?

Google images: heavy.com

Google images: heavy.com

It was Thanksgiving Day and we had just finished dinner at Aunt Turilla’s house. As we helped to clean the kitchen and put away leftover food, Aunt Turilla said, “Gee, I need someone to fix my divan.”

“What hardware do you need for it?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I think I just need a screw and a nut.”

I looked at the settee and said, “You’re right. I’ll run to the store and get what you need. Substance Mart should be open.”

I wanted to get out of the house anyway, as too much family time exhausts me.

When I got to Substance Mart, I was surprised at the traffic jam. Silly me, I thought. I didn’t realize Black Friday has already begun.

I had to park by the elementary school down the road because of the crowd in the Substance Mart lot.

I walked for 20 minutes in the cold rain to the store.

Inside I was directed by police tape and laser guns toward the end of a giant line of people at the rear of the store.

“But,” I said to the cop who was sending me to the back of the line, “I haven’t even found my products yet.”

“There’s another line you have to go through after this line. The other line leads to the line where you can finally pick up your product and/or products. We do this to avoid a repeat of last year when 19 people kicked me.”

“I just want a screw and a butterfly toggle thing.”

But the cop was already walking away. “Move along,” he called to customers. “Nothing to see here.”

I debated. Should I wait here and then stand in two more lines just to get a flathead? I don’t need a 360-degree TV. My Good Samaritan quest is unrelated to holiday greed. I just want to fix some furniture so my aunt doesn’t fall on her fanny! 

The lady with the Rainbow Brite coupon behind me said that the cash registers didn’t even open for another 2 hours.

I kept debating. The line was moving, albeit slowly. Because of indecision and inertia, I continued waiting, following the crowd along the taped arrows and footprints on the store floor.

By the end of the night, I was completely caught up in Black Friday hype and frenzy. I called Aunt Turilla’s house.

“You’ve got to come to Substance Mart right away! They’re giving away bunny socks and Star Wars can-openers! Bring me a slice of pumpkin pie and a sleeping bag. Tomorrow they’re selling kaleidoscopic scuba masks!”

Leave a comment

Filed under Communication, Family, Friendship, Fun, Growing old, Happy to help, Humor, Interpersonal conflicts, Life challenges, Oops, Relationships, Technology, Time management, Travel, Trust, You're not alone!

Helpful Internal Vacuum Service

Google images: danscartoons.com

Google images: danscartoons.com

I stopped at the palatial new government offices of the Internal Vacuum Service to pick up a tax form. I walked up to the entrance and heard “Bark! bark! bark! bark! bark! bark!” An angry, large, black, frothing dog by the door lunged at me repeatedly on his chain.

I’m not generally afraid of dogs. The chain looked strong, so I walked around the animal to the door. I touched the handle.

An electric shock went through me, and I jerked my hand away.

“Beep! beep! beep! whoop! whoop! whoop! buzz! buzz! buzz!” I heard.

I backed away from the door, carefully avoiding the still-barking dog. A woman officer in combat gear emerged with a hand on her gun belt.

“Halt or I’ll audit!” she cried. “Identify!”

I put up my hands. “My name is Blair,” I said waveringly.

“State your business!” she shouted.

“I just want to pick up a Schedule-C so I can complete my taxes and give the government all my money.”

“You can’t pick up that form here any longer,” she said.

“But I was just passing by, and I need that printout… Isn’t this the Internal Vacuum Service building? Don’t you still have those revolving kiosks of free forms and instructions?”

She tensed and squinted. “You can’t pick up any forms here. We no longer provide gratis documents to proletarians. To obtain tax forms from the government you must relinquish your social security number and your credit card data. You are then required to arrange for an appointment.”

“Okay,” I mumbled. “Can I make an appointment?”

“NO!” she shouted. “To make an appointment you must call the Internal Vacuum Service at 1-666-COUGH-UP. It’s a toll call. Now please leave the premises before your clunker leaks oil in our new, elite, governmental parking area.

“But…” I said.

“Don’t make me unchain Dogmatic on you! He loves leg bones! Vacate!”

At the sound of his name, Dogmatic began to bark again. “Bark! bark! bark! bark! bark! bark!”

As I drove away I noticed that many cameras were trained on me. I smiled weakly and waved at one to exhibit my nonthreatening compliance to authority.

I went home and sat on hold on the phone for an hour and 17 minutes so I could make an appointment to drive to Philadelphia to pick up a Schedule-C.

Paying everything to the government should be easier, I thought as I drove. And the term “Service” in “Internal Vacuum Service” should be replaced with a different descriptor.

2 Comments

Filed under Communication, Education, Family, Happy to help, Humor, Interpersonal conflicts, Life challenges, Relationships, Technology, Time management, Trust, You're not alone!