Category Archives: Relationships

What You Doin’ in the Bathroom?

Google images: dreamstime.com

Google images: dreamstime.com

My wife is always late. But sometimes the slipper is on the other shoe, and she was banging on the bathroom door last Tuesday for me to hurry up.

“What are you doing in there?” she asked. “We have to meet Millie and Bob at the popsicle festival now!”

“Well,” I haven’t primped for a day and a half,” I said, “and things are already getting out of control in here.”

“What’s that supposed to mean? The waffle-cone rodeo starts in fifteen minutes!”

“Okay, okay!” I cried. “My routine is kind of private. Must you stand right outside the door listening?”

“I’d be interested in hearing what your finicky grooming procedure actually is,” I heard her mutter as she walked away from the bathroom door.

Okay. I’ll admit it. It takes me longer than it used to to go out in public.

To get ready, I have to scrape my earwax with a key.

I have to shave my ear lobes and drums.

I have to insert my tooth plate.

I have to cover my tooth plate with a plastic white tooth-covering protective and decorative drape, which I bought from an infomercial for just $19.95. And after having called the informercial’s toll-free number, I received a second protective tooth tarp for free except for having to pay for shipping.

I have to rub wet coffee grounds into my goatee to eliminate the grey.

I have to dust and paste my eyebrows.

I have tamp my nasal hair.

I have to rub coconut oil on my elbow.

I have to tape the skin tag under my arm.

Finally I was ready to go. My wife was waiting in the car, beeping occasionally.

We were halfway down the street when I gasped in alarm. “We have to go back! I forgot my three-pronged photographic selfie crane!”

We finally met up with Bob and Millie. “Sorry we’re late,” I told Bob. “The wife overslept.”

 

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

Why Do Others Know More about Me than I Do?

Google images: christianfunnypictures.com

Google images: christianfunnypictures.com

“Hi Blair!”

“Hi Ed,” I said as I walked through the door of the church.

“Hey, I heard that you have psoriasis on your armpit. How is that working out for you?”

“Ed,” I said. “How do you know I have psoriasis? That’s rather private and heartbreaking!”

“It’s not so private, Blair. Someone posted it on social media!”

Before I reached the sanctuary, two other people had asked about my psoriasis, one person congratulated me on the anniversary of my first prom, and another offered sympathy for my nail fungus.

I tried to forget about my life on Faceslap and the resulting lack of privacy. I settled into the pew and listened to the pastor preach. After he was finished, he said, “We have several prayer requests this week, including the asthma of Martine’s Uncle Joe and the hemorrhoids of Blair Woodcock.”

Time froze. Everyone’s heads swiveled in slow motion as their languid eyes fixed themselves on me. The blood rushed to my face and I couldn’t breath under a hot crashing wave of embarrassment. My mouth went dry. I wanted to melt away into my seat. I would have squirmed, but I was afraid squirming would appear as if I were contending with an itchy symptom.

After the service, church elder Mabel Glutz approached me. “I just so happened to have some Preparation H in my satchel!” she announced gleefully. As I slunk out the door, I heard a few other voices offering me doctor recommendations and home remedies.

I’d go to another church, but social media are interdenominational. I heard there’s a good church service on TV… I might try that next time.

Meanwhile, I need to log on to Chirper to tell my followers about my neighbor’s gastric bypass debacle.

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Unemployment-O-Rama

Google images: theemployable.com

Google images: theemployable.com

It is fun to be unemployed. An entire world of possibilities opens to a jobless person. Imagine the fanciful daydreams you’ll conceive and the novel experiences you’ll suffer!

Open your email inbox for instance. Suddenly your fantasies run helter-skelter as you consider all the berserk opportunities that await you and your miserable life. Here, for example, are some of the employment emails I received this week:

  1. Answering Service: Answer the phone in the complaint department of Insults-R-Us.
  2. Airline Baggage Loser: Lose bags and suitcases for travelers and airline employees.
  3. Zero Experience Associate: After gaining experience, we will fire you in favor of a negative experience associate.
  4. Meter Reader: Read meters that are written in Greek. If you don’t understand Greek, you can read meters in Urdu.
  5. Warehouse Unloader: Must be able to lift warehouses weighing many thousands of tons.

    Google images: giphy.com

    Google images: giphy.com

  6. Early-Morning Postal Worker: To ensure prompt arrival at job, employee must sleep on chain link fence.
  7. Greeter: Crabby personality a plus.
  8. Librarian Trainee: Organize, categorize, and reshelve books in a caboose.
  9. No Experience Worker: Only the lazy, incapacitated, or dead need apply. Our motto: “The Deader the Better.”
  10. Food Service Representative: Defend bananas against those who say fruit pulp makes you fat.
  11. Document Specialist: Listen to stacks of paper with a stethoscope.
  12. Appeals and Denial Manager: Deny appeals and appeal denials. Argumentative and irascible personality preferred.
  13. Part Time Packer: Pack your bags while working, because you will soon be sent packing.
  14. Coffee Maker: Heat-tolerant applicants only, with a capacity for grounds.
  15. Order Puller: Occasional need for order pushing. Or tooth pulling. Or tooth pushing. Whatever. Don’t bother applying. We don’t want you.
  16. Material Handler: Handle material.
  17. Night Selector: Join the illustrious list of former employees, including lyricist George Benson (“Give Me the Night”).

Wasn’t that fun? Now prop yourself up in bed and find the clicker, because your afternoon game show is on.

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This Is Not My Dad!

Google images: livinghealthyonline.wordpress.com

Google images: livinghealthyonline.wordpress.com

Little Biffy was sitting in the shopping cart one day while I selected groceries from the shelves. He was contentedly playing with his Taser when he looked up at me. I’m not sure if a demon entered him or if his nascent sense of humor was blossoming, but he suddenly screamed out:

“You’re not my Dad!”

I was shocked and dumbfounded. My mouth hung open and my eyes bulged, because I am his Dad.

Biff looked to the right and the left. “He’s not my Dad!” he screamed. “He’s an imposter!”

“What?” I hissed. “Biffy, what are you talking about? This is not a good joke! We’re in a supermarket!” I grabbed his little chin to emphasize his need to hush.

The woman by the breadcrumbs turned. Her brows furrowed and she squinted grimly at me. I looked at her, trying to appear innocent.

“He’s starving me!” Biff continued. “He won’t feed me any nourishment!”

The woman started searching her purse for her cell phone.

“Biff! Just because I told you that you can’t have another chocolate quarter-pounder doesn’t mean I’m starving you! You just ate two bags of caramel corn in the car!”

Biff started pounding his little fists and kicking his feet against the wire cart.

“Don’t crush the egg noodles!” I shouted.

By that time a crowd had gathered. Over the loudspeaker I heard, “Security to fruit juices for an incident…”

Biff had put me in an uncomfortable predicament from which I could not easily extricate myself. Next to Biff’s ear, I whispered through gritted teeth, “Tell these nice people I’m your Dad, or you’ll never get to watch Halloween 5 again!”

Biff laughed. “Just kidding,” he told the crowd. “He really is my dad. I just enjoy seeing him sweat!”

Yes, Biff’s sense of humor began to flourish that day in the supermarket aisle. When he turned thirteen, I made him join the circus.

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Filed under Children, Communication, Education, Family, Fun, Growing old, Happy to help, Humor, Interpersonal conflicts, Life challenges, Oops, Parenting, Relationships, Trust, You're not alone!

Weird Is the New Nice

Google images: pinterest.com

Google images: pinterest.com

My son and I dropped my wife off at the door of the grocery store, and then we parked in the lot to wait for her. Biff was sitting in the back seat.

It was a warm Saturday afternoon and my window was open. The passenger window in the car next to me was open, too, and sitting by himself in that car was a young boy of about 11 or 12. He was probably waiting for his mom.

“How are you doing?” I said unthinkingly through my window to the boy. The boy stiffened and looked straight ahead.

“DAD!” hissed my son. “What the heck are you doing?”

“Why? What’s the matter?” I said, looking at Biff’s reflection in the rearview mirror.

“You don’t DO that!”

“Do what?” I asked.

“Don’t say hi to a strange kid. Don’t you know that’s weird and creepy?”

“He doesn’t look very strange,” I replied.

“No, YOU’RE strange!” Biff whispered to me behind his cupped hand.

I sighed. “Yeah, I guess in these days you’re probably right. I was just trying to be friendly.”

“You’re going to get yourself arrested,” said Biff as he slunk down in his seat and looked away.

I rolled up my window.

After my wife was finished buying her cucumbers, she got back into the car. As we drove off, I told her what happened and asked her opinion. “I side with Biff,” she said. “You’re whacked.”

Okay. I understand. I used to be nice. Now I’m just weird.

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Filed under Accidents, adult children, Children, Communication, Education, Family, Friendship, Fun, Growing old, Happy to help, Humor, Interpersonal conflicts, Life challenges, Marriage, Oops, Parenting, Relationships, Technology, Time, Time management, Travel, 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!”

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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.

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