Category Archives: Time management

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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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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GPS PMS

Google images: gonzosabroad-blogspot-com

Google images: gonzosabroad-blogspot-com

The overly pleasant voice of my GPS said: “In 400 feet… turn right…”

I drove obediently to the corner of Blinker Street and Hive. After looking carefully both ways, I turned right.

Next GPS instruction: “In 400 feet… turn right…”

At the corner I stopped, and then I turned right again.

Again I heard: “In 400 feet… turn right…”

Hmm, that’s odd, I thought. Another right turn. At the next corner I turned right.

Then: “In 400 feet… turn right…”

Something smells really weird here, I thought. I should be getting nearer to Bob’s Toilet Parts, but the GPS just took me around the block.

Unsure of what to do, I turned right.

“In 400 feet… turn right…”

This is becoming ridiculous. I thought. I hit the “Nav” button. The radio came on. I pushed the “Dest” button. The wipers started. I pushed the “Map” button. I saw a map. But I couldn’t understand it.

I turned right.

“In 400 feet… turn right…”

Whoa! I exclaimed to myself. I almost missed that last right turn! Where in the world is my destination anyway? It must be around here somewhere.

For a moment I forgot where I was going. Then I remembered I needed a new flusher lever, ballcock nut, and universal rundle number 503. Ah yes, the toilet store.

“In 400 feet… turn right…”

“Okay,” I told my car. Compliantly, I turned right.

This went on for a while. Then I realized that I was in the wrong town. I parked the car and went to a bar.

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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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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.

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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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