Thursday, May 29, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Crappy Skull Prop

My kids took me to see "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" on Memorial Day. I'm going to hold off on my personal thoughts about the movie, so as not to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but I did want to say this.

Mr. Spielberg must have been running out of budget money when he got to the part where he had to have a crystal skull prop, so he hired the creative genius of Herkie & Dale, two guys who work down at our local Taco Tico. That skull looks like somebody's leftover plastic Halloween yard decor, stuffed with a big wad of aluminum foil.

I hear another Indiana Jones sequel is in the works. Watch for the Dollar Store to be named in the credits under "Special Effects Department."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The time I wanted soooo badly to say, "I told you so."

So, there we were, loading up for our trip to Florida, when Hubster announced, "Well, I've got the trailer all ready."

Trailer?!

Yes indeedy, it seemed we were going to haul a large trailer behind our van, in order to transport many large chunks of wood that probably were at one time a national forest, so that Hubster could exchange them for a Floridian dentist's one-time-national-forest. My brain actually made an audible "ka-CHING!" sound as I quickly calculated how much extra money this was going to cost in fuel. Let's just say it was enough to purchase the entire lumber inventory at our local Home Depot. Plus a barbeque grill and some lawn chairs, so the kids & I could relax while Hubster loaded up his shiny new wood onto the dreaded trailer. Well, apparently the extra cost did not worry Hubster, which surprised me. This is the guy who micromanages our expenses down to how much ketchup our kids may put on their burgers. (I swear I am not making this up.)

"Are you sure the trailer can handle this much weight?" I asked. Hubster gave me a look that said, Don't you have to go pack some ridiculously large hat or something? so I shut up.

And so it was that, one hour later, we were in the middle of downtown Dallas, during evening rush hour, on a one-lane overpass, when a trailer tire blew out.

Have I mentioned that I'm scared to death of heights? I mean, I get nervous when I have to wear thick socks. And this overpass we were on was one of the highest in the city. Personally, I think that if you can see a commercial airline pilot's ear hair as he flies by your car window, the roadway is too danged high.

Besides that, I was worried that Hubster was going to be flattened by one of the cars zooming up over that roadway like it was the curve at Texas Motor Speedway. I comforted myself by realizing that we were so high up, he'd have time to craft a parachute from his underwear and locate the nearest tire store before he reached the ground.

Then Hubster discovered that he had neglected to bring a "four-way," which isn't as naughty as it sounds. It's a tool for changing tires. I wanted to suggest that maybe he should carve one from his load of wood, but thought better of it.

In the end, the tire got changed, and although we were three hours behind schedule we did make it to Florida, and we did receive an even bigger load of wood to bring home to Texas.

Which blew out the other tire on our return trip.

So if you were driving on a dark, busy Mississippi highway at about 12:30 am on April 27, and you saw a woman by the side of the road, attempting to light a trailer load of logs on fire, that was me.

Monday, May 12, 2008

We interrupt your regular programming ...

I just found my Halloween costume for 2008.

I'm going to be a patio umbrella.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

And yet we let her drive a minivan on I-75.

NO, my mother-in-law did not try to break my kneecaps. What, do you people think I married into the Mob? Sheesh. (Although I might have considered it if I'd ever had an Italian boyfriend, because I love pasta.)

My mother-in-law isn't even Italian. She's got Canadian genes, and you know Canadians never get angry enough to break someone's bones. Canadians are mellow. If they feel violent, they drink another beer and wait for the feeling to pass. If the feeling doesn't pass, they move to the U.S. and play in the National Hockey League.

No, I think I have the best mother-in-law in the world. She's funny and generous and loving. And smart. She was a registered nurse for about 150 years, and you know that your average buffoon doesn't get to be a nurse. Hubster says that his mom was the kind of nurse that if she had to give a kid a shot, and the kid was pitching a royal fit, she'd give the kid a look that said, "Keep it up and I'll go get the needle that's the size of your bicycle spokes. And I'll sterilize it over an open flame until it's red-hot." And then the kid would shut up and later need therapy for his phobia of white shoes.

In fact, it was my smart mother-in-law who educated me about service monkeys. There's this facility that raises guide dogs near her home, and in the course of talking about it, I found out that some disabled people have monkeys that help around the house. Really! I guess a service monkey can be trained to do things that a Golden Retriever can't, like butter your toast, tie your shoes, roll your Yahtzee dice, that kind of thing. Who knew? Man, if they can teach monkeys to cook and clean toilets, it would be worth having my kneecaps broken just to get one of those little dudes for myself.

Anyway. Back to the kneecap story. 

We decided to take the kids for a full day at Sea World, and my mother-in-law rented herself one of those electric carts. Now, as I said, she's usually a very bright, capable woman, but for some reason she had a lot of trouble with this cart. First she rammed the thing (and her knee) into a metal pole. Then she plowed into a bench, whacking the same knee again. She already has two artificial hips, so maybe the electric cart generated some kind of weird magnetic attraction between her leg and whatever upright metal object was nearby. I don't know.  

It got to where my kids started warning strangers around us, "Look out, my grandma's coming through. You might want to get out your insurance card." When they'd hear the beep, beep of the cart backing up, they'd begin searching the Sea World map for the closest first aid station. You could be across the park and know when the dolphin show, or the shark show, or whatever show, was over, because you could hear the WHAM of my mother-in-law backing her cart into a trash can as she prepared to leave the stadium. 

Hubster and I talked about it later, and we decided that if his mom ever becomes unable to walk well within her own home, we're not going to let her get one of those Hoveround things. Absolutely not. She'd run that thing straight into the bridge table, knock over the peanut bowl, and her bridge buddies would pelt her with rocks and garbage. The entire retirement community would be in an uproar, and she'd be relegated to playing Yahtzee with her service monkey.

Nope, if she ever needs ambulatory assistance, we've got a solution. We're gonna get her a service donkey. One of those little miniature donkeys that she can ride around the house and down to the community hall for morning coffee. 

And the best part of this plan is this. If my kids ever get in a bragging match with an Italian mafia kid about their grandmas, my kids can say, "Yeah? Well, my grandma's ass can kick your grandma."

Heh heh.