Saturday, December 12, 2009

Redneck vacation, day 2

You know those couples who say they can't wait to retire so they can travel the world together?

Okay, that's not me and The Hubster. We can barely manage to make the 40 mile drive to church each week without killing each other, and the only reason that in-vehicular manslaughter hasn't occurred (yet) is because neither of us would want to clean out the car afterward.

Here's the thing. I was instructed under the old philosophy of "defensive driving," which taught me to assume that every other driver on the road is an idiot, suffering from dementia, and probably under the influence of illegal substances to boot. On top of that, I grew up in New Jersey, where everyone I knew had burly, hirsute cousins named Rocco and Joey who, if you cut them off on the freeway, would come to your house and do bad things to you or your cat. (I had a very pink cousin named Geoffrey who was into raising African violets and later turned out to be gay, so the most threatening thing he would do was make fun of your shoes.)

So. When I drive, I try to keep a nice space of paranoia - er, safety, between my car and the vehicles around me.

I don't think Hubster's ever heard of defensive driving. His theory is that every other person on the road is there for the express purpose of making his drive utterly miserable. He's convinced there's a vast conspiracy of crappy drivers who just sit in their crappy cars, waiting to hear that Mr. TC has left his driveway, so they can pull out of their crappy garages and then drive on HIS road at 30 miles an hour under the speed limit. Just to piss. him. off.

On top of that, he drives a Ford F350 - an pickup truck that's big enough to house an entire Mexican village. So Hubster doesn't do the whole bubble of safety thing. Quite the opposite. He gets as close as possible to other cars or trucks, because he genuinely believes that his truck has the ability to suck up a smaller vehicle through the air intake system and then poop it out through the exhaust pipe.

Needless to say, we don't do well together in the car, especially when Hubster is driving. I gasp a lot, and end up arriving at our destination with strained forearm muscles from holding onto the door frame. Hubster thinks I should wear a burka with the eye slit sewn shut.

So it was a long 1500 miles from Texas to upstate New York. Even with the burka.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day One of the 2009 Epic Redneck Vacation

It didn't start out as a redneck vacation. But we were just a few hours into it when I realized I was actually living a bit from the act of a self-proclaimed "hillbilly comedian." It was too late. The vacation theme was firmly established.

So. There we were, driving through Tennessee, when, as Tim Wilson says, I started seeing mirages and thought I was in Las Vegas. But no, it turned out I was here:

a fireworks superstore.

Not a fireworks stand, mind you. This was a place for serious shoppers.

It had air conditioning.
It had check-out lines.
There were employees with name tags.
There were shopping carts.

And the reason for the shopping carts was quickly apparent. No one walks in a fireworks superstore and says, "I just need to pick up a dozen sparklers and a couple of bottle rockets for the annual hog roast at Cousin Murvil's this weekend."

Oh, noooo. This is bulk purchasing at its finest. At the fireworks superstore, you can only buy cases of explosives that are labeled with names like, "ENOUGH SAID. (CAUTION: SETS OFF CAR ALARMS)," and "WAKE THE NEIGHBORS."

It was obvious that this was a store that catered to men, because 1) there wasn't a public bathroom in the place. I don't know what it is about men, but it's like admitting a gross character weakness for them to have to use a bathroom when they're away from home. My guys would rather ride 150 miles in bladder-bursting pain ("CAUTION: KIDNEYS MAY EXPLODE!") than use a bathroom at a store or service station. Knee-deep in poison ivy and fire ants, fine. Clean restroom at Target, definitely NOT fine.

Anyway. The other obvious sign that this was a guy store was the fine print on every single fireworks package on the shelves:
That's right. It's a warning that the enclosed fireworks "shoot flaming balls." Have you ever known a man who could resist anything that shoots flaming balls? I'd even go so far as to say any guy that isn't a fan of shooting flaming balls is probably unAmerican. He probably drives a Volvo and has a name like Pierre, or Hans. And if Pierre or Hans were to actually purchase a box of fireworks that shoot flaming balls, he would most certainly read the cautions on the back panel, unlike every American guy who thinks cautions are for lily-livered pseudo-men who use public bathrooms. And this reasoning explains why Cousin Murvil no longer has a back porch and his dog is missing an ear.

In the end, we left with a lot of fireworks, and I came away with a suggestion for the tourist industry in Tennessee: Why doesn't someone open a chain of underwear superstores? I bet you could draw a lot of mom shoppers who need boy's underwear in cases of 30 pairs.

Surely I'm not the only mother whose sons have lost their underwear while in the fast-food drive-through. That's right. Somewhere, between hearing "Grouk bub [static] first window [static] vlexd," and receiving my bag of Cholesterol Burgers with cheese, my sons' underwear disappeared. Vanished. Flew off their bodies, out the leg of their pants, and hid in the bushes by the intercom, I guess.

I've always thought that instead of coming with a choice of a toy for girls or boys, kid's meals should come with a choice of underwear or socks. "Okay, that's a 3-piece chicken meal. Would you like underpants with that?"

Oh, and one more request for the underwear mega-store owner: Please, in the name of all that is decent and holy, do not include packaging labels that say, "CAUTION: SHOOTS FLAMING BALLS."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rodney Dangerfield and me

One month ago
TC: I think that cow is pregnant.
Hubster: The only way to know that is to palpate her.
(For the rurally uninformed, "palpating" involves sticking a gloved arm inside the cow's nether regions. Obviously not a task one knocks off between other household chores. "Hey, while I'm waiting for the socks to dry, I think I'll go palpate that 1200 pound cow.")
TC: Well, I still think she's pregnant.

Three weeks ago
TC: I definitely think that cow's pregnant.
Hubster: The only way to know that is to palpate her.
Danger Boy: She's just fat.
TC: No, I really think she's pregnant.

Two weeks ago
TC: That cow is pregnant.
Hubster: The only way to know that is to palpate her.
ChopTop: Mom, you think every mammal is pregnant.

Ten days ago
TC: That cow is going to have a calf soon.
Hubster: The only way to know that is to palpate her.
FashionBug: Will you take me shopping?
Sasquatch: What's for dinner?

One week ago
TC: Well, the cow had a calf. Looks like he was born early this morning.
Hubster (after a silence while he picks his jaw up off the floor): What?! She was pregnant?
ChopTop: You mean you were right?
Danger Boy: Huh.
FashionBug: Did anyone know she was pregnant? Wait, we're not going to eat him, are we?
Sasquatch: What's for dinner?

TC: You know, I think that other cow is pregnant.
Hubster: The only way to know that is to palpate her.

Norman, born 9/1/09.

Friday, September 4, 2009

In which Skippy saves the day.

When one lives in the country, one must realize that, occasionally, one's home will be invaded by a creature that God never intended to be an indoor, domesticated pet. But then one gets used to having a husband around.

Later, one must realize that the ongoing critter invasion problem is compounded when one lives in a home with more holes, cracks, and crevices than a Happy Meal box that's been laying in a roadside ditch since Beanie Babies came with the cheeseburger. Our house's foundation is so decimated as a result of poor construction and the effects of weather, there could be a gang of homeless Amway salespeople living in there.

So we've had our share of crickets, bees, wasps, scorpions, spiders, and mice - the latter being my least favorite, and the animal most likely to get screamed to death by yours truly.

We've also been visited by skunks, coyotes, and copperheads, all of who seem to think they belong inside just as much as the husband and the mice. And these are the animals that make it necessary to have a dog to serve as an alarm system and protector.

Of course, you get what you pay for. Here's the dog we purchased at the StuffMart parking lot:
Skippy the Wonder Pug is cute and all, but I always figured the most he could do to protect us would be to eat crickets and maybe let an ant get lost in his wrinkles.
So you can imagine my surprise when Skippy actually alerted me to The Dangerous Thing that was recently lurking in our pantry.

Skippy's dining area is next to the pantry door, and he was just making a leisurely stroll over to his food bowl, probably hoping that someone had mistakenly dropped a carton of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey into it, when he spotted The Dangerous Thing peering at him with one of its monstrous eyes.

Well. To his credit, he didn't pee on the floor. No, Skippy jumped back several feet (which, in dog feet, was about 9 inches) and let loose with barking loud enough to wake the Pope or make a bear poop in the woods or whatever the analogy is. His call to action brought several of us running to the scene, with Danger Boy hoping that this would finally be the event that would call for him to discharge a real weapon upon said Dangerous Thing.

Our fear as we approached the pantry was almost palpable. And, here, my friends, is what we found:
That's right. Skippy was protecting us from a potato.

At least I can sleep soundly at night, knowing we won't be carbohydrated to death by a rogue spud.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

That Y Chromosome

I just love it when I hear parents of young children say something like, "Oh, we're only going to let Johnny play with gender-neutral toys. We want him to grow up to be a peace-loving, nurturing father." Uh-huh. Good luck with that.

And I'm going to put an apron on my dog so she'll be the next Julia Child. Lord knows, we need someone around here who will cook.

The fact is, boys and girls are just different. And I don't mean in the obvious, he-needs-PeePee TeePees-and-she-doesn't way.
For instance, let's say you give a boy and a girl a plastic straw and a gum wrapper and put them each in an completely empty room for thirty minutes.

When you open the door to the girl's room, you will find that she has spent the half-hour imagining an elaborate story about having been an princess imprisoned in a tower. She will have used the straw and the gum wrapper as props - a magic wand and a precious gem, respectively. She will be eager to have you transcribe the narrative so she can send it to Grandma.

When you open the door to the boy's room, you will first notice, scattered about the room, an assortment of hardware - nails, screws, bolts - that were not in the room earlier. The boy will have no recollection of their appearance. The straw will have become a gun. The gum wrapper will be firmly lodged in the boy's right nostril. His underwear and one sock will have mysteriously disappeared. There will be one muddy footprint on the ceiling, a tuft of cat hair near the electrical outlet, and the boy's other sock will be hanging from the light fixture. The room will smell vaguely of old cheese and motor oil. He will be ravenously hungry. He will not be able to tell you a single thing he did in the last 30 minutes.

And it doesn't change as they get older.

Recently, there was a large assortment of teenage personages at my house. I don't even know if any of them were mine. I'm losing track. Because of increasingly frequent teen invasions, lately I've taken to hiding in the pantry, trying to protect the last of the Ritz crackers and Can O' Squirt Cheese.

Anyway. The girls in the crowd decided it was time for a group makeover. Specifically, facial peels. They even offered an assortment of pink grapefruit, cucumber, and chocolate scented facial products, to be applied thickly and then peeled away ten minutes later. The boys were too besotted with the girls to say no. (I love blogging. Where else can you use a word like "besotted?") Either that, or the food-like smell of the stuff lured them into assent.

Well. I'm here to tell you, teenage boys do not need illegal substances, energy drinks, coffee, or Mountain Dew to jack them up. A smear of a cucumber facial peel will turn them into human pinballs. Sports teams, take note.

At precisely 9:59:59 minutes post-application, the boys were making for the bathroom to remove their beauty products. When they emerged, they didn't look any more attractive to me, but apparently they were feeling a little testosterone deprived, because I heard one of them say, "We need to do something manly. Let's go blow something up."

There was a thundering stampede out the back door as they went to go find some fireworks. From my sentry point in the pantry, I heard some loud explosions, a cow bawling, and possibly the whispered mention of boxer shorts and a fire extinguisher.

A few minutes later, the girls were calmly removing their own facial products. The boys burst back into the house, with one proclaiming triumphantly, "Yeah! Now I smell like roasted cucumber!" I found an empty Little Debbie Oatmeal Cookie box and pulled it over my head. I didn't want to hear the rest.

So, yeah, good luck with that gender-neutral plan. Let me know how that works out for you. We can discuss it in my pantry. I'll save a seat for you near the shelf where the fruit cocktail and party peanuts used to be.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Overheard in my minivan

Danger Boy to Sasquatch:

"Hey! We have a bunch of those packing peanuts at home. Let's put them in our pants and kick each other!"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Mad Hatter

Danger Boy has always had a fascination with putting odd things on his head. And, no, I don't think he's got a future as a milliner. I don't know anyone - other than people who live in Hollywood or under the local freeway overpass, I mean - who would sport

the funnel look

or the margarine tub look
or the wet washcloth lookor the turkey killing cone look
or, most recently, the bunch-of-balloons look.You can't blame his parents. We dressed him normally as a baby.
Okay... maybe not.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bad cow.

Do not be deceived by the big brown eyes and the long eyelashes.

Note the shifty expression while she appears to be innocently eating grass.

This is not a good cow. This is a bad cow. This is a very bad cow. This is a cow that has earned the new name of She-Devil.

You might remember that she has a history of bovine delinquency (Houdini Cow). We really thought love and a few more strands of barbed wire would cure her of her behavioral issues, but we were wrong.

Recently, she discovered the finch feeder I had hung next to our front door. Apparently being a cow with liberal tendencies, She-Devil decided that the finch food was a federal handout to which she was entitled, and proceeded to use her forehead to throw the feeder off the hook and then gobble down every speck of seed.

But far worse was yet to come. I should have seen the bird feeder incident as a cry for help. I should have known that corn, grown in a vegetable garden for the farmer's personal consumption, is the cow version of crack cocaine. I should have seen the signs, when she started hanging around outside the fenced garden and nibbling the grass down to bare dirt, that she was setting the stage for her biggest crime to date. Scoping out the perimeter, as it were.

Alas, Sasquatch happened upon her just after she had trampled down the garden gate and eaten most of the nearly-ready-to-be-harvested corn. He chased her out, but it was too late. She was high on her cow crack. While he and Hubster were making repairs to the breached gate, she simply vaulted over them, the fence, and the tractor to polish off the rest of the corn, all the cucumbers, most of the squash, and two jalapeno pepper plants.

And here's the thing: how does one discipline an unruly, 1200 pound cow?
- You can't hit her on the rump with a rolled up newspaper. She'll kick you into the next county.
- You can't rub her nose in her misbehavior. She'll head butt you on to the roof.
- You can't shoot her. She's the source of future Junior Bacon Cheesburgers.
- You can't take her to training classes at PetSmart. She'd scare the hair off the chihuahuas.

I blame the whole thing on her first owners. They raised her from heifer-hood to be a 4H show calf. She got a diva complex early on. Once her show days were over, they put her in the pasture with the other cows, but she had (and here I am quoting her previous owner) "socialization issues." Quite simply, she didn't think she was a cow. She refused to hang with the other cows and do cow-y things like stand under a tree for 4 hours with shreds of hay hanging out of the side of her mouth. No, she was always wandering back to the house, and I think it's because she was hoping for the opportunity to make a crazed dash for the kitchen and whatever she could grab out of the refrigerator crisper drawer.

So here's my question: Does anyone know if there's a bovine version of methadone?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coffee does a body good. If you remember to drink it.

A few days ago, my sister sent me a link to an article about a research project which claims that daily consumption of three large cups of coffee may slow the progress of Alzheimer's Disease and possibly even reverse it.

Now, if there was ever a human subject to support this conclusion, it should be my own mother. The woman loves coffee. Black - no sugar and no milk. And in quantities large enough to water ski in. The only reason Columbia still exists as an independent country today is because my mom purchased at least 50% of their exported coffee in the 60's and 70's.

She's not picky about coffee, either. When I was a kid, you could count on there being a jar of those Sanka instant coffee crystals in our kitchen. I always thought that the contents looked like that gravel at the bottom of a fish tank, but my mom loved it. I think she might have sprinkled it on her toast in the morning in lieu of cinnamon and sugar. Sometimes even in lieu of the bread.

Not me. I like to dress my coffee with flavored syrups. I studied the differences between coffee presses and drip coffee makers. I grind my own beans. When I shop for coffee, I have to squeeze the bags and smell the aroma that's expelled through the little hole near the top. Other people in the coffee aisle probably think I was a scratch-and-sniff sticker addict as a kid.

But my mom's method of coffee buying works like this: 1. Look through your plastic box of coupons and use one.

Anyway. If coffee really does prevent Alzheimer's, she shouldn't be in the mid-late stages of the disease. In thinking about this, though, I did realize something. Over the last few years, I think she's actually drinking less coffee. In fact, I'm not sure she's drinking coffee at all. It just looks that way.

A couple of years ago, I'd go to her house and open the microwave to thaw hamburger for dinner, and there would be a cup of java sitting on the turntable, stone cold. She'd say, "Oh, that's my coffee from this morning! I guess I forgot it was in there."

Now, I go to her house and open the linen closet, and there's a cup of java sitting next to the pillowcases, stone cold. And she says, "Oh, that's my coffee from this morning! I guess I forgot it was in there."

Apparently, she's been reheating the same cup of coffee for nearly a decade. No wonder the Columbians have turned to marijuana as their primary export crop.

In other semi-related family news, my sister accompanied my parents to do their funeral planning this week. After all the decisions were made, she called me to let me know what kind of caskets they had chosen. Mom is opting for a simple pine design, at a relatively low price of $1800. It's a good thing my sister was there instead of me. I'd have suggested that we have Mom cremated and buried in a Bunn coffee brewer.

Friday, July 3, 2009

'Cause they're just supportive that way.

Somehow - possibly by a disturbance in the magnetic force in our solar system, or maybe it was just that Orion lost his belt and gave us all a great cosmic mooning - I recently ended up slated to do a stand-up comedy routine for a talent show at our church.

In the days leading up to the event, I was feeling a wee bit anxious, so, naturally, I turned to my family for some encouragement (and possibly some additional joke material). I told my kids I was worried that people might not laugh at my humor.

Sasquatch, who wouldn't know compassion if it walked up and smacked him in the back of the head, was quick to offer his "support."

He informed me that if my punch lines were met with utter silence, he'd sit in the back of the auditorium and make cricket sounds.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lucy and Ethel take to the road.

(Note: Long-time readers of this blog know that my older daughter's online persona has changed according to her hairstyle. She started life as Princess Peach, moved through toddlerhood as Princess BroccoliTop, and then spent most of her childhood and adolescence as Princess BunHead. Of late, she has taken to wearing her hair very short and of various fluorescent shades, which has earned her the new moniker, Princess ChopTop. I'm actually kind of looking forward to the day she shaves her head completely, because I have her next name all picked out - Princess Gourdita.)

Back at the end of May, ChopTop and I decided to head off on a little road trip to see some friends in Missouri (state motto: "Branson whups Nashville's butt"). Just the two of us, enjoying the 6-hour drive and having some mother-daughter bonding time. As it turned out, most of the time on the road was a daughter-iPod bonding time. Meanwhile, the mother silently - and somewhat painfully - pondered the mystery that is the Oklahoma tollway system. What kind of sadist creates a highway where coffee vending machines are located at 15-mile intervals, but where the only two roadside restrooms are situated where the state borders Texas and Missouri?

Anyway. I wasn't too worried about the drive itself, because it's pretty much a straight shot on the interstates, until the last 10-15 miles into the small Missouri town where we'd be staying. But Hubster had just gotten a GPS device for his birthday, and I thought it might be a good idea to have it with us, so we packed it into the car and headed north. Neither ChopTop nor I had even turned the GPS on, but if there's one thing the girl and I have in common, it is our certainty that we are smarter than electronic devices. And, more importantly, that we are smarter than each other. One of us would soon be proved wrong.

As we neared the region of Missouri where I thought we'd have to leave the interstate, I suggested to ChopTop that we get the GPS out and input the address of our destination. She agreed, and that's pretty much where the kumbayah portion of the trip began and ended. The next 30 minutes were a seemingly endless variation of the following conversation.

TC: Did you put the address in?
ChopTop: YES!
TC: Well, why isn't it talking to us? Isn't it supposed to tell me when to turn?
ChopTop: It doesn't talk.
TC: WHAT?! It does too talk!
ChopTop: No, it doesn't. Do you see any volume controls on it?
TC: Well, what are those arrows on the screen for?
ChopTop: Those are buttons for the menu.
TC: No, they're not!
TC: Well, look here. The back looks like a speaker.
ChopTop: That's not a speaker!
TC: What is it then?
ChopTop: That's for ventilation, so it doesn't get overheated.
TC: I think it's supposed to talk to us.
TC: Why would it not talk?
ChopTop: It doesn't need to talk! You just look at the screen!
TC: How am I supposed to watch the screen and drive at the same time? It's SUPPOSED TO TALK.
ChopTop: Trust me - IT DOESN'T TALK.
TC: Well, it SHOULD. Are you sure you put the address in?

We finally reached a pause in the, uh, discussion (I think I might have, yet again, been slightly distracted by my bladder, which by this point felt like a 24-cup coffee urn), and were riding along in silence when suddenly we heard


I screamed and nearly drove straight into a billboard advertising several of Branson's butt-whuppin' music shows. ChopTop involuntarily threw herself against the passenger door. We both thought God Himself was sitting in the back seat.

Before I could even compose myself to speak, we heard

There was a brief repeat of the aforementioned screaming, near-crashing, and involuntary throwing of self. Any passersby surely thought our car was being operated by two people with uncontrolled seizure disorders and Tourette's syndrome.

Eventually, I found my breath, and before ChopTop dared utter a sound, I looked over at her and said triumphantly,


In the end, the trip was a great success. We had wonderful time with our friends, ChopTop & I were introduced to Shake's frozen custard (and, yes, I think it's entirely likely that the serpent tempted Eve with a big ol' cone of frozen custard topped with hot fudge), but most importantly, my title of Self-Appointed Genius Know-It-All Of The Family was made even more secure.

But the GPS people really need to program that thing to say, "Caution: You Are Entering Oklahoma, which is an old Native American name that means Land Without Restrooms. State motto: Now You Know Why It Was Called The Trail of Tears."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I went to Florida, and all I got was this...

When a normal family goes to Florida for a vacation, they bring back normal things.

Like a Disney t-shirt.
Some seashells.
Maybe a bag of oranges.

Not us.

We bring this back to Texas:
Grandma's hip.

Shown here proudly displayed on the table next to Hubster's recliner. And you know what this means. 

I have to change my whole decorating scheme from Early Caveman to Contemporary Prosthetic. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Olympic Dangling

From TC's File of Possibly True Facts:
"Shoulder injury" is the #2 item on the list of Things That Take A Long Time To Recover From.
(The #1 item is "Death.")

The upside of this whole broken shoulder adventure is that I found out I'm extremely talented at Dangling. This was news to me. I mean, it's not like Dangling was offered as an elective at my college. Although if it had been, I'd have been on the Dean's List for sure. Well, that, and if they'd just forgiven me for that minor little incident with the guy's underwear in the cafeteria ...

Anyway. My orthopedic surgeon told me to exercise my shoulder by dangling. To help you understand the dangling manuever, I will demonstrate in the following series of photos. (Warning: do not try the following at home without the approval of your physician. Or without a couple of cups of coffee. Whichever is easier to acquire.)

1.  The Warm-Up. 

2. The Dangle.

3. The Cool-down.

Hint: During the dangle exercise, ignore comments by heathen family members,  such as, "Are you getting winded?" and "Do you need a Gatorade, Mom?" 

After a couple of days of dangling, it became apparent that I had a real gift. I mean, I have a number of body parts that dangle without my even trying! So now I'm petitioning the International Olympic Committee to make dangling a competitive sport.

It can't be in the Summer Games, though. Think about it. Dangling is a sport for middle-aged women. If we were to show up in an outdoor arena, dressed in spandex shorts and tank tops, with the sun reflecting off our cellulite, the repercussions would be severe and wide-ranging. 

Bob Costas would have cardiac arrest.
Broadcasters would be forced to show actual footage of actual dangling competition, rather than Bob's interview with the founder of the Dangling Hall of Fame.
Sports fans would suffer hysterical blindness that would last all summer.
Ticket sales to baseball games would drop.
Major League Baseball would need a 9.7 trillion dollar bailout.
The New York Yankees would need an additional 5 billion dollar bailout to pay Alex Rodriguez's hip surgeon.
The steroid industry would be forced to market itself to pro bowlers.
Some unknown bowler named Frank Murphy would win the Tour de France, becoming the first winner to need an XXXL yellow jersey.
China would produce and sell limited-edition Hello Kitty yellow jerseys. 
Nancy Pelosi, unable to locate a limited-edition Hello Kitty yellow jersey for her granddaughter, would propose a 78% tax on all upper-income danglers, bringing the sport to an end.

So I'm thinking Winter Games, where danglers can compete in sweatpants. Besides - I want Apolo Anton Ohno to autograph my "U.S.A. Dangling Team" t-shirt.

Next: My Physical Therapist is the Anti-Christ.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Bounce Has Gone Out of My Bungee

 So I was at lunch today with Danger Boy, and I noticed that he was looking down, texting under the table while we were conversing. I gave him the condensed version of the That's So Rude lecture with some of the Cell Phones Are Of The Devil dissertation thrown in for good measure. He smiled and replied, "If I hadn't been using my right hand to eat, I could have texted without even looking at my phone." I sensed the spirit of Perry Mason come over me, and I could feel myself visibly puffing up with the pride and satisfaction of having a fine closing argument, which was this: "If you can text without looking at your phone, that just goes to show that you spend too much time texting." Danger Boy just says, "You type on your computer keyboard without looking, so I guess that means you spend too much time online."

Dang kids and their logic.

And in retrospect, I think that feeling of being puffed up was actually due to the spicy chicken wings I'd just eaten.

Anyway. I'm not blogging much because I have to type one-handed, pending possible rotator cuff surgery. So I'm just going to copy an extremely funny email I received from my mother-in-law. Enjoy.

This is why women should not take men shopping against their will.
After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Wal-Mart . Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunately, my wife is like 
most women - she loved to browse.
Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Wal-Mart:
Dear Mrs. Samsel,
Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against Mr. Samsel are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.
 June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.
July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, "Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away."
August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.
August 14: Moved a "CAUTION - WET FLOOR" sign to a carpeted area. 

August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department.
August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"
September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.
September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.
October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.
October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his "Madonna look" by using different sizes of funnels.
October 18 : Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled "PICK ME! PICK ME!"
October 21 : When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed, "OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!" 

And last, but not least ..
October 23 : Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!"