my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Month: October, 2014

these shoes are made of satin

Shoes pic 10:29:14-5

My father died when I was eight and my brother was three. A boy’s loss of his father at age three is Freud’s sweet spot. The whole Oedipal thing supposedly kicks in and his life goes all to hell in a mental handbasket. That was a spot-on prognosis in this case. Anywho, we were fortunate enough to be raised by a wonderful nurse with only the occasional maternal intrusion to screw things up. My brother loved nothing more than clanking around the house in our mother’s high heels, you could hear him for miles. Her collection made Imelda Marcos look like a slacker. The specialty was outrageous styles purchased in bulk at the annual Krauss Department store shoe sale. One might even say that she loved her shoes to an unhealthy degree. One time when we were on what was euphemistically billed as a “family vacation” some of her shoes flew out of a suitcase strapped onto the roof of our car. Without a moment’s hesitation, she careened off the highway, slammed on the brakes and dispatched all of her offspring onto Interstate 10 to retrieve them. Apparently she was of the opinion that children come and go, but shoes are forever. So, back to the boy, time came for my brother to start kindergarten and he had to take some wacky test to be admitted. One of the questions they asked was, “What are shoes made of?” and he responded entirely appropriately “satin, of course.” Instead of fast tracking him to the Fashion Institute they declared him too immature for school. My mother was never more proud.

overthinking

Overthinking pic #2-6

When given a choice between a straightforward solution to a problem or an incredibly complicated one that is extremely difficult and almost impossible to execute the OB&C goes for the latter every time. Take for example the problem of the storage of a canoe under the front porch. The dimly lit space is jammed full of unused crap that has long outlived any usefulness, if there had been any: a vinyl hot tub cover for a non-existent tub, dozens of tomato cages, several galvanized wash tubs, a flat boat without a motor or oars, a homemade car rack, oh, and another canoe. So he decided that the absolute best way to store the canoe2 would be to drill holes in the ceiling joists above the existing canoe, screw in four massive eye hooks and contrive two slings near the ceiling in which canoe2 would hang. I suggested that perhaps a couple of saw horses astride the present canoe on which to lay canoe2 might be an easier solution. Hell no, not on my watch! … so off to the hardware store for the required rope, screws, drill bit, knot manual, etc.…well there was trouble before he got out of the starting gate. While trying to mount the ladder to screw the first hole he tripped on the leg and fell down on a bunch of pointed stuff and had to repair to the bathroom to bandage his arm, his leg and to ice down his elbow. Undeterred, he finally got his slings slung and on to the next step: hauling a canoe the size of a ’63 Buick and weighing in at about 1.5 tons and hoisting it above our heads to slip into the slings, all while navigating a minefield of junk. And who’d a thunk it? Surprise!…the slings were too small and the canoe wouldn’t fit. So down it came. Two hernias and a thrown back later we regrouped, which translated into I am no longer part of this exercise. In the end the OB&C got his canoe slung and now we sit and wait and wonder when those ropes are going to give out and simultaneously destroy both of the damned things.

we’re not quitters we’re campers!

We're not quitters we're hikers #2  pic-2

Several summers ago when our granddaughter Apricot was visiting us, the OB&C declared that they should go camping. He cleared a level place in the woods up the hill from the house, built a fire ring, surrounded it with luminous pink plastic “adirondack chairs” (visible from the international space station) and declared it ready for action. We hauled up the tent, readied the gear, and headed back to the house for pre-adventure cocktails. Well, as one can imagine, after a pop or two the thought of trudging up the hill through the woods in the gloom of night to sleep on the ground in a tent became less and less appealing. Being a traditionalist as well as unimaginative, he hauled out that old workhorse, the rain delay ploy. “Uh oh, I think I just felt a sprinkle, yes, definitely felt a sprinkle, no doubt about it. With this heavy weather coming in, we probably ought to wait until tomorrow.” Good luck with that, think she just fell off a turnip truck? He neglected to factor in that he was dealing with a 4’5”, 43 lb hunk of forged steel with the determination of an army ant who was NOT to be denied her promised camping experience. Apricot struck a defiant stance, shot him a withering look, grabbed her sleeping bag, pillow and knapsack , donned her head lamp and stomped out of the house in her pajamas declaring, as she climbed through the darkness to the tent. “We’re not quitters, we’re campers! “ The OB&C trotted after her like a whipped dog.

remembering names?

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I just read my daily email from Luminosity, a “brain training” outfit that promises to get your mind to do what it hasn’t done in years: think. They apparently are of the opinion that I am one blank stare from the alzheimer’s wing or they wouldn’t hound me every morning. Alternately it could be that they already know that I can’t remember doodlysquat from yesterday so every email is like my very first. One of their recent tips was on how to remember names. I frankly couldn’t identify my children in an airport, nor would I want to, but that’s a tale for another time. So Luminosity said that when you meet new people you should fixate on some characteristic and link that to their name, e.g. Leroy Pantyhose: really bad teeth. Vulgaria Otherwise: lousiest face lift ever!, Stanley Mattressthrasher: freakishly large nostrils. I got it. From now on I will be able to confidently extend my hand to any vaguely familiar acquaintance, match it up in my mind’s eye with my handy mnemonic of ‘aggressively unattractive.’ and cheerily chirp, “So great to see you again, “Lusitania” it’s been way too long!” you old crone.

all politics is local

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Please indulge me, readers from across the globe who may not be familiar with Louisiana state politics, and allow me to say that the best news I have heard in years (ten to be exact, the length of a federal racketeering sentence), vis a vis the future of this country and perhaps of all mankind, can be summed up in two words: Edwin Edwards. I’m talking the silver fox baby. He’s back and badder than ever. Unbowed and unbroken. “I never took a dime of tax payer money,” true unless gambling casino owners were LA residents, and actually paid taxes. A new daddy at 86 (or is it 87, whatever, he’s a walking, talking Viagra ad for sure) by his third wife, who was his prison pen pal. Seriously, Kurt Vonnegut couldn’t make this stuff up. As soon as I heard about his candidacy I shot him $50. I have no idea who he’s running against, but even if I loved his opponent’s politics 1000% I would just have to say, sorry Charlie, I left my heart in Avoyelles parish. I have no idea what EE’s ideas are for the future of Louisiana or the country, or if he even has any. I just want him to go to Washington and knock those chinless weasels and self-aggrandizing phonies off the talk shows. In a world full of ISIS (or is it ISIL? Could you please make up your 2nd Century A.D. minds), Whitehouse gate jumpers (who, FYI, wouldn’t have gotten into my house because I have an ADT security system) and Ebola (don’t get it in Dallas) I personally would feel a whole lot better knowing there was one honest crook in Washington who is not afraid to have a “for sale” sign stamped on his congressional letterhead.

step by step

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It occurred to me that about 70% of the exercise I get in a day involves starting at point A, traveling to point B where I then am not able to remember why I needed to be at point B in the first place, so return to point A. I then retrace this path a couple of times before I recollect why I went anywhere at all and realize that where I really needed to go was point C. That, my friend, is called triangulation. While on the subject of exercise, you know those little rubber naval-gazer bracelets that track how many steps you take in a day and give you a virtual gold star when you reach the bracelet’s goal for you? Why stop there? What the world needs is a model that will monitor your every belch, fart, sneeze, hiccup, cough, and excretion and warn you when your performance is not optimal: “Warning! !That was the last fart for you today. Tighten up that sphincter, you foul smelling swine.” or “Alert! You are at only 63% of your recommended bowel movements for the week, Fiber up! Show some effort. Push harder, you unproductive anal retentive toad.”

Company motto: “We make you way better than you really are.”