my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Category: life’s irritants

be still thy beating heart

be still thy beating heart-1

MJE and the OB&C keep an apartment in the big sleazy for reasons that are 1000% First off, the apartment is the registered worldwide headquarters of our small intestinal bug biz. It’s location is entirely unrelated to the fact that louisiana has one of the lowest state income tax rates in the country as well as a well documented laissez faire attitude when it comes to regulating potentially hazardous materials. In summary: an excellent business environment for us.

We are located in the lower half of a duplex building in the uptown area of new orleans. Conveniently situated close to a large park, which provides relaxation and exercise opportunities so critical to the mental and physical health and well being of our employees, including the corporate canine. The proximity to excellent restaurants, venues for our many, many company team building get-togethers, is crucial. Our policy is to offer the finest food and drink to our hard working employees and in particular to our board members to encourage and reward their dedication and hard work.

There is however one major drawback to the building: the tenants occupying the upper space. They are a couple, one is a teacher and aspiring base player, the other some sort of environmental “consultant,” although what exactly she does is about as clear as the water that flows down the mississippi and right out of our taps. One thing we know for sure is that her home “office space” is a mere 12′ above our heads and that she heavily and constantly stomps about in bare feet. Her footfalls are so loud they sound like a forking budweiser clydesdale.  And we are all now doubly blessed as she just issued forth a new baby! Not sure what the colt’s name is but understand it’s a stud. Too much joy for sure!!!

Those of you who have procreated understand that newborns are needy and require a good bit of attention. In the dark ages of MJE’s early motherhood we put our babies to sleep on their stomachs, transported them on the floor of the car so they wouldn’t fall off the seat, toted them in cheap carriers made of lead based chinese plastic, fed them food filled with additives, surrounded them with choking hazards and pushed them around in flimsy cloth strollers that folded into something that could fit in a fly rod case, and yet they survived. Some less well than others (see: albatross) but that’s a story for another post.

Today’s new mothers, including the aforementioned clydesdale, are far more aware of the perils of the world and how difficult it is for a recently hatched being to adapt to the less than comfortable environment outside the womb. In an effort to ease this transition some new parents resort to devices that mimic the mother’s heartbeat in utero. And that my friend is exactly what roused us this morning, after the clydesdale’s 4 am milking. Duh, dum…duh, dum…duh, dum…hum, for almost two hours. As we all know, the OB&C is deaf as a forking post and even HE heard it. At first we thought it was rain dripping from the gutter or a plumbing pipe but then it dawned on me, no man, it was big momma’s virtual heartbeat that woke us up, pissed us off and creeped us out all at once. What it did not do was lull us to sleep nor calm us down, in fact quite the opposite. It took all the restraint I could muster not to climb a ladder and pound on the ceiling screaming foul obscenities at mother and babe alike.

If the clydesdale could do either of the following it would immensely improve my quality of life.

Get a pair of really plush cushiony slippers or a pair of running shoes, and wear them all the time. No exceptions. A few nice thick rugs couldn’t hurt. Send us the bill.

Stop your goddam heart. Are you going to play that thing forever, say until he hits adolescence because that’s a pretty stressful time, or takes the SAT’s or goes off to college, or maybe after he graduates and can’t get a job. Or when he gets married and realizes that it’s not nearly as much fun as bar hopping and frat parties with his old girl friend. Or when he has his first kid and it won’t sleep…

But with my luck I’ll be like the narrator in poe’s tell tale heart, doomed to hear that heartbeat unto eternity regardless.


life’s   $#@!!*?^& frustrations

life's ……..  frustrations

MJE feels a certain twisted desire to burst the bubble of that small subset of humans who blithely accept life’s endless disappointments, frustrations and irritants calmly and with good humor. What gives with these insensitive pollyannas? Being a glass half empty (and would it kill you to put it in the dishwasher for god’s sake) kinda gal, I suspect MJE suffers many more irksome botherations in everyday existence than most due to an extremely low tolerance for anything annoying.

Things like the old person ahead of you in the grocery line who decides she’ll write a check (holy 1955, batman!) for her goods. It’s not bad enough that she waits until she is all rung up and bagged up to rummage around in her massive pocketbook for her checkbook and a pen, she then takes longer than Dostoevsky took writing War and Peace to fill out the damned thing in the painstakingly delicate cursive of yesteryear. That is naturally followed by the subsequent tedious search for a proof of identity etc., during which she discovers a 25 cents off coupon for that can of cocktail weenies she bought and the whole process starts all over again. I don’t know about you but after having to endure this proceeding for what feels like eons, MJE has to consciously squelch the overwhelming desire to wrench that pen out of her haggard hand, give her a goddam quarter, load her bags into the shopping cart, and shove it and the geriatric into the parking lot.

Or how about the person in the drive through lane at the bank who is jawboning on her fricking cell phone during the interminable wait then once she’s finally abeam the little pneumatic tube, decides that that’s the time to complete her deposit slip (which is usually a week’s worth of sketchy checks from her tattoo parlor business or something). At a standstill, you seethe as the other lanes move like greased lightening but are trapped because by now some low rider with its woofer at maximum decibel level has just pulled up behind you. Banking purgatory. You watch the little cylinder go up and come back down, and up and down over and over because the aforementioned cretin forgot to endorse the checks or didn’t write out the deposit slip correctly, or some other doofus blunder. This sort of thing may not infuriate you but it vexes MJE to the snapping point and I have to physically restrain myself from hopping out and grabbing that little plastic sucker when it makes its next touchdown, walking it into the bank, making the deposit and returning the receipt to the offender. I then want to warn her in the strongest possible terms that if she ever sees MJE behind her in the drive through she had better just keep on driving.

And don’t even get me started on the US postal service. First of all they are gazillion dollars in debt but have enough dough to run endless ads trying to convince the populace how terrific they are. That must be why they don’t have enough money left to pay for more than one teller at a time. And if there are two people ahead of you in line or twenty, it still takes just as long, because I can guarantee you that if you find yourself lucky enough to have even just one person in line, they will have 35 packages going to 35 countries the clerk never even heard of. They will also want all the extra time consuming bells and whistles on each one: insurance, return receipt requested, proof of delivery, etc. To be followed by a lengthy cost benefit analysis over the postage on every single box: standard delivery vs express vs 2nd class…by the time this person finally walks away from the counter the clerk is so exhausted she puts up a “window closed” sign and disappears into the bowels of the building.

Is it any wonder that people want to crawl inside their computers and live a human interaction-free virtual life. That is until the damned thing crashes, at which point you actually do desperately want some human interaction in the form of a technical support person. So the rest of your day is frittered away on hold being told every 15 seconds how very important YOUR call is to them. Finally mike in mumbai answers and cheerfully tells you that he will absolutely figure out and solve your problem. Several clicks later, he regrets to inform you that he is so dreadfully sorry but your tech support contract just expired. But thanks you for being a valued customer.