Tuesday, December 15, 2009

R.I.P Murder Cat Fred

As I feared would happen, Murder Cat Fred departed this life on December 13th 2009. The cats were chasing each other all over the lawn and Fred ran under the wheels of a car. They didn't have time to avoid him.

I wish I had not seen it happen.

Fred was a hoot to watch. He had calmed down quite a bit from when he first tried to kill me. He would allow me to pet him and even pick him up once in a while.

He had spent too much of his life as a wild animal and was not willing to be domesticated.. much like members of my family. To keep him safe from the outside world, he would have had to be caged. Again..much like my family..only the police keep THEM caged to keep the outside world safe.

An attack from Fred could come at any time. The things that set him off were numerous. Grabbing his tail, looking at him, not looking at him, reading a novel from an Author he didn't approve of.. it didn't really matter. He saw danger in the strangest places.

So.. Goodbye Murder Cat Fred. You will be missed.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pecking orders and Sleazy Females.

This is a story about pecking orders. The list of players is as follows:

Murder Cat Fred
Evil Orange Marmalade Cat
Soon to be Pregnant Hussy Cat
Anti-Christ Cat

So... Murder Cat Fred used to be friends with Evil Orange Marmalade Cat. They would brush up against each other and were always together, plotting and scheming. Not only were they birds of a feather but they murdered and ate birds of a feather.. including most of the feathers. This lets me know they are tough because I can not eat the feathers of a chicken no matter how many times I've tried.

Yes, they were friends until Soon-To-Be-Pregnant-Hussy-Cat came by. Marmalade cat liked Hussy cat. Fred liked hussy cat too. One day they got into a big fight over her. Hussy cat sat back and watched the fight with mild amusement and a bag of microwave popcorn. Where she got the microwave, I do not know. I really must clean out the garage.

Now, Murder Cat Fred is afraid of Marmalade Cat. Marm Cat wants to brush up beside Fred and go for a beer like they used to but Fred backs off. He will no longer be a wing man. So yet another friendship is dashed because of a sleazy female. Fred needs to learn how to forgive and forget.

Entering stage right is Sweet Gray Cat. Sweet gray cat is sweet.. to me. I have the food. Sweet Gray Cat is afraid of Fred but not Marm Cat. He is ready to rip Marm cat a new one. Sweet cat seems to be defending Fred but Fred hates him. Apparently, Sweet cat does not like injustice and will fight for the underdog or cat as it may be no matter how convoluted the situation. Maybe I should change Sweet Cats name to ACLU Cat. If Sweet Cat starts to defend burglars inside my house after showing them where the hidden cash is.. I will do just that.

Anti-Christ cat is the king of the hill. Everyone is afraid of him and stays out of his way. I stay out of his way. If you don't, you are a fool and deserve to die. I can tell that Anti-Christ cat wants to be loved but his attitude is bad. I'm waiting for Hussy Cat to start chasing him soon. She is drawn to bad boys. She will pit Marm, Fred and Anti-Christ against each other just to watch them fight over her. Hussy cat needs to go back to her barstool and think about what she's doing over a shot of whiskey before she ends up being a drunken welfare mom.

I know this is not going to end well.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Whimsical, Continuing Adventures Of Murder Cat Fred

Murder Cat Fred likes to play in the cemetery. Fred is enamored by the place for he spends many an hour frolicking amongst the graves. I think Fred has an unhealthy fascination with death. He didn't come by his name by stopping to smell the roses.. unless of course they were on top of a grave. There are many animals who live in the cemetery. Rats, Moles, Silver Foxes, Raccoons, Armadillos and Possums.

Murder Cat Fred met his first Possum last night. Fred was very curious about the weird cat with the nekkid tail. He swatted the tail several times as it swayed back and forth like a conductors baton, seemingly keeping time to the psychotic beat in Fred's brain.

I'm not sure what to name the Possum. I have no idea if the possum is a boy or a girl.. I am not about to check. It would be too weird.

There is another new contender for my attention hanging around. Actually he doesn't give a rats rear for my attention, he just wants food. I think he specifically wants to eat my soul. A friend suggested I name him "Rocky" because he is a huge mass of muscle and attitude. I will not name him that because he isn't as socially adept as Sylvester Stallone portrayed Rocky. I have decided to name him "Anti-Christ Cat" My neighbor said if she didn't know he was a cat, she would be scared to death of him. I do not share her sentiment, I know he's a cat and he still scares the crap out of me. This picture does not accurately portray his freakish girth. He is quite beautiful but supposedly, the anti-christ will be also. I'm waiting to see if they are one in the same. Murder Cat Fred will not have a chance against him.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Whimsical, Continuing Adventures of Murder Cat

It has been awhile since I mentioned Murder Cat. For those who haven't read, Murder Cat is a feral cat that was holding me captive in my house. Every time I walked outside my house, Murder Cat would attack my feet and try to eat me. Over time, his routine became tedious to me and I was tired of cowering behind the couch.. so I decided to feed him. He became much more pleasant to be around after that and I didn't have to budget near as much money for band-aids.

Last night I heard some strange sounds outside so I got up to see what was going on. I was specifically wondering if Murder Cat, was indeed, back to murdering something. After looking around for a few seconds, I spotted him across the street in the cemetery. He saw me too and came running to me across the busy four lane avenue. He then came to a dead stop in the middle of said street, sat down and proceeded to lick himself. When he sauntered up to me I told him that grooming simply wasn't that important and that whatever he was doing over in the cemetery wasn't any of my business but to leave my Mother alone.

The above picture is of Murder Cat attacking a menacing brick that was apparently taunting him. Murder Cat does not suffer fools, bricks, blades of grass, gust of wind, or any other objects tangible or intangible..lightly.

Monday, September 14, 2009

When Your Dad Starts to Spoil

I think my 83 year old dad is starting to spoil. I can smell him from 5 foot away. I do all the cooking and cleaning for him, well..I cook. I gotta admit I stink at cleaning, but I've never had to clean HIM up.. yet. I'm sure that day is coming but I'm pretty convinced that he would rather drop dead than have me bathe him.. No offense to him but I think I might prefer that too. It's a guy thing. Anywhoo... I'm smellin some stale tail goin on. Now the strange part. I've never known my dad to take a shower or bath during my lifetime...ever. He has always taken spit baths at the bathroom sink. I have never asked him why he does that and I have a sneaking suspicion that if I tried to put him in the tub now it would be akin to doing the same to a wild alley cat. Anyway, point is.. he smells.

I asked him if he had any clean clothes and he replied "Yup, I was gonna change-em a couple weeks ago but haven't had time". Yeah.. ha ha dad. Short of getting him to go out in the back yard and ambushing him with a bucket of bleach and a water hose, I'm not sure what to do. I suppose I could stick a can of Fabreeze in his pants, pull the trigger and run but he might think he's done pooped himself. I'd also rather not have to sleep with one eye open for the next few years. I say years because trust me, he wouldn't forget it. Memory like an Elephant, that one.

He did take a shower once. He was in the hospital after a stoke and the nurse was in the shower with him to help. She was dressed in some sort of getup that I'm sure was
to keep her dry but looked more like they had called Haz-mat in to control the toxic run-off.

Oh well. Its a bridge we will cross when we come to it, trouble is, after I cross that bridge I may have to keep running.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Feral Cats Are Trying To Kill Me.

So.. I go outside the other night and one of the feral cats that my dear sweet neighbor feeds is on my front porch. She starts looking straight at my toes like she is about to perform a science experiment... her almond shaped pupils fixed, reminding me of a corpse on a TV crime show. I decide to wiggle them a bit.. my mistake. She pounces and starts gnawing like a teething infant with 'roid rage.

I let out a tiny little yelp that startles the cat and brings the next door neighbors running outside with boxes of food and water. They scream at me they heard the siren and I should follow them to the storm shelter. I gently reassured them that it was only me and informed them of the cat attack and to go back inside. The mother pulled her children closer to them and looked at me with disdain and an arched eyebrow. The cats have run away, no doubt to gather the troops and plan another reconnaissance mission.

Anyway, I go back outside to get the morning paper for my elderly dad and TWO of the assailants start to attack. One tries to trip me up while the original culprit starts to attack my toes again. She is out for blood like a jilted at the alter, never married before middle aged woman. I am able to safely get back inside but not before the miniature assassin got in a few good bites to get to the chewy nougat center of my big toe.

I'm not sure what to do at this point. It's illegal to feed stray animals in my city yet, I'd rather not be the subject of a documentary on Animal Planet. Should I go ahead and feed them? Should I call the city to come pick them up and break the next door neighbors heart? Should I go with carpet or tile in my living room?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Starting a Diet

Today, I shall start a diet, oops, I mean a lifestyle change. We mustn't call it a diet. The word diet has bad connotations connected with it. Why? Well, I for one remember when Weight Watchers first came on the scene. It was extremely limited in what you could eat. Most of the menus had hay and tree bark as a staple. Now I don't have anything against WW at all. I'd be on it if I could afford the extra money and will no doubt use some of the recipes. However, when my mother first started the meetings I recollect a few of the recipes she used. One particular memory was when she made hamburgers.. only instead of hers being nestled in the confines of a lovely toasted bun..she had it wrapped in lettuce leaves with a sliced tomato and a bit of mustard inside. She actually was ahead of her time because these day you pay MORE for lettuce wrapped food.
I don't know if you've ever tried this concoction but tomato pulp is kinda slippery, combined with the mustard, the meat patty kept slipping out of the lettuce "bun" and falling on the floor with every bite. Sorta like the patty knew this was a grievous error in hamburger etiquette and was making an escape attempt in a culinary equivalent of a child's slip-n-slide. My father, brother and me, being the supportive family that we were, laughed our heads off every time it happened. After a few more bites and picking the meat off the floor for the umpteenth time. She burst into tears and fled the room. I realize now that the Weight Watchers recipe was PLANNED that way and was really going for the exercise aspect people would get while bending over multiple times to pick up the patty and then running away. The tears were extra.

Another recipe she would force us to eat was cheese toast with low fat cheddar cheese. This had to be the most ungodly food creation ever invented next to powdered milk but if SHE was on the diet, WE would be too. She wasn't going to suffer alone by golly and I'm sure she was thinking that if we were eating the same meals, we couldn't make fun of her. She severely underestimated the cruelty quotient of young boys. You see, we were the kind of children who invented ways to irritate her. Like the time we declared medieval war on our father and made our spoons into tiny trebuchets to launch green peas on him while he was sleeping on the couch. Our true goal was not to exasperate our mother but to get our dog to jump up on top of our father in order to eat the tiny green treats. We figured we could be gone by the time he woke up, realized what was going on and that the evidence would already be disposed of by way the dogs digestive tract. The only problem was that the dog was a bit pickier than we anticipated and came to the conclusion that she could live without green peas... but not until after she made that first fateful leap onto his face. We spent the first 5 minutes trying to out run my fathers swinging belt and the next hour picking up our little projectiles.

But back to the cheese toast.. thank God it didn't last long. The final straw was when Weight Watchers apparently conspired with the Hemlock Society to enhance the toast recipe into individual pizzas made with tomato paste and more of that low fat cheddar cheese on white bread. Tomato paste is ok in its own right. Any number of recipes can be made into a delectable feast with it. Smeared on white bread by itself is like eating concentrated ketchup. It's evil. With every bite you could hear Satan chuckle for he knew the diet would soon be over and you'd die of a heart attack sooner. The joke is on him because if the future included cheese toast you'd welcome that death with open arms.

I shall leap into my new lifestyle change with glee... but there sure as heck ain't gonna be any cheese toast anywhere near me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Should I Invite Her to Dinner?

Lynette "Squeeky" Fromm has been released from prison. The prison is only about 15 minutes from my house. Should I invite her to dinner to be neighborly?

Now if you all remember your history, You'd know that Miz Fromme was one of Charles Mansons girlfriends way back a long time ago. What is the proper way to interact with someone who tried to assassinate a president? Just ain't all that easy to answer.

Now I'm sure Miz Lynette is just about starved for some homecookin. After all, the stuff they serve in the joint ain't about to make 'Bon Appetit' any time soon. I just wanna be real dang careful not to upset the woman. I mean.. If I serve mashed potatoes is she gonna start digging through it with her fingers lookin for ground up glass? If I use real cutlery, will she commence to start carvin' another X into her forehead at the dining room table?

Should I serve Wine with dinner? Should I do like prisoners do and make the wine in the toilet to make her feel at home? Lord knows the girl is gonna feel out of place for awhile. Maybe I'll just fill the toilet with ice and chill the bottle in there.. yup.. that'll have to do.

Well, we will see if she will come by, She's gonna be in the neighborhood I'm sure and it would be downright rude if I don't at least ask her. I'll let you know how it goes.

P.S. I'll just be sure to leave some Murphys oil soap in the cabinet above the wall oven just in case she tries to write "Helter Skelter" on the walls with the pickled beets.. or something...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Letting go of your childhood. In Memory Of Gary.

I went to see Gary today. I went to tell him I loved him and.. to tell him goodbye. Gary has been my neighbor for 47 years. We have known each other from birth. Our parents moved next to each other before we were born, our houses shared a backyard fence. When Gary's parents were coming out of the hospital from giving birth to him, my parents were going into the same hospital to have me, they met on the elevator.

I have no childhood memories that do not include Gary. We were almost always together. Our own little Rat Pack. We played almost everyday and then began kindergarten when we were old enough. We got in our share of arguments and fights, but always made up. We got in trouble together on many occasions. We did some really stupid things which I won't get into because I'm still not sure the statute of limitations are over. We had some mischievous times too. Like throwing water balloons at cars from the cemetery at night. It had many trees that blocked the moons rays, purposing it to be the perfect hideout when the owners of those cars stopped, the goal of ripping our sweet little innocent heads off foremost on their minds.

His parents almost sold their house once. I saw the "for sale" sign in the front yard and I panicked. I went home and prayed it would not sell so Gary would not move away. He was my only friend at the time. It didn't sell and he stayed. Things that could have torn other young friendships apart, didn't. Gary's German Shepherd, Sam, jumped our fence and bit a huge hunk of skin out of our Dachshund, Fritzi, and at my 6th birthday party, one of our fellow classmates decided to pretend he was a kamikaze pilot but didn't release the battle plans to Gary until after he had flown a rather large plastic jetliner into Gary's eye. Sam was very protective of Gary and looked after him like any good dog should. Gary would sometimes climb.. or should I say TRY to climb the fence into my yard. Sam, intuitively knowing that Gary was doing something terribly, horribly wrong, would run up and hook his teeth into the back of Gary's pants and start pulling, naturally to save Gary from impending doom. Gary would scream "MAMAAAAAA" knowing one of our mothers would eventually come to the rescue when there was a commercial break during their soap operas.

As what happens with a lot of childhood friends, we grew older and grew apart. Gary was into sports, I wasn't. That alone was enough to create a cavern between us. The things we had in common seemed to slip away, things that teenagers for some reason, don't realize they should hold onto. Instead, they battle the much bigger questions of wondering who they are and where they fit in, superseding everything else.

Life went on of course and years quickly flew by. Gary's mother passed away after high school as did mine later on. We felt the loss of both since they co-opted in raising us. Gary inherited his mothers house and I eventually moved back to take care of my Dad after a stroke. We were neighbors once again. We did not talk much but were always friendly towards one another when we did. Surprisingly to me, there was still a twinge of regret in my heart for the friend I lost so long ago.

In November of last year, Gary had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. During his bypass, something went wrong and he was put on a respirator to help him breathe. I drove to the hospital to see him and was slightly taken aback by all the tubes encircling his body and bed. There were tubes in his throat, allowing him to breathe, but not talk. When he saw me, he grabbed me and pulled me close, there were tears flowing from both of us. He released my body only to grab my hand as hard as he could. He looked straight at me as if to say, "I remember".

Gary left the hospital only to go into a nursing home for rehab. Complications almost involved the installation of a revolving door as he traveled back and forth between the two. At this point he had not been home for 8 months. We talked several times over the phone. His voice, gravely and sometimes weak, made it hard to understand what he was saying at times but I chalked it up to the tiny speakers of a cell phone. Visiting him in person taught me that the cell phone was indeed working quite well and it was his consistent coughing that was the larger culprit. His thirst for a sympathetic ear was underscored by his need to be noticed, to know he had not been forgotten. I tried to make sure he wasn't.

Not only was Gary suffering from his heart procedure, He was on Dialysis for his kidneys and battled diabetes that wasn't discovered until his hospitalization. His toes had turned black from the complications. He contacted me Tuesday night. He was going to find out if he would be losing his toes or perhaps even more of his foot. He wanted prayer, he said he didn't understand why this was happening. we talked a bit longer then he told me he had to get off the phone because he was having one of his "spells". I assumed he was going to have one of the many coughing fits that filled his days. I said goodbye, not knowing it would be the last time we would ever speak.

He was found unresponsive on Wednesday morning. He never woke up. They turned off his life support at 3pm today. He passed away shortly after. I am supposing I was the last person to talk to him.

He is with Jesus now. He is resting from a difficult life and a particularly rough 8 months. I'm happy he is out of pain. Free from all the tubes and equipment that had taken over his life. I'm thankful I had the chance to be there at the end since I was there in the beginning.

Goodbye Gary. I'll see you again someday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Memories Of Grandpa and JimTom the Soldier Dog.

My grandfather lived with my dad for the last few years of his life. On the day it was decided that "PopPop" would make the transition from his home of 40 years, he'd had the space heater going in his den on a hot summers day and the temperature inside had risen to over 100 degrees. He was found passed out on the floor. We don't know why he had the space heater running on such a hot day. Maybe Grandpa had taken up making pottery and decided to use the den as a kiln but since we didn't see any clay we decided he needed a bit of supervision. The only problem with taking grandpa home with us to live is that we had to take his 20 year old Chihuahua from hell known as "JimTom".

In dog years, JimTom was older than his owner. Those two "old men" were a lot alike. Neither could walk very well or see worth a darn but they understood each other with a type of knowing relationship war veterans might find at the local VFW. JimTom didn't do much but sit in PopPop's lap and stare at anyone who came within his line of vision. He was obviously checking to see if you were a spy.
Lord help if you decided to pet JimTom, for you would draw back a bloody nub from his one good tooth which he was amazingly accurate with. Perhaps it was a targeting skill he finely honed while storming the beach at Normandy or perhaps he was simply lucky. PopPop would call JimTom "his only friend" yet he was not immune from the "tooth of doom". I guess to JimTom, everyone was a Nazi spy. If touched in the wrong spot, which was apparently anywhere on his body, JimTom would carry out his snipers assignment to silently make the kill. Although crippled with arthritis, JimTom would draw on the memory of Pattons rousing 3rd army speech and find the inspiration to leap up and destroy the enemy hand that naively traversed his airspace.

After PopPop and JimTom came to live with us, JimToms body weakened a little more and he was unable to walk more than a few steps. Even though JimTom was in pain, it would have killed my grandfather if he were to lose his only friend so we just let him live out his days as comfortably as possible. JimTom had to be carried outside to use the restroom, a duty that required skill and if you were smart, heavy leather gloves.
The latrine call could come at anytime of day or night. He owned a high pitched siren that would sound from his bunker on the LazyBoy in the living room. You had to respond or the siren would continue and no amount of cotton placed in the ears would soften it's shrill tone. Most of the time, JimTom would have mercy on the enemy hands assisting him in his business but in reality he was lulling them into a false sense of security, gaining trust and biding his time till he could do the most damage.
PopPop passed away on a February day and we could tell JimTom immensely felt the loss. Not sure if he missed Grandpa or just the taste of blood. He slowed down even more and the decision was made to let him spend eternity with his only friend.

I couldn't watch it being done. I had to leave him alone at the vets office. I felt as though my cowardice and betrayal would eventually be punished by superior officers but JimTom would be far happier. He could go on reconnaissance missions and bite all the Nazi's his one tooth could reach. He could hoist all the Ale he wanted at the Moulin Rouge and if no one was watching, enjoy a playful moment chasing squirrels through the meadow, the constant pain gone from his legs at last. It felt as though I was losing part of my past but I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do. He was a soldier and his dignity was gone. He needed to go out like a man.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Death Where Is Thy Sting?

Death where is thy sting? Today, My Isuzu pick-up affectionately known as "Lil Hoss" breathed his last in the drive through at Whataburger. He was 17. Lil'Hoss was a good truck. He served me well for 5 years. He had been through several surgeries lately and simply could not recover. Services will be held in my front yard on a date to be determined.
One of the feral cats also went to meet Jesus, face to whiskers yesterday, she was taken out by a Ford.

Now I gotta admit, I don't miss the cat as much as I do the truck. I like cats, but not as much as I do being able to drive to get groceries or drive my dad to the doctor. Call me selfish for wanting to do that. That being said, I think of all the people who have to depend on public transportation or even those who are shut-ins. Who am I to complain? How many in this world have it worse than I do.. millions, thats who. Ya got to put everything in your life in perspective.

I have another truck that has vinyl seats and no air conditioning. Not a great combo here in Texas. While you leave small pieces of skin behind on everything you touch, it's better than walking.

I say, Look for the silver lining in everything around you and give thanks with a grateful heart. I'm about to right now.. "Thank you God for getting rid of one more feral cat". See? thats how its done.

RIP Isuzu and feral cat. May you sleep forever in peace.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A New Day Begins!

Ahhh, the early morning. The day is dawning. The sun glistens through the branches of the trees in the field while magnificent colors explode in the clouds. The birds chirp excitedly over the first meal of the day, a June bug perhaps or maybe a grasshopper that has exposed it's position. The gentle wind rustles my hair like an elderly grandmothers hand. The squirrels are starting their day by playing tag with one another in and around the majestic Oak trees, happily chattering away...

Well thats an ideal morning but I woke to utter darkness, sweating like a pig from the heat in my poorly air conditioned bedroom and an uncomfortable pain somewhere in my stomach that feels like an alien intruder ready to dine on spleen tartar. My extremities scream with a treacherous betrayal of their basic function and my mouth is as dry as the Mojave desert.

Yet, I am blessed with another day of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As bad as I feel, I know I am blessed. The gift of a new day has never been a human right although there are people in this world that will demand God correct that oversight as soon as they get enough people to sign their online petition.

As we study and grow in the knowledge of God's nature, we should realize we aren't promised anything in the life he's granted us other than he loves us and he will not forsake us. We never know if we have one more minute left on this earth much less one more day. As we let the trials and tribulations of being human make us into emotional useless blobs of goo, we forget that he is more knowledgeable and far more capable in setting out paths straight yet our sinful nature makes us into the proverbial toddler that screams "ME DO IT!" to assert our independence.

We were not made to live independently of God. Living apart from God is as illogical as a fish declaring that it no longer wants to be bothered by the confines of water.

My day is progressing. The aches and pains are disappearing and the alien living in my innards has finally decided to take a nap. I will make plans on what to do today. I will decide on how productive I want to be.. then God is gonna have to drop kick my fat hiney right in the middle of it to get me to actually get it done. He knows me too well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'll Take Sleep Disorders for $300 Alex!

Sleeping disorders, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. Well, I would count them if I could stay focused long enough. I had Sleep Apnea for years. Sleep Apnea is a disorder where your brain forgets to tell you to breathe during the night or there is an obstruction to keep you from breathing properly. Now I'm sure the brain doesn't do this on purpose and it's simply an over site on it's part. I'd hate to think it was an act of revenge but if it were I would imagine it would be for the times I spent watching Desperate Housewives.

I didn't know what was wrong with me. I could sit down in a chair and be asleep in seconds. Nice if you're 80 years old or like to take small naps during the day, not so nice if you like to do it while say..driving a car down a freeway or while at work. The toll it took on my mental state was vast. I could not concentrate on anything. Many hours passed by with me staring into space, not really thinking about anything, just enjoying LaLa land and the carnival rides they have there.
Mistakes I made at work were plentiful, thus, why my bosses tended to yell and scream at me. It was a good thing I was riding the merry-go-round inside my head and didn't hear a thing they said. I lived in a fog so much of the time, I considered tying a flashlight to my head so ships wouldn't run into me.

I was given a CPAP machine. It's a machine of torture that has a mask you place over your face while it gently forces air into your nose and/or mouth to keep your airway open, much like placing your lips around a jet engine during takeoff. It's not that I didn't enjoy having to stuff my lungs back into my chest with a broom handle up my wazoo or anything, it just didn't work. I could not get used to it. The next step was a bit more drastic. They wanted to take my tonsils out.

Hey! The kids on TV always had all the ice cream they wanted. They always made it out to be a very simple procedure.

Lies.. all dirty, dirty lies.

Sure, you could have all the ice cream you want.. what they don't tell you is that once it goes past your mouth.. it morphs into salt encrusted razor blades with thumbtack sprinkles.
You see, the roots of your tonsils keep growing as you age. At age 40, mine had grown so long that my body had put up a fence much like they have for the lines for park rides at Six Flags.
The beginning of the operation was a nightmare. Since I had sleep apnea, they said they had to intubate me...


I liken the experience with having to swallow a garden hose.. and attached sprinkler head. They made me swallow disgusting things, vile tasting things. They claimed it was to deaden my throat for the operation but I was fairly certain that when the tonsils tasted this stuff, they would just get up and walk out on their own.

It was the most painful experience I had ever had. I pushed that morphine button like a Jeopardy contestant on crack, but alas, it did not help. I had to drink several glasses of water a day. It was excruciating to do so but NOT keeping the wound hydrated would make the pain worse. They also took out my adenoids in my nose. When I went back for a checkup, my doctor asked me if I had much pain in my nose and I said "no." he said "well you really do but your throat hurts so much you can't tell." Thats kinda like hitting your foot with a hammer so your focus is off your toothache. A coworker had to have her tonsils out a few months later. She told me that the pain was worse than childbirth. At least I had something to compare it with now even if it was by proxy.

All in all.. the pain finally started to go away, after three weeks. My throat healed. My sleep apnea, cured. The good thing about it is that I know what to expect if I ever give birth.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When You're About To Be Murdered.

I was in my kitchen, cooking a roast, adding spices, savoring the aromas wafting my senses when I looked out the window and saw that somebody had dumped two trash bags on my neighbors lawn. "Why do people have no concern for the property of others?" I fumed. I took another look outside and I noticed something sticking out from the trash bags...feet.

I knew I needed to go check it out but I considered that the rest of the body, and no tellin who else just might be chopped up in those trash bags. Throwing caution to the wind and turning the fire down under the pot roast, I proceeded outside to what I was pretty sure going to be somethin really yucky.
I got outside and much to my relief, there was an completely intact human laying beside the bags. Still didn't know who was in those trash bags, but it wasn't him. Heck, he may be using himself as a decoy. Some sympathetic soul leans over the see if he's breathin and "whack!..". He was partially laying in the street so I knew I had to act fast since much larger things, like cars, have been over looked and run over at that corner. If people couldn't see cars, they sure as heck wouldn't see him.

I called 911 and told them there was a mass murderer lying in my neighbors yard and could they come get him before he hopped up and started murderin.
The 911 operator asked me if I was sure he was dead and I said I was as sure as I wanted to be cause I wasn't any gettin closer to find out. I didn't want to be chopped up in those bags, I wouldn't be able to breathe.

The 911 operator was a persistent woman and wasn't gonna let me off the hook.

911: Is he breathing sir?

Me: I can't tell.. he's wearing a heavy coat. (Thus I figured the reason he was laying there in the first place since it was 100 degrees outside)

911: Ok sir.. can you give him a little kick to wake him up?
Now I don't know where this 911 operator was from but here in Texas, we civilized folk don't normally go around kickin dead people we haven't formally been introduced to. I guess I coulda leaned over and tickled him sayin' "gitchee gitchee goo" but that decoy thing kept poppin up in my head.
I gave him a little nudge with my foot and called out to him, no response. The 911 operator said she was sending paramedics out and they would be arriving shortly.

The firetruck came up blaring it's siren. I guess that loud siren was enough to scare his soul back into his body. I didn't know that could happen but it did cause sure enough, he sat up right as rain. I live across from a cemetery too.. ain't no tellin how many people are over there lookin around going "What the crud..?"

The paramedic started taking to him and asking him questions..

Medic: Sir, what is your name?

Previously Dead Man: Jaime Martinez.

Medic: Sir are you ok?

Previously Dead Man: Jaime Martinez.

Medic: Sir, Are you hurt?

PDM: Jaime Martinez.

Well, they stood ol Jaime up and he immediately stumbled into our four lane street. He was about to be killed all over again.

Well, Jaime walked off with his bags of dead people and I stood there really embarrassed that I'd called 911 for somebody that was just takin a nap.

I'm just glad the roast was ok.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Life With Father (With Apologies to Clarence Day)

Ever seen the movie "Life with Father"? It was a 1947 movie starring William Powell and Irene Dunne. It's based on a book by Clarence Day Jr. about his childhood and memories of his staunch, set-in-his-ways Father. I had read the book in elementary school and loved it. The movie is also quite good. It pops up on TCM every now and then.

I take care of my 83 year old dad. It's interesting to say the least. Old people?..well.. they do old people stuff, just like God intended. Why God intends this, I do not know. All I know is it's scary at times and other times, it's pretty dang funny. The best times are when scary and funny combine together to make you laugh while you are running for your life.

One morning I walked into the kitchen ready to go to work. I smelled gas. It wasn't from dad even though old men tend to do that...a lot. It was coming from a gas line somewhere.

Me: "Dad, I smell gas."

Dad: "I don't"

Me(opening cabinet doors under the stove top): "It's coming from the stove but I can't tell from what, it's too dark"

Watches dad take box of matches from cabinet...


Dad: "I was gonna light a match under there for more light."

Combined laughing and crying to now commence...

I didn't know if he was kidding or not. I wasn't staying around to find out. When the Firemen left, I realized he couldn't stay at home alone anymore. And no, he didn't blow the place up, I discovered that when you call the gas company to report a leak, they call the fire department. I also found out that said fire department frowns on people running down the street screaming for everyone to run for their lives. Apparently neighborhood evacuations are taken seriously and you can't just whip one up willy nilly. Fine.. THEY aren't living with the geriatric UniBomber.

Now for a more calming story...

Dad has a table lamp beside his chair. It is his favorite table lamp. I know this because for the last 4 years, he has had to twist the bulb back and forth to turn it on and off. They obviously had a working relationship. The last straw was when the lampshade would not stay tilted towards his favorite chair, where he read his favorite newspaper every morning. It bugs me to no end that the lampshade stays tilted but he says he doesn't have enough light to read if it's not. In that case he really needs an amplifier next to his head but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's not so much that he's hard of hearing but that he is pretending I'm not there. However, he no longer bothers to stick his fingers in his ears when he goes "LALALALALAAA" while I am speaking. Of course, that may not have a thing to do with drowning me out. I may need to check his meds.

Well..my sister came to the rescue and bought him a new lamp for Fathers Day. He was happy but his happiness was short lived for it seemed that the wall outlet also favored the old table lamp. The outlet was pouting and would not accept the plug from the new intruding trollop of a lamp.

I told him the outlet was pining away and I'd have to fix it later. Apparently that did not register with him. I hear:


Dad (yelling to me): "Bill, this lamp won't work."

Me: "I told you the outlet needs changed."


Me: "Dad! The outlet needs changed!"


Dad: "It still don't work.."

I tell him yet again that the outlet needs changed and I then go on to think about other things. A few hours later I go into the kitchen to grab a snack. I hear him get up off the couch cause it's his bedtime. As he casually strolls by I hear him mumble..

"...guess I won't be able to read the paper tomorrow either..."

Sigh... Obviously the project could not wait one more day, somebody would die, probably me.

Well.. thats how it goes in my house. My heart goes out to everyone who has had to become the parent and care for the elderly. To all those who's parents are still young and vibrant.. Your day is coming..

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why I Hate Shopping.

I just got back from Sam's Warehouse. If you don't have a Sam's, maybe you have a Costco or other bulk shopping stores in your area. I HATE going to Sam's...Why?.. because..I can't afford to get 20 cans of chunk white tuna or a 3 gallon Bucket-O-Salsa.
The things I could do with 5 boxes of 30 count odor reducing trash bags. Heck, I'd never have to buy underwear again. Those cellulose drawers might get a bit uncomfortable during hot summer months but what's a little nuclear heat rash compared to a man being able to float an air-biscuit whenever and wherever he wants? Dragged to a Symphony? Not a problem.. just wait till the percussion section gets going.

Man leans over to Wife: "Did you catch my rift at the end?" *giggles..

The good thing is, you'll probably never have to go with her again.

I'm a typical man, Go in, get what I need and get the heck out. I couldn't imagine having to go with a spouse. Bulk shopping is really not fair to women or marriages.

Spouse: "Honey! Look! They have 2000 plastic Army men for $5.29! Let's get it!"

Hubby: "Ummm.. why?"

Spouse: "So we could put them in the flower beds and scare the Aphids away from the Hydrangeas!"

I'm sure I could find a use for a 1500 count bottle of Flintstone vitamins.. I could give them away to people, maybe at a dinner party..

Male Guest (leans over to wife and whispers) "My mashed potatoes are looking at me.."

Sigh...there's so much I want when I enter those doors. That mouth watering case of Slim Jims, an 800 count box of Double Bubble.. but alas, they're not to be mine. Some day I'll have the money to get those little green Army men.. I'll pretend they are snipers and aim them for the neighborhood stray cats.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

How To Be Extremely Popular.

I am a very popular person. The attention I get is quite overwhelming at times and I can barely stand it. It seems I get a lot of attention from undesirables, pest if you will. These pest want a piece of me. They are out for my blood. I want them out of my life. These pest?..


I am diabetic. Mosquitoes love diabetics. Our blood is sweet. Like nectar to a hummingbird. For the mosquitoes it's like a trip to Baskin Robbins......

Child Mosquito: Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Let's go to Mr.Bill's! Let's go to Mr.Bill's! I'm gonna get a double suck with extra skin flake sprinkles!

Daddy Mosquito: Well hmmm, I don't know... you barely touched Mr. Jenkins tonight for dinner... Did you ask your mother?

Child Mosquito: She told me to come ask you... and besides, Mr. Jenkins tasted yucky.

Mama Mosquito (yelling from the kitchen): See dear, I TOLD you Mr. Jenkins started drinking again..(trembling voice)Why can't we eat outside a nice restaurant for once? YOU NEVER TAKE ME ANYWHERE!! (flys to bedroom and slams door)

Daddy Mosquito: (looks at kid) See what you started?

I cannot go outside during warm temperatures without being eaten alive. My house has been under siege for months. Silently, they wait, plotting, planning, ready to lay waste to anything in their path to get what they want, much like soccer moms in a Friday after Thanksgiving sale at Walmart.

The aftermath of an attack is another thing all together. The resulting itching is torture. It last for a good hour or more. If I were a terrorist and got captured.. they wouldn't have to waterboard me. All they would have to do is make me eat a 3 Musketeers and stick me outside for a few minutes. I'd talk... a lot, but then I'm such a chicken I'd probably talk as soon as they caught me...

Soldier: HALT! Who Goes the...

Me: (talking at the speed of light)My Names Bill and theres WMDs over at the Dairy Queen behind the Dilly Bars!!

Soldier: Very good, Capitalist Pig..(turns to platoon) Unleash the mosquitoes!

Child Mosquito: Daddy..He taste yucky!

Daddy Mosquito: Oh for the love of.....

So.. want to be popular? Go ahead and have that leftover fried chicken and apple pie when you think everyones asleep.. The Mosquitoes will be watching.. and waiting.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Stint as a Child Star

Most people do not know that I was a child star. It was a brief flame that was snuffed out way too early. I reminisce on those times with a bit of apprehension yet would not change a minute of it. It made me who I am today.

I started my career at KTVT in Fort Worth Texas. I was about six years of age. I remember being very afraid my first day at work. Would I do well? Will I be good enough for a long run? Will they let me play with the Romper Stompers? *Stands in dramatic Superman pose with fist on hips, looking into the horizon.. Yes, I was on Romper Room.

It was a whirlwind of activities. We had an excruciating schedule of two shows a day. I was a star and I knew it. As with other child stars, my behavior became the sum of all the pampering I received. The incident that ended it all was when I crashed my cardboard car into the one in front of me and dramatically screamed while falling to the floor. It would have been fine..had it been in the script but I was being a professional actor. Aren't you SUPPOSED to scream when you are injured in a car wreck? They had to stop taping to see what the heck was wrong with me. My Mother was given a lecture by the star of the show, Miss Mary Lynn. My Mother, always the typical stage mother, got me in the car afterwards and screamed...

"How could you embarrass me like that? Don't you know that this family depends on this job? We will be homeless if you get fired! You know your Father drinks all our money!!"

The only problem with that was that we weren't getting paid and my dad didn't drink. Mother always did have a flair for the dramatic.

I was a 'has been' before I was a 'been'. I longingly look back at it now. What heights would I have soared to? Where would I have been if my illustrious career had not been stymied by my impromptu method acting? Hollywood? Broadway?

I can see myself now..a brilliant career.. money, fame..stints in Rehab smelling of whiskey and regret... I could have had it all.

I would cry that life wasn't fair but I was given a great gift. I peeked when Miss Mary Lynn told us to close our eyes.. I saw where she hid her magic mirror.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My most Memorable 4th of July

I was about 8 years old. Back in those days, fireworks in the city were still legal, before fire departments got all uppity about house fires and burned off hands. We had a farm out in what was then, an unincorporated part of the city.

We always went out there to shoot fireworks on the 4th or New Years. No houses around.. just lots of prime farmland and livestock to burn down. This particular 4th of July was like others, as tradition would dictate, we fished all day while we ate, drank, and relaxed. At dusk it was time for fireworks! As was also tradition, my older brother would throw firecrackers at my feet to watch me dance and scream. That year, he didn't take into account that I was older and able invoke revenge. He was more than a little shocked when I threw one back. He panicked, danced a jig, screamed and stepped on the firecracker to stop it from exploding. After he quit crying I made sure that every time he looked at me, I had a grin on my face. It got a bit difficult to figure out what to do to make him look at me over and over but I was out for nothing less than his soul.

Well the day passed and it got late. The mosquitos came out and my jaws were tired from grinning for 3 hours straight. We started for home. We got everything unloaded (in other words, my mom made several trips to the car) but I had one problem..I could see there were still fireworks left. Ahhh the temptation..the gravitational pull..they beckoned to me..longingly..seductively.

"Biiiiilllll.... Biiiiilllllll... we have not served our purpose in life, you must purify us with fire or we will not see the promised land..It is your destiny as the chosen one..."

I couldn't take it anymore so I waited till my mother was in bed watching TV and I quietly slivered out of the house and into the backyard with the Kings treasure.. SPARKLERS!
I was going to write my name in the air! Make circles of fire! Burn my hands in multiple places! A few seconds after I lit the infernos of death.. I heard my name being called again.. only this time it was my mother. I didn't know what to do so I threw them on the roof of the house. I had to ditch the evidence.

My mother never caught on so I breathed a little easier..but not for long. We were in her bedroom watching TV when we heard a horrendous house shaking BOOOOOOOOOOM! the bedroom windows lit up like high noon and everything in the house went dark as to welcome the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse. I immediately knew I was guilty and I stared screaming 'I'M SORRY MAMA!! I'M SORRY MAMA!!... she looked at my tear streamed face and said "huh?"
I dove head first into the most dramatic soliloquy of my young life and told her, that I had thrown lit sparklers on the roof.

She looked at me again then got up to put on her robe in a remarkably calm manner considering we were about to be homeless.

When we got outside we noticed that every light in the neighborhood was off and I started bargaining with God to take me up.. NOW. I noticed a crowd of people gathering a few house up, no doubt a lynching was in the making.

Well, what really happened was that a drunk was driving down the road at a high rate of speed and rammed a telephone pole, breaking it in half and yanking the high voltage wires from the power transformers in our front and back yards. Dante's Inferno was indeed in my backyard, but I was not guilty of starting it.

I counted myself lucky that I wasn't to blame but what was my mom going to do now that I had confessed to a heinous crime? I pretty much figured I was going to be living with a professional band of pickpockets soon and breaking into song with redheaded barmaids. To my relief, she did nothing.. strange thing was that every time I looked at her she had a big grin on her face.. and I swear my soul itched..

Friday, July 3, 2009

Taking care of my dad

I take care of my 83 year old dad. The other day he told me he needed a bath. All I had on hand was Dawn dish washing liquid. I wasn't sure if it would work so I took him to the beach and poured crude oil on him.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Vacation/Staycation pictures.!

Anyone know how to make postcards out of digital pictures? Some of my family recently went on a two week vacation and drove from Texas to New York. They sent tons of postcards to me and my Dad about every exotic thing they saw, went to, and experienced.

I can't afford any vacation. I'm very poor. I'm also very petty...So..I'm going to take pictures of various rooms in my house and yard, make them into postcards and show them where I've been while they were off gallivantin' around, havin fun and livin the good life.

I think I shall start with a picture of my television and write a little message on the back..

"I was on vacation too! Today, I rode to the top of the Empire State Building.. it was lovely. Oh and guess who I saw?!? Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks!! I didn't know they were an item! They were looking so intently at each other! SO romantic.. They had some kid with them but I didn't recognize him. See ya later Gator *giggles, Bill"

Next, I think, will be the Kitchen Stove.

"Oh my goodness, We ate here today! This is one of the most exclusive eateries around! They are so progressive, elite and hip, you get to cook your meal yourself! Isn't that just sooo fun?!? I even got to serve another patron. He was an elderly gentleman in his 80's. He was so hilarious too! After I served his meal he looked at me and said "Where the Hell's my drink?" I just laughed and laughed!
Well.. toodles! off to see more sights! Love and kisses, Bill"

Next, Hmmm.. maybe I could try an exclusive hotel AKA.. my bedroom.

"This is where I stayed the night. It was so nice.. Oh My Goodness! Strange thing..the bathroom was in the hallway... and I had to share it! Oh..This place was SO Bohemian! you'll never guess who was coming out the door at the same time I was going in!! THE LITTLE OLD MAN FROM DINNER! ROFL! Again, he made my sides ache with laughter when he said "Better light a match, butthead" LOLOLOLOL! Ohhh my, he was the most colorful man! Gotta Run! Au Revoir Mon Ami!!! Bill"

Well, you get the idea. They will get a good laugh out of it...I hope.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can't Cook Worth a Darn.

I have an appetite.. a fairly big one, kinda the reason I'm a fairly big boy but I can't cook worth a darn. For some reason my thought process is "the more the merrier". I will add salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram, rosemary to food thinking "This is gonna be the best chocolate pudding in the world!!" Sigh.. you see my dilemma..

Say I was captured by some terrorist group because of my contacts in the political world (which means I read blogs) and was given the choice of making a tasty meal for them or being executed. I would just go ahead and wrap the blindfold around my own eyes to save the firing squad the effort and not even ask for a cigarette.

I go to cooking blogs and see a recipe that makes my mouth water but it ends up being my eyes that fall victim to the resulting stench of my culinary practices. I try to follow recipes to a tee but my measuring skills some what lack precision. If you're around while I'm cooking.. you hear a lot of things like "DANG IT!" and "ANYONE KNOW IF YOU CAN SUBSTITUTE CORRUGATED CARDBOARD FOR LASAGNA NOODLES?"

The big problem is that I take care of my 83 year old dad and have to cook for him everyday. I had to take over when the fire department came by to visit.. for the second time. He doesn't complain about my lack of skills, I'm not sure if it's because he doesn't wanna hurt my feelings or his taste buds died and are waiting for the rest of him to catch up. I've even tried yellin "BAAAM!!" but dad just hollers at me to watch my language.

I've prayed that God would help me make a delicious meal but he told me that peace in the middle east would be a twinge easier for him to accomplish.

In the meantime, I'm just gonna bide my time. One day I'll get it right. I'll make a 3 course meal fit for a king..probably right before I hear.. READY!.. AIM!!....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Male Puberty; Dangerous to Mothers?

Male puberty. It wreaks havoc on mothers everywhere. A mother in an exclusive Dallas suburb with a pubescent son could meet up with the mother of a teen in a third-world country and both would be digging through their translation books for the term ... “HE’S DRIVING ME NUTS!” If no translation books are nearby, the universal hand signal is to point at the young male, then with the same hand, bring the finger to your head and make circular motions around the temple area.

I was a good boy for the most part ... until puberty hit. I think a boy’s puberty is a pretty easy process to understand though. It goes like this ... a new hair pokes through the armpit, sending a signal (like a fuse) to a brain cell, which then explodes. The blast flings shrapnel to the decision-making cells, which also explode, producing black holes. The resulting black holes fill with very toxic gases, which must be expelled. The gases need to be coaxed out at times (like a duck call) by the boy cupping his hand on the inside pit of the opposite arm and pumping said arm repeatedly. This extraordinary process is hastened if other young males are close by. The louder these sounds are, the more males are attracted to it. When practiced in the visual perception of a parental unit, especially the female, it evokes loud responses such as “You’re just like your Father!” or “What’s happening to my sweet little boy?” The male parental unit reacts quite differently and usually emits a sound called “laughter.” The males will keep up this behavior until red-hot beams are emitted from the female’s eyes, withering the males into a useless substance.

I really don’t know how my mama got through it all. I put her through the ringer. Here’s an example of one incident. I found a bullet once. I had never seen a real bullet before. My parents didn’t have guns around the house. With the way they argued, if they’d had guns, we kids would have grown up in foster care. Anyhow ... I found the bullet on top of a shelving unit. It was hidden inside an old model ship my grandfather had carved. I think my grandparents DID have guns in the house—thus the reason I never met Grandpa. He obviously should have hid at least one more bullet in that ship.

Well, I had the overwhelming desire to hit the bullet with a hammer. Don’t ask why I did this. A boy’s thinking process is like this: “Bad idea ... bad idea … good idea!” All I know is that I heard a deafeningly loud bang. My mother rushed out to the back porch and asked me what was going on. I told her I had hit a bullet with a hammer. She just kind of stood there … then she goes:

Mom: “You’ve been shot.”

Me (defiantly): “HAVE NOT, HAVE NOT, HAVE NOT!”

Mom: “Then why are you bleeding?”

I looked down to see blood trickling down the leg of my white jeans. My leg then gave out from under me and I fell to the floor. I was convinced I was about to go meet Jesus face to face ... and I was pretty sure he was gonna be too mad to let me in.

Mama rushed me to the hospital and I was operated on. The only thing I really remember was being awakened, then brought home where my dad lovingly carried me inside the house from the car, gently laid me down on the couch, tousled my hair and said ... “You know I ain’t your real daddy ... dont’cha boy?”

I would eventually fully recover but still carry with me two small scars on my left leg as a reminder. Punishment? Well ... nothing really ... unless you count the subject being brought up at every single family gathering for the last forty years.

I honestly don’t know how Mama made it through three boys. One thing a woman must know about male puberty ... we never stop going through it. This is a scientific fact figured out by honest-to-goodness real scientists, who just happened to have tween boys.

MOMS! Do not be afraid! There is a solution! Wait for your mini-male to walk by and study him closely. Try to engage him in conversation. If he is hesitant to talk, give him a household chore. This will get him flustered and he will begin to loudly converse in an increasingly animated fashion. Your goal is to listen for breaks in his voice that fluctuate at least four octaves within a five-second time period. Also, look for extra hairs that may appear on his legs or face. If you determine that he is indeed beginning his decent into manhood, THROW HIM OUTSIDE AND LOCK THE DOOR BEHIND HIM.

Assure him you love him and occasionally throw him food (and by “occasionally” I mean every 5–10 minutes). Do not worry that you will be accused of child neglect because your male child will not notice he has been thrown out of the house—as long as you throw food to him. Puberty is well-known to cause temporary loss of hearing when an adult is talking, as well as an aversion to being in close vicinity to one.

This is an incomplete guide and there are many more processes that happen during this metamorphosis—but I am limited by time constraints and what feel like tiny explosions in my brain.

Friday, June 26, 2009

When did I become the estrogenally challenged crazy cat lady?

I have lived off and on in the same house I was brought to when I was hatched. I quit my job to help take care my 83 year old dad after he had a stroke. (you can see how THATS working out in another post)

I have also had the same neighbors since I was born. Mr."F" as I will call him, already lived there with his wife and daughter When my parents moved in. His wife passed away several years ago as did my mom. Mr F liked to feed feral cats that started showing up about 10 years ago. Now Mr F would cuss about them cats and say how much he hated them. He tried to hide it but we saw him feed those suckers out of a 50 lb bag of cat food every day. When you're 90 years old, the stealth mode on your body has pretty much petered out.

Anywho.. Mr F died last year. The cats didn't really notice that he was no longer around because they didn't leave, nor did they attend the funeral. They just laid all over his roof sunning themselves, murdering innocent squirrels and unsuspecting birds that were unfortunate enough to land anywhere in a two mile radius. If those cats were human, there's no doubt in my mind they would be teen girls because we KNOW how ruthless they are. I'm pretty sure there's one who has killed a few visiting cats. He looks evil. I can picture him saying "It rubs the lotion on it's body or else it gets the hose again..."

A few years ago, I counted 15 cats. Living on a very busy street, natural selection has weeded out a few and by natural selection I mean Fords and Chevys. There are about 5 regulars now. Sometimes visitors drop by, especially in the spring. I get lessons on the "Katra Sutra" on a regular basis.

I kinda started feeling sorry for the cats and I threw a little something to them every once in a while. Big mistake. It's not too bad but it sure does make your adrenaline get to pumping when they jump and hang on the front screen door at 3am to see if I'm home. I don't know why they don't just check to see if my truck is in the driveway.

Oh well.. summer is here.. more people are driving. As long as they keep crossing the street without a boyscout to escort them, the problem should take care of itself.

Butterfinger Cake

Just made a Butterfinger Cake for my neighbor. He did a LOT of work on my truck and didn't charge a cent for labor. He was a blessing.

Butterfinger Cake is great and very easy to make. All you gotta have is self control.. can ya handle it?
Get the recipe at http://www.southernplate.com/2008/08/butterfinger-cake-aka-cake-that-will.html
Southern Plate is run by my friend Christy Jordan. She is a true sweetheart southern belle. (Ok, she's got a mean streak a mile wide but don't tell her I said so)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Clean house for the Grim Reaper

I'm Diabetic..so...here I am waking up this morning.. goin through the routine..checkin my sugar levels..gettin me some insulin..sticking the needle in me.. pushin the plunger down.. realizing as I finish that I just took almost twice as many units of a fast acting insulin instead of what I normally take..WHAT?!!?...OH CRAP!!..

I take two different kinds of insulin. One is long acting and I take much more of it. I got them mixed up.


I felt the drain of blood from my head and felt dizzy.. Oh boy Bill.. you done "done it" this time.
I hesitated to call for an ambulance, thinking that I could just drink something sweet or eat some grapes and I'd be fine. I was getting a bit more light headed as the minutes passed so I called 911 just to get some info and ask what to do. They said they were sending an Ambulance. Awww crud.. I didn't wanna go to the hospital.
I cringed thinking of the medical bill I was gonna get and how wrinkled the clothes I had in the dryer were gonna be.. I hate to iron.

The Firemen got here first, I met one of them at the door and said..

"Can I just bend over and you kick me in the butt for being stupid?"

That kinda got a puzzled look. I guess you shouldn't joke with people you roused out of bed at 4:30 am. They aren't happy and peppy. One thing I noticed was that the Firemans hair was amazingly well couffed. I'm glad he took the time in the rush to keep me from dying, to comb it. If there's one thing I can't stand it's slovenly people trying to save my life.

The ambulance pulled up a few seconds later and the paramedics made me sit down. I got asked a few hundred questions.. then I see two uniformed officers at my door..."Why the crap are officers here?" I thought to myself... then it hit me..

"Oh dear Lord.. they think this is a suicide attempt"

I assured them I was not trying to harm myself but was just very, very stupid.
I then recognized one of the officers as a guy I worked with at the Piggly Wiggly years ago. He recognized me too. It was good to know I hadn't changed that much in the past 25 years and that I could have an open casket after all.

The paramedics suggested I eat a peanut butter sandwich. I asked them if that was the best course of action seeing as there was a recall and I could die.. again I got a puzzled look and had to explain myself.

You can't joke with emergency service personnel at 4:30 in the morning.

They said I must monitor myself for the next few hours and call them back if I pass out or die. I assured them I would.

I'm most embarrassed that the house was in such a mess. I really must be more prepared for life threatening emergencies such as making sure the vacuuming and dusting are done and by that, I mean shoveling and raking. Martha Stewart probably has a book about it. I'll have to search Amazon.com later for titles like..

"Looking Your Best for the Grim Reaper"
"How to Make Your Home Inviting to Emergency Life Saving Personnel"

Sheesh.. what a way to start a day...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Trip To Walmart

So I take Daddy to Wallmart to get groceries for the week. This is a ritual not to be taken lightly. Taking an 80 year old anywhere is an experience you should not miss. First we went to the Bank for cash because he hates to write a check at Walmart.

ME: "Why can't you write a check? I ask..

HIM: "Because"

ME: "Because why?"

HIM: "Because they give the check back to you"

ME: "Why's that a bad thing? You get the check back so it doesnt go through as many hands and keeps evil cashier people at walmart from having access to your account number"

HIM: "I just don't like it"

I suspend the conversation at this point because once he says "I just don't like it" there will be no clear winner...ever.

So we pull up close to the bank and he tells me to pull over to the side. This "side" he talks about has a Parking lot.. as we get closer he points to the parking lot with no verbal direction. I pull into the lot and see that there are no spaces available so I say:

ME: "go ahead get out and go in then I'll find a space"

HIM: "Well I told you to pull to the side" (HE meant the curb but didn't say it)

ME: ......................

I wasn't going to push the subject, Obviously he was attempting to project his thoughts into my brain by concentrating hard and pointing with his finger. A talent of a true Jedi master that is only perfected when you reach 80 years of age. (or your a woman)

I drive around the corner of the lot and see a space so I pull in only to look towards the bank building and see two large SUV's blocking my sight of the front door. Simple reasoning tells me HE won't be able to see ME either so I back out and pull under some trees to wait. A few minutes later someone comes out and pulls out of a space located directly across from the front door.

I ready my mind to pounce upon the available oasis of convenience and get ready to engage in battle with anyone who might have the same idea. Nobody is waiting so I craftily dash into the available spot and wait.

Daddy comes out in a few minutes and looks directly at me.. then turns his gaze to the right.. then to the left..and back to the right. "He doesn't see me" I say to myself, so I lightly honk the delicate horn on my little Isuzu to alert him to my whereabouts. He looks right at me.. then to the right.. and again to the left. I decide to honk again but I let the signal blare a bit longer hoping I don't scare the beejesus out of the other 80 year old man standing by the car parked on my right. Hearing the horn, the other 80 year old man looks up...to the right and then to the left....."hmm" I think.. "must be contagious".
Daddy then looks straight at me and after a few seconds you can see the light turn on and he sees me. He gets in the truck and we continue our happy trek towards Walmart.

We go up and down each isle as he tells me what he wants and I go to pick it up and put it in the basket. He peruses over the prices and says..." Got Dang that's high priced!" (Edited for language) I pick it up and put it back on the shelf, saying goodbye to the Red Delicious apples, knowing we will not be enjoying them this week or perhaps ever again.

We finish our shopping and proceed to the checkout counter seeing a choice of a line with a live Walmart cashier and five people with full baskets or an EMPTY line at the Self-checkout. I start walking towards the people-less self checkout when Daddy says

HIM: "Why ain't you going to the line with the cashier"

ME: "Because they all have lots of people in them, this is faster"

HIM: "I don't like these, it ain't right"

ME: (FAMOUS LAST WORDS BEFORE MY IMPENDING DESTRUCTION) "Oh, Its fine, its going to be much faster than waiting in those lines".... sigh......

I drag each item happily across the scanner and was about to congratulate myself on finding an empty line to show my unbelieving Father how fast and convenient these self-checkout lines really are when the trouble started....

The total came to $107.17 and my Father pulls out a huge wad of $20 bills flashing them in his hand to all who were in line around us, people who were surely just out of prison for robbing 80 year old men at gunpoint. I take the greenbacks and start feeding them them one by one into the machine as it flashes the countdown on its shiny, trustworthy screen.
I finish paying the $107 with five 20's, a five dollar bill and two ones. Daddy then digs in his pocket for the 17 cents..(I forgot to tell him it makes change) he gives me the exact change and I triumphantly start to feed it to the electronic marvel only to hear a "Plunk" and seeing the coins come back to me in the return slot. I try again with the dime, nickel and two pennies just to have them vomited back at me whilst a guttural growl comes from the technological wonder in front of me.

I ask my Father for another dollar bill so we can get out of there and I can save face from my decision not to go to a living, breathing Walmart cashier. He tells me he doesn't have one so I ask for a quarter and insert it only to see it take the same route of its ancestors and go into the return coin slot.

I take my trusty checkcard and tell my Father: "I'll take care of this real quick" only to be met with the Darth Vader-esque stare from a man who has already declared victory over his unworthy opponent and is ready to go home and watch Andy Griffith.

I swipe the card and enter my PIN number and a few seconds later the evil screen flashes a message of "incorrect PIN number, please try again". so I swipe the card again, not yet conceding victory to the Jedi master who is getting ready to melt my brain by pointing his finger at my sweat beaded head.

The screen once again tells me that it can't recognize the transaction
so I call over the live Walmart cashier who has cast much favor with 80 year old men everywhere. She cant make the machine work either. She calls a manager who brings out a huge ring full of keys that obviously unlock the mysterys of the Universe. She is also unsuccessful at getting it to co-operate. They call for back-up.

I see people behind me getting impatient and hear their death threats in my mind. They try to push through to get out so I gently push my shopping cart gently to the side.. only to hear a "Bonk" noise.. kinda like the sound a gallon jar of sour dill pickles that has fallen 4 inches from the bottom of the cart to the ground and lost its lid sounds... much like that.. in fact.. EXACTLY like that.

They call a maintence tech to come over and clean up the briny mess while still trying to figure out how we can pay the 17 cents still due. Nobody can figure it out and my Father is looking at me ready to negate my existence with a death ray because he is missing Andy Griffith. The Lady who came over with a mop and bucket looked at the gallon jar and said "maaan.. I never did like pickles that much"

I go to get another jar of sour dill pickles to replace the one that committed suicide from my cart and leaked its pungent ecto-plasma over the floor and under the register guaranteeing that its memory will linger for weeks or months.

They finally get the machine to work where we can go on our happy way. We get home and Daddy says.. "dang.. they charged us for two jars of those pickles.."

I didn't dare tell him I was the one who ran it twice...

I called my bank when I got home to see what was wrong with my card and related my story to the customer service rep who was laughing so hard she couldn't help me. Next time.. we go to a live cashier.....

Lions and Tigers and Pigs.. Oh My!

A couple of weeks ago I heard my neighbors dog making quite a fuss. Normally I ignore this because she barks at falling leaves with the same urgency as murderous villains. Throwing caution to the wind I opened the door to confront the intruder only to see an armadillo looking back at me as if it were waiting for me to politely introduce myself. Nixing the introduction, I ran to get my camera. For in this diverse melting pot that is Riverside, armadillos are not one of the cultures normally represented.

A few nights later, A possum graced me with it’s presence.

Possums, I have encountered before. The first meeting was not pleasant for either of us. I opened the garage door to get my car and I was greeted by a loud hiss and much to my disdain, a foaming mouth. Now if you have ever been witness to the reaction of a 12 year old girl who has just met their favorite music idol.. you can now relate to the scream I let out. Luckily, a “braver than me” animal control officer came and removed the rude possum from my garage and probably stopped it from stealing my car.

Tonight was a bit different. Unable to sleep I looked out the window to watch the approaching storm. Instead, my eyes focused on the four legged object walking on my lawn. At first I thought it was the fattest dog I had ever seen. Looking again, I saw I was quite wrong.

It was a pig.

Yes, a pig. Teats hanging to the ground, a snout instead of a nose, pig. When did my house become “Green Acres?” Was I about to find Eva Gabor making hot cakes in my kitchen?

I’m now waiting on my next visitor to show up. I hope it’s a cow. I like cows.

Pining for the Fjords

On an early Monday morning I suddenly found myself about to die a horrible death and staggering to get to my cell phone. It was quite dramatic and worthy of an Oscar I assure you. The 911 operator was wonderful. She kept calm while having to listen to me retch my internal organs out.

911: This is 911, What’s your emergency?

Me: I’m Dying, Send Ambulance please.

911: How are you dying sir?

Me: Horribly.

911: What is your address sir?


911: I’m sorry can you repeat that?


She was very nice and kept calling me sweetie and honey, telling me I’d be ok. Hearing those words are very comforting when your about to be pining for the fjords.

The paramedics came quickly. The room kept spinning and I assumed I would be entering Munchkinland soon. When they got me into the back of the ambulance, some acid death metal rock was playing on the radio. I was pretty sure I saw Jesus standing in the corner, head banging while singing “Paradise City”
I would have asked them to turn it off but I thought it best not to antagonize people trying to save my life.

They got me to the hospital where they furiously ignored me and went back to doing their paperwork.

I found out I was merely dehydrated. That did not make sense to me since I had just finished a large glass of water but I said “Ok, sure”.

They discharged me and said I had to vacate immediately because they needed the bed. I realized at that moment that I did not have my cell phone. All my numbers are in that phone. I had not memorized a single one of them. I relayed this information to the discharge nurse and she looked at me with all the compassion a lion has for freshly killed prey. I also did not have shoes or socks and was wearing a vomit stained T-Shirt. The nurse offered me a bus pass. I thought that was very nice of her and I would fit in nicely with all the other shoeless passengers that smelled like vomit.

In the end, My sister left work to come get me. She made me ride in the trunk.

Kim Jong-il is trying to kill me

So.. I have cable in my house. I have had it for years. I have had no trouble till now, and it has made up for lost time. I have taken my cable box back to that cable-box-returning-place-that-is-all-the-way-across-town four times in the past two weeks. The first time, it kept shutting off for no reason, well, there WAS a reason, but the box never told me why. Those boxes are fairly tight lipped. The second box did the same thing. I’m guessing the first box was directly related to the second box and shared one set of parents, who were also brother and sister. I took the cousin/sibling box back and got another. This one looked different so I figured they were not from the same family.

I got the box home and lovingly unwrapped the plastic the cable-box-returning-place put them in to make you think they were new. In reality they take your old box in the back where they immediately put it in plastic to be ready for the next customer while they giggle, stick pins in little plush cable boxes and wave dead chickens over it. The new box would not record any programs. I’m pretty sure it was just a slow learner and didn’t have enough one-on-one time while in cable box school.

I was tired of driving to the cable box returning place, so I asked them to send a technician to deliver another box. Two days later he showed up on my front porch. He looked freshly scrubbed and I didn’t see any dead chickens nearby so I let him in. He began to fiercely punch buttons on the front of the box while my TV began showing different screens with all this technical stuff. I tried to see what buttons he was pushing so I could fix the problem myself next time but he cleverly stood in front of me and blocked my view…he was on to me.

The technician made a few phone calls and asked for a signal to go to my house. This “signal” thing concerned me greatly for all I could determine was that Korean missiles were skipping Hawaii and headed straight to my house. I figured it wasn’t all bad because the blast might make the feral cats finally move. The technician started to leave and said the signal would come through in a little while. It didn’t. I was relieved, for while I still could not record my favorite programs, the neighbors that still talk to me would not suffer radiation burns.

Two day later I go back to the “cable box returning place that is all the way across town” to take the comprehensionally challenged door stop. I felt bad for the box but during the drive I tell it that it’s for its own good and it just needs to apply itself and work on its self esteem.

They give me another box but I make them test it before I leave. Everything worked beautifully and I was joyful. My joy was short lived for when I got home and got the box hooked up, I began to see cockroaches crawl out of it. Out they marched, one, two, three.. they apparently had their orders and were staging an attack. If Kim Jong-il couldn’t get me with the missiles, he would just gross me out. I counted five roaches before I ran to get a trash bag to slam dunk the bugbox into. I called the cable company to complain about this little set back. The customer service lady gagged and then told me she was in Wisconsin and that they didn’t have cockroaches there. I reminded her that they had moldy cheese all over the place so we were even.

I am going back to the cable box returning place tomorrow. I will be listening for screaming chickens and I’ll be hanged if I miss Jon and Kate plus 8. I’m pretty sure gunfire is going to erupt soon.


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I'm 50 year old man who prays he won't take anyone out with him when he finally loses it. Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012