This is the kind of story where you laugh until you snort, but you feel guilty about it the whole time.
In fact, just writing this post is making me giggle, but I am chagrined.
I got a message on my cell phone to call my father so he could tell me about how he almost killed his dog today. This does not sound like an auspicious start to a funny blog, does it? Just hang in there. The payout is good.
So you know those cartoons where someone is in an elevator and, at the very last moment before the doors slide shut, their dog runs out leaving them holding the leash. In next panel, the dog will be hanging from the leash stuck at the top of the closed doors.
Apparently, that really happens.
My father, who had a stroke a year and a half ago, took his dog, Delbert, for a walk today. Because he’s still wobbly on bad days, he takes the elevator quite a bit to avoid tumbling down the stairs. His family truly appreciates that he does this.
Dad and Delbert hopped on the elevator after their morning walk and the stupid dog darted out just as the doors closed. In a panic, my dad started pushing buttons but he couldn’t get the doors to open or the elevator to stop until the third floor.
Dad raced down the length of the hall and down the three flights of stairs. He took a spill on the sidewalk as he whipped around the corner to wobble his way back to the elevator to rescue the dog.
Now here is where you shouldn’t laugh, but you will and I’ll forgive you, dear reader.
Imagine my father, a 72 year old man with wild Albert Einstein hair and a pot belly, wearing slippers (he’s always wearing his “house shoes”) and an obnoxious t-shirt with a slogan like, “Who Farted?” His running gait would have been sort of goofy and lopey, like a new born colt. I’m also certain he would have been hollering at the considerable top of his lungs, “Hold on, Delby! Hold on boy. Poppa’s coming.”
You also shouldn’t assume that the above description is only relevant because of his stroke. While he is a considerably different man since the incident, dignity has never been one of his strong suits.
“The look on Delbert’s face was classic,” Dad told me. “He was like, ‘Finally. Thank God you’re back. What the hell took you so long?’”
He found Delbert literally dangling from the top of the closed elevator by his collar, his leash threaded through the doors.
The maintenance guy had to come and retrieve the leash.
And Dad wonders why we don’t let him watch our kids.
1. Wikipedia. We know that Wikipedia should not really be used as an official reference, but as an unofficial one it can’t be beat. There is an article on just about every single thing under the sun. Everything from Veruca Salt to Ancient Greek characters and that’s what prompts our love for this week. One of the Sisters was reading The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. For those of you unfamiliar, the series of books are very Harry Potter-esque except that they revolve around the ancient Greek myths. This is a topic that has always fascinated this Sister and, as she was reading, she frequently looked up the more obscure characters to find out more. For instance, Thalia. This was the first line of the Wikipedia entry: Thalia or Thaleia (both pronounced /θəˈlaɪ.ə/) is spelled Θάλεια in Greek and derives from the same stem as θάλλειν “to bloom”. Are you able to use the pronunciation guide? This sister laughed and laughed. In this particular instance, we think Wikipedia blew it.
2. Handsome, dumb husbands. The Sisters have been very fortunate when it came to looks in the husband department. All three of the men fortunate enough to be espoused to the Sisters are quite handsome – and usually intelligent. It was the intelligent thing that got them married to us in the first place. But sometimes being pretty helps. We’d love to give you a specific incident where being pretty was a viable survival skill in their arsenal, but we can’t. All you ladies out there know exactly what we mean.
3. 300 in Spanish. The movie 300 is, well, hold on. This Sister is going to need a moment alone just thinking about this movie. We will watch this movie every single time it’s on TV. In fact, one spectacular summer when it was on HBO 7,000 times a week, one of the handsome husbands walked in on a Sister watching it – again – and he yelled, “Oh my God! I’m going to get a complex!” With the one noted exception of the hunchback, every single character in that film is drool worthy – even the queen. One of the Sisters found the movie on TV this week and, with a squeal of joy, settled herself on the couch to watch. It took her almost twenty minutes to realize the movie was in Spanish. That linguistic fact did absolutely NOTHING to diminish the gloriousness of the viewing experience. The movie is that good. It’s like the female version of, “We read it for the articles.” Prepare for glory, indeed.
4. Olivia Wilde. The Sisters have developed a fascination with this actress. She is absurdly beautiful and a talented. She appears in a highly anticipated movie this weekend with James Bond and Indiana Jones. Additionally, she is also remarkably intelligent. Olivia comes from an American/Irish family of critical thinkers such as novelists and journalists. She married and divorced an Italian Prince. A prince! Her godfather is Christopher Hitchens. That little fact alone elevates her in our esteem. That gets us 1 degree closer to Mr. Hitchens in the 6 degrees of separation theory. Now if someone would just introduce us to Ms. Wilde.
5. Project Runway. We love this reality show of highly talented fashion designers. There are so many entertaining things about this show: We love Tim Gunn, when we grow up, we want to be Heidi Klum, and we are big fans of the Michael Kors look. In the season premier of the show on Thursday evening, the contestants were awakened at 5:30 am and drug “as they were” to the studio. The challenge was to make an outfit out of one bed sheet and the designer’s pajamas. This is the winning design – the orange checked section was the designer’s boxer shorts and the remainder was a dyed cotton bed sheet. Absolutely gorgeous.
I always feel at odds when I’m not working on a project. Book 2 titled Miss Goldsleigh’s Secret has been sent to MY AGENT. I haven’t heard back from her yet on what she thinks but, in all reality, it’s way too early. Nevertheless, I fret. What if she doesn’t like it, or what if she doesn’t like it enough. I have to stop thinking about it or it’ll just freak me out more.
I have some great ideas for book 3 in the series and I have a secret project I’m dying to sink my teeth into, but I don’t want to start another year long project until I get some direction from the agent. For now, I’m working on expanding my pirate novella from 15,300 words to some where in the 20,000 word range. Well, “working on” is a very loose way to describe what I’m doing to it at this point. At the moment, I’m rereading my research on pirates and the history of New Providence. After that, I sit around and get distracted.
Today was the end of summer bonanza at Sassy & The Bandit’s summer camp. Each grade did a song or dance. I want you to picture the following scene: a herd of six year olds, hair slicked back with gel except for Bandit who had the addition of a curl down his forehead. They all lined up on stage and then the music for Grease Lightening came on over the PA system. They didn’t sing the song, but they did do the dance – and it was hysterical. I video taped it and you can hear me cackling away during the entire thing. At one point, they all broke out small, black combs and slicked back their hairdos, their hips cocked to the side, all cool.
Sassy’s third grade class danced the “Tootsie Roll”. I have no idea what that dance is, or if they just made it up. I’m not hip like that. I can tell you the kid across the street with the hot rod is having trouble with his 1970 Barracuda because his timing is off and he doesn’t have enough vaccuum to get the power he’s looking for, but I have no idea about the latest dances (or the old dances) at the clubs. Of course, the kid doesn’t want to hear the old lady’s opinion. Nor did he take my offer to teach him to drive the thing, although my hand is just itching to get ahold of that shifter.
Regardless, my daughter was beautiful up there. I swear she was the only one who knew the dance steps, but then my opinion was clouded.
Thanks to this blog post, I have effectively managed to distract myself from writing for at least an hour.
Once again the local Picayune has us amused with a news story from 1912.
Mesa – July 27, 1912
George Nun is beginning to get discouraged along the line of matrimony, and he has had enough reverses to make the most patient of men discouraged and out with the world.
He has been in search of a wife for the past several years, and although he has had many offers, for some reason or other none has proved successful and he is still in search of a better half.
He says the young ladies in and around Mesa are beginning to make fun of him and are writing letters to him in ridicule.
The following is a copy of one written by one of the young ladies of Mesa, which Mr. Nun handed to The Free Press yesterday:
“Dearest George: Read your advertisement in the Arizona Democrat. I have been looking fo r a husband and I find by your description that you are a handsome young man. I have seen you on the streets several times and fell in love with you at first sight. I am 34 years old, five feet seven inches tall and weigh 131 pounds. I have large brown eyes and a wealth of dark hair. Also a beautiful complexion. I enclose a lock of my hair for you to look at. Come and call on me Sunday at eight o’clock. Then you can get Bishop Ed Hunsaker and we will drift into matrimony. Your future wife, MISS MARJORIE MAPLE.
Mesa, Arizona, one block east, Main St. Box 644.
P.O. – I am well to do. Am a stenographer. Love and good luck to you.”
Young girls should be careful what they write and to whom they write as their letters are liable to get into hands other than those for which they were meant and the writing is liable to be interpreted, as in the case of this one.
The young lady who wrote this letter is near 20 years of age, has brown eyes, light hair and no such beautiful complexion as stated in the letter, wears false hair and is far from being a stenographer. She is quite well known in Mesa, and her friends would no doubt be surprised to know she would write a letter of this sort.
How can a responsible newspaper print a story like this, leaving so many questions? When I read the story I was appalled they would print the letter with the name of the lady as well as her address. I couldn’t believe The Free Press and Mr. Nun would accuse the ladies of ridiculing him and then turn around and do the exact same thing to this poor girl.
Ava interpreted it differently, thinking somehow the lady was making fun of Mr. Nun in the letter.
Either way, we will never know.
I looked through archives and couldn’t find any photographs of either Mr. Nun or Miss. Maple. It does seem apparent that Mr. Nun is very full of himself, pointing out that he has received many offers. He implies the ladies are throwing themselves at him in a desperate attempt to marry the man.
We’ll never know. And I am frustrated by that.
Of the three Quill Sisters, I am, admittedly, the most self centered. Except for the month of August. That month belongs to Amylynn because of her birthday. Amylynn does not celebrate her birthDAY, she celebrates her birthMONTH – and we let her. Kelli is the the easiest sister to deal with because she goes out of her way to mind her own business. Unless, someone needs to have their business minded, then, Kelli is definitely NOT the sister you want to rile up. Trust me on this.
Anyway, this post is about me. No, really, it is. I might have gone off on a wild tangent, but I’m back now.
All of you know that Amylynn and I work together. We spend 8 to 9 hours a day entertaining each other. If we didn’t, I’m certain that neither of us would ever show up to work again. Today, Amylynn had to leave work mid-morning because Sassy wasn’t feeling well. I cried as I watched her leave me – a l l a l o n e, alone! At work! Without her – the horror, the suffering! How was I to endure? What about lunch? Who would drive me? The inhumanity of it all nearly crushed my spirit to a level I’ve never experienced before.
Okay, that might be a tad dramatic but it was a bad moment for me.
At about 12:30 I decided it was lunch time. This presented a dilemma – should I drive somewhere or walk to the subway shop near our office? We live in the desert and it’s about 150 degrees today so I thought it prudent to drive somewhere. Prudent in that it was too hot to walk, not prudent because I’m a bad driver. If I have to make a left without a traffic light – well, it’s never good. The last time I drove Amylynn and made a left, she cried. Real tears. I thought it was from laughing but she insists it was from pure terror. She hardly ever let’s me drive – so, that plan worked.
Anyway, I went to one of those yogurt stores where you get your own yogurt from a selection of about 300 different flavors and then you get to put your own toppings on. As far as I’m concerned, the yogurt is only there so you don’t look stupid eating just toppings. The yogurt/toppings are 39 cents an ounce. Mine was 15.9 ounces. Apparently, that’s a lot because the cashier asked me if I was dining alone. I assured her that I was sharing. “Half is for my sister,” I said, tearing up. She looked confused because I was by myself.
After paying, I went outside to sit in the 250 degree heat. I cried into my yogurt and called it “Amylynn” so that people would feel sorry for me instead of being disgusted by my eating enough frozen yogurt for a family of four. A lady with extremely red (read: extremely fake red) hair wanted to know what the problem was. I explained that my sister had left me to eat lunch alone – alone! I cried harder and she almost fell down tripping over her own feet trying to get away from me. ”You don’t understand!” I shouted. “I do understand,” she said. “You’re nuts!”
True enough. And self centered.
I had another of my gloriously enlightening chats with The Bandit last night.
I can’t remember how it got started or how we ended up on the topic of girlfriends, but there we were anyway. He admitted that he was currently without a girlfriend and that didn’t seem to bother him too much. I assured him there was plenty of time to get a girlfriend later. He confessed that he thought he’d stay single for a while, that really he had no intention of finding a girl real quick when school starts up next month. He mentioned Casey – his first girlfriend from preschool.
“We’re not dating anymore.” That’s the word he used: dating.
“Well, it’s not easy to hold down a long distance relationship when your six. You haven’t seen Casey in a year and a half,” I reminded him.
“Yeah.” He nodded his head sagely in the dark.
“What about kindergarten? You mentioned several girls you liked.”
“I thought about dating some of those girls but I changed my mind.” He’s so matter of fact. Now he’s mentioned “dating” several times and I want to know exactly what that means in his world.
“Does dating mean you ate lunch with them?” I asked.
“No,” he said quickly.
“Does it mean you held hands at recess?”
“NO!” he answered even quicker, slightly indignant.
“Does it mean you stole a kiss?”
I expected a rapid fire response in the negative. Instead, he answered calmly. “We weren’t allowed to kiss at St. Private School.” That’s probably best, I thought. With the way people have gone off the deep end these days, my six year old was liable to end up in a sexual harassment suit.
I kept probing for an answer. “Well what did you do when you were dating?”
“Nothing.” He giggled.
“When you were dating Casey, how did other people know you were dating then?”
“I kept it a secret.” Ah, the water’s are becoming less murky. “Nobody knew.”
“Did Casey know?” This seems like a significant piece to the puzzle, does it not?
I never got an acceptable definition of “dating” or, even if in fact, Casey knew they were dating at all. I don’t intend to let this subject matter die. Something very interesting happened when I dropped Sassy and The Bandit off at camp this morning. A little girl came careening out of the crowd of kids yelling, “Bandit! Bandit!” Now my boy is a player – I think we’ve sort of deduced this already by the above conversation, so he met her greeting with cool aloofness. But here’s the deal. I was certain I knew that little girl and I confirmed it when I went back up to the attendance book at the office. Casey is spending the last week of camp with my boy. Very interesting. I don’t know if she will be joining him in this new school but it seems completely reasonable to assume she might.
I can’t wait until bed time tonight.
Groupon replied to our last email volley.
I’ve received some interesting information from our P.R. department regarding your inquiries. The cat has actually not left his head at all— he’s merely hunkered down and pawed his way further into Andrew’s hair maze. The purring vibrations brilliantly stimulate the braincase, which is an essential part of the daily deal creating process. His name is Archer. As I have noticed that “Groupon Descriptions” are #3 in last week’s list of “5 Things That Kept Us From Slitting Our Wrists” post on July 15, it is highly unadvisable for us to provide you with Andrew’s muse-cat.
Spice now plays the organ at Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Daniel Kibblesmith is our office cobbler, so neither are up for adoption at the moment.
I hope this helps and thank you for your interest. I wish you all luck writing your historical fiction romance novels. Aaron says hello.
I’ll be honest, we are disappointed. We were really looking forward to Kibblesmith, or Archer as they insist on calling him although I think they’re wrong, and Spice coming to stay with us for a while. I could really use some brain stimulation and, if Kibblesmith is as good as they are implying, his aid would be invaluable.
Also, we love shoes and could use our very own cobbler.
The Sisters had a committee meeting and we decided not to reply – for now, although we reserve the right to pester them again at a later date. We’re actually kinda concerned they might take out a restraining order.
I, for one, hope Groupon doesn’t think we’re breaking up with them just because we don’t reply.
You hear that? I still love you, Groupon!
1. Giraffes. There was a tragic, senseless death at the zoo this week involving an apprentice zookeeper, oleander clippings, and two
giraffes. We don’t pretend to know what really happened, who was at fault, or exactly how in the hell oleander clippings got in the giraffe barn to begin with because our information is coming from local news and the Picayune – neither of which is reliable. At this point, one of the two giraffes who were fed the poison has died and the other looks like she will make it. Nevertheless, while we’re still in negotiations with Groupon for Kibblesmith the Cat and Spice the Pony, we are more than happy to take the remaining three giraffes into our custody. Many things go wrong at the Sister’s respective houses, but at this time no one has been poisoned – not that we haven’t considered it. PS – there are rumors the lioness might be pregnant. Stay tuned for more zoo high jinks as soon as we figure out a way to get ourselves a lion cub.
2. Snackerel. One Sister is currently reading The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie. The man writes in a lovely lyrical style that makes us swoon. So lovely in fact, one particular Sister has him on her short list of people she’d leave her husband for (that’s a blog post I’ve been begging her to write). This is a passage we find particularly delightful: When the giant came to life that night he saw Argalia and said, “Aha! A snackerel! Excellent!” We’re totally keeping that word.
3. Angelina Jolie is a wack-a-loon. We discovered that Angelina’s children enjoy eating fried crickets. She
likens them to potato chips. She claims they love them so much “I had to actually ban the cricket eating at a certain point because I was afraid they were going to get sick from too many.” We say exactly one is too many. We’re sick just thinking of it. Also, if she thinks fried crickets taste like potato chips then she’s eating the wrong potato chips. We suggest Lays Classic as an alternative. Ava has a particular fondness for barbecue flavor (She is certain they are served in hell). One last thing to prove our assessment of Ms. Jolie. She claims at this point to have not eaten “tarantulas on a stick” or “spider soup”. “It does seem like an odd thing to eat,” Jolie admits of the tarantula pop. “I don’t know if I can get around the fur, but you’ve got to try everything.” FUR!?! Oh, hell no. Our policy is never to eat things with legs numbering more than four – unless they are from the ocean.
4. Pluto. The planet not the Disney character, although we’re sure he’s
perfectly nice, too. The Sisters have all felt bad since Pluto was demoted, but now astronomers have found another moon orbiting around the little bugger. That’s four moons! We say Rock on, Pluto! Good for you! Earth is an actual planet (at least we think so but we’re still waiting for our latest issue of Astronomical Stuff We’re Not Really Smart Enough to Have Valid Opinions On) and we only have the one lame moon. ALSO, Pluto’s moons all have really cool names like Charon, Nix, and Hydra while Earth just gets “moon”. Boring. I think we could have tried a lot harder, don’t you?
5. Shelley & Carol at FedEx Office and Ric at the United States Post Office.Amylynn sent off the manuscript of her second book to her AGENT today. Shelly, Carol and Ric were instrumental in making that happen. Honestly, Amylynn went to the FedEx office full of trepidation as a previous experience didn’t go well. Not this time. Shelley was a dream. Ric, who’s name really is missing a “k” even though his mother named him Richard (we asked), offered excellent and polite advice without rolling his eyes even once. That, dear readers, is an accomplishment. We’re fairly sure he asked for a medical leave of absence after we left.
Here’s my commercial boyfriend. I thought this was appropriate since it’s 80 million degrees here this summer.
Let me first state that I think the library system is a very good thing and should be supported by our tax dollars.
That being said, it could be suggested that I might actually be hugely responsible for any private funding the libraries in my town receive. It seems in my 41 years and 342 days on this planet (note the subtle plug for my birthday) I haven’t quite mastered the way the library functions.
Obviously I’m not an idiot. You sign up for a card, you check out a book, then you give it back after an appointed amount of time. It’s the giving back part that has me flummoxed. I can’t understand why. In the age of electronic communications I receive emails warning me the due date is approaching, that is has indeed arrived, that it has passed, and finally one that tells me it has really, really passed. Eventually, I’ll get an email like this.
Dear Ms. Bright (or is that an alias?)
You checked out Ralph and the Motorcycle on January 12, 2011. It is now July 13, 2011.
We are not amused “Ms. Bright”. Either you return Ralph with his motorcycle by tomorrow or we’re sending our “collection department” to your home.
At this time you currently owe $47.16 in late fees. We can do this the hard way or we can do it the easy way. We will be happy to accept your $47.16 in cash no later than 5:00pm tomorrow, or we’ll start by removing the tires from your car.
We know where you live, “Ms. Bright”. We know what you drive.
Here’s the really crappy thing. I’m darn near certain Sassy never read Ralph and the Motorcycle.