Tag Archives: Culture

I Can’t Unsee That

Here’s a life lesson for you.

If perchance your Husband has a colonoscopy and if perchance you visit him in his curtained cubicle in recovery – do not, I repeat, DO NOT exit said curtained cubicle to “take a look around.”

I’m an Addict

After yesterday’s blog post, I got lots of encouragement and one great idea.  Change focus. So instead of talking about writing I’m going to talk about television.

I ‘m not much of a drinker and I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life but, I, Mayor of Crazie Town, am a Home Improvement Show addict.

Really, any kind of an improvement show will do.  Fixer Upper.  Project Runway.  Life Below Zero.  Recently I binge watched something called Building Off the Grid, or some such name.  One guy had a team build a mud house, shaped a lot like a tulip, on his remote property.  It’s not totally useless information.  I mean, I have a remote farm and now I SO want to build a tulip-shaped mud house there.

I’ve watched so many of these shows I seem to have lost the ability to follow something with an actual plot.  Husband likes detective shows so we watch those together in the evening, only nobody’s building anything so I get bored.  I’ve tried out one of those adult coloring books but am always disappointed in the results.  I scan Facebook and Twitter and Instagram but no one’s building anything there either and I get itchy for a fix.  Eventually, I sneak upstairs and and shoot up some HGTV.

I, Mayor of Crazie Town, am a Home Improvement Show addict and I’m taking it one day at a time.

 

Startin’ a Far

Right now, I’m sitting in my living room reading over legal documents about my aunt’s will and laughing out loud to Despicable Me 2.

Earlier today I was at the farm using a chainsaw and directing a guy in a bulldozer to clear land.  — By the way, favorite redneck moment:  Bulldozer guy poured gasoline on a pile of dead trees and threw a kitchen match at the pile.  WHOOSH.  ” ‘At right thar,” he paused to spit “is the worse way to start a far.” —

When it came time to pay bulldozer guy, I picked up my delicate lemon yellow purse with the silk scarf tied to the handle and pulled out the checkbook. “Purty bag,” bulldozer guy said.

I’m still trying to figure out who I want to be when I grow up, and I’m not sure days like this help clear up this problem for me.

 

 

“Have you ever stolen anything?” the officer asked me.

Yesterday I had window washers at the house.  Within minutes the workers asked me to lock up Orlee The Giant Puppy as every time they got a window clean, she stuck her nose on it.  “Every time!” they said.

Without her attorney/my husband here to represent her, she was sent to jail.

IMG_0504

I feel her pain. My first real job was in an office of ten people. One day, someone stole the cash box. Guess who was responsible for the cash box? That’s right. Me.

The boss was very diplomatic and declared that everyone (except him of course) would take a lie detector test. Being the prime suspect, I was first.

I arrived at the police department and was escorted, by two burly officers, to a dark basement room. They attached several wires to me, which because of my profuse sweating, took several tries to get the pads to stay attached to my skin.  The younger officer with the lie detector was set up almost out of eyesight but not quite.

“Is your name Teresa?” the older officer sitting in front of me asked.

“Y-y-yes?” I listened to the needle scratch across the paper.

“Do you drive a 1965 Chevy Impala?”

“I? Yes?  It’s not mine though. I mean I don’t own it. I mean…” The scratching noise intensified.

“Please keep your answers to yes or no.” The young officer made a mark on the paper.

“Have you ever stolen anything?” Older officer asked.

“Have I ever…” Of course I’ve stolen some thing. As a kid I took change off dad’s dresser to buy ice cream from the truck. Did that count? I once stole a candy bar that Mom wouldn’t let me have, but she made me take it back and apologize. Did that count? “Well…I…sorta…”

“Yes or no answer please.”

“Yes.” No violent scratching from the needle.

The electrodes attached to my fingers slipped off from copious amounts of sweat. Old officer reattached them and moved in for the kill.

“Do you live in Topeka, Kansas?”

“Yes.” The needle was silent.

“Do you have a pet?”

“No.”

“Are you wearing a blue shirt?”

“Yes.”

“Are you wearing green shoes?”

“No.”

Old officer leaned in closer. “Did you steal the money?”

I heard the needle jump across the page.

“DID YOU STEAL THE MONEY?” he shouted.

“NO!” I shouted back.

He smiled and removed the sweat soaked electrodes from me. “I knew she didn’t take it before she sat down,” old one said to young one.

Robber #1Seven of us were proven innocent and two were inconclusive.

The boss refilled the cash box but filled it with blacklight powder dusted money.

I asked to be removed from cash box duty.

Sweating Like a Glass of Iced Tea in August

I’ve been working with a trainer for about a year.  Before I started, I had a long conversation with him about how I’m not motivated by yelling.  So, I really love him because he’s very sweet and gentle with me.

He’s the same one my niece goes to, but we’ve always gone at separate times.  Yesterday I went with her to her session.  What? The? Heck? was I thinking?

We bounced around from leg lifts while lying on a pool noodle to kettle bells to a contest to see which one of us could hold plank position the longest.  While my niece sang along to Madonna, I was huffing and puffing and sweating like a glass of iced tea in August.

At one point, as I balanced on the end of a weight bench doing a billion crunches, I looked up at my sweet, gentle trainer and said, “I hate you.”

Evidently, in trainer world, that’s the biggest compliment you can give.  It also means that the evil exercise gets added to my workout forever.

Home Sick From School – Part Two

…Click here for where we left off last week

“We were robbed,” I wail into the yellow telephone receiver.

“Did they?” Mom gasps …”Take the TV?”

I say I don’t know and she tells me she’ll call the sheriff and will be home right away.

I tiptoe through the house; terrified the men will return for their knife. I scurry to my parent’s closet and burrow into the dark. I knock over a pair of rhinestone-encrusted stiletto heels that have never seen the light of day. The heavy shoes make a deafening crash when they hit the floor. I push myself farther into the corner, making a curtain of Mom’s old sorority party dresses.

I hold my breath and wait. I don’t hear any footsteps in the house.

Angry barks from the two stray dogs that were dumped off that we adopted filter through to my hiding place. I slip out of the closet and dart to a corner of the living room to peer through the window. I see a sheriff’s car in the driveway.Police Car

I run to the front door. My shaking hand grabs the cool metal knob of the big oak door and I yank. It won’t budge. I slide the thick bolt out of its lock and run out to the porch.

The deputy shouts from his car, “Do the dogs bite?”

I’m teenager enough to say, “Obviously not, right?”

A Barney Fife-looking guy exits the patrol car and approaches the front door cautiously. “Are you sure…” his voice cracks and he tries again. “Are you sure they’re all gone?”

“I…I think so. I d-d-don’t know.”

GunHe draws his weapon and kicks at the already open front door. He crosses the threshold and comes to a standstill.

“Oh my god,” he says. “They trashed the place.”

I look around the room and wonder what he’s talking about.

And then I see the room through his eyes. Our massive dining room table is piled high with clothes. So many that they’ve spilled over onto the floor in a yard-wide radius. When Mom does laundry we are supposed to pick out our clothes and put them away, but it rarely happens, so we just live off the clothes in the pile.

With his gun drawn, the deputy jumps around corners while I cower in the corner.

Mom, Dad and the sheriff all arrive simultaneously.

"Shoot first, ask questions later."

“Shoot first, ask questions later.”

The sheriff’s cheap aftershave enters the room before him and my stomach rolls. I run to the bathroom and vomit.

When I return, the sheriff hikes his pants up over a massive beer belly and commands, “Ya know how to shoot a gun right?”

“I’ve never even touched one,” I say.

He looks with disproval at Dad. “Ya need to teach this little girl how to shoot.” He fixes his flinty eyes on me. “Then, next time someone knocks on your door and ya don’t’ know who they are, ya shoot ’em. If they fall outside the house, ya drag ’em in.”

“B…B…But…” I whisper. “I couldn’t ever shoot anyone.”

He sighs. “The least ya coulda done is shout out your brother’s names. That woulda scared ’em for sure.”

“But what if it didn’t?” I ask. “Then wouldn’t they know for sure I was home alone?”

He dismisses me with a wave of his hand and turns to Dad to continue his lecture on teaching everyone in the house how to shoot.

Mom is over in the corner giving the deputy a list of missing items. “Two portable televisions, the stereo, a shotgun, a trombone…”

My older brother comes home from school and tries to interest the deputy in taking plaster casts of the tire tracks in the driveway, like he’s seen happen on Colombo. The deputy gets excited until the sheriff says that doesn’t happen in real life.

I wander into the kitchen and take the opportunity to steal from Dad’s secret stash of food. I pour myself a Coca-Cola from the two-liter bottle and nibble around the edge of a buttery Ritz cracker.

Eventually the house settles in for the night. I’m walking back upstairs to go to bed when I hear one of my brothers say, “I’ll bet they’ll come back for that knife.”

Robber #1Robber #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME SICK FROM SCHOOL

GO AWAY

GO AWAY

I’m fourteen years old, home sick from school, and someone is pounding on the front door.

Who comes out to the country and wants to visit in the middle of the day? No one I want to talk to.

The dogs outside are barking like crazy so I pull my pillow over my feverish head and roll over. The pounding continues.

My room is on the second floor of a cobbled-together addition Dad built last year. I raise my head and look out the crooked windows. A large yellow sedan is in the drive.

I stagger out of bed and take two steps before I realize the knocking has moved from the massive old oak front door, to the dilapidated back door. My foot is on the first step, when the cardboard door crashes open.

I run back to my bedroom and drop to the floor, ready to roll under it and hide. Only, there’s so much of my crap under there I can’t fit.

Just as a footstep hits the first tread of the stairway I run to my brother’s room and slide under their crap-free bunk bed.

Two sets of black booted feet walk by – inches from my face.

“Hurry up, Jimmy,” the small booted man says.
Robber #1

“Hold your horses, cousin,” big booted man replies.
Robber #2

I listen as they ransack my brothers’ room. Books crash to the floor. A box that one of my brothers carved, lands on the floor next to me and the false bottom drops open.

So that’s where he hides his stuff, I think. Little sneak.

Cousin says, “I’m going downstairs, you check under the beds.”

I see Jimmy’s ankles bend as he prepares to kneel down. I roll over two times and plant my face against the wall.

“Cousin,” he calls. “Wait for me. I think this place is haunted.” Jimmy’s boots pound down the wooden stairs.

For what seems like hours I hear the bang, crash, clap of possessions being ripped from our home. After the noise stops, I lay there counting to a hundred and then another hundred.

I slip out from my hiding place and tiptoe back to my room to look out the windows. My knee hits something solid on the bed. It’s a jagged knife with a long black handle. I use my pillow to slide it out of the way and peek over the windowsill. No yellow sedan.

I creep down the stairs to the wall phone and pick up the heavy receiver. With a shaky finger, I pull the round dial seven times. I ask the school receptionist to find my mom.

“It’s urgent,” I whisper.

While I wait I look around the family room and wonder how the robbers could have made so many trips through the house and not knocked over our month-long Monopoly game sitting on a rickety card table.

Mom’s irritated voice comes on. “What is it now?” she asks.

I start to cry and she says over and over “What is it? What is it?”

“We were robbed,” I wail.

“Did they?” Mom gasps …

TO BE CONTINUED.