Monday, November 30, 2009

Soap Opera

Because I have never been able to fully dissuade myself from the belief that the sun and stars revolve around me, I have frequently been dismayed to think I may actually, like Jim Carrey in the movie "The Truman Show", be the star of some cosmic bad soap opera, but without the hunks. Everything that happens in my life, because it happens to me, is far more profound and significant than what happens to anyone else. (Your entire family was just wiped out by an axe murderer? You've been diagnosed with terminal Jungle Rot? Lava from an erupting volcano is within three feet of your front door? Sorry to hear it. But you think you've got problems? Let me tell you what happened to ME today....)

I live in a rent-subsidized building owned by the Chicago Housing Authority, which owns a hundred or more similar buildings throughout the city. While the city owns the buildings and sets the rules and regulations for occupancy which apply to all its properties, the actual day-to-day running of the individual buildings is farmed out to several different management companies.

I like the building I'm in. It is convenient to just about anywhere in the city, thanks to the Diversey elevated station half a block away. The thing I do not like about it is that the Diversey elevated station is half a block away, and elevated trains therefore roar within 500 feet of my window every three to five minutes, 24 hours a day. I don't know if they have ever measured decibel levels in my apartment while the trains are passing, but I would think they would be comparable to being located halfway down the in-use runway at O'Hare International Airport.

After three years, I don't even consciously hear the trains, unless I happen to be trying to watch TV with the windows open...or closed. I've become quite adept at lip-reading. But I am quite sure that the noise, even if unnoticed, cannot help but be deleterious to a really good night's sleep.

Recently, a CHA facility less than a mile from my current building, and only four blocks from Lake Michigan, reopened after having been closed for three years for a total renovation. Many of its residents were transferred to my current building when their building closed, and as soon as it reopened, they began moving the former residents back. I put in an application for transfer.

Bureaucracies are of course carefully designed to quadruple the amount of time one would consider the maximum anywhere else. The situation was compounded when my current building switched management companies and fired the entire staff that had worked here for umpteen years. So I waited. And I waited, checking every now and then on the progress of my application. They of course had never heard of me or my application for transfer at the new building, but I persevered, and things finally began to move. A week ago this past Saturday I had someone from the new building come over to "inspect" my living conditions. The fact that both buildings are owned by the CHA and run under exactly the same rules and regulations (which I believe prohibit keeping more than six farm animals in any one-bedroom apartment) meant nothing, since the management companies for the two buildings are different, and therefore each is its own mini-bureaucracy within the larger bureaucracy of the CHA.

But all, finally, seemed to be moving ahead. Then last week I heard rumors that this building has been placed "in quarantine" due to a serious cockroach and bedbug problem. Now, when I moved in here three years ago, cockroaches were indeed a problem, as they are in nearly every large apartment building in any large city. However, thanks to the diligent efforts of the health department, I have not seen a single cockroach in well over a year. And a year and a half ago, there was indeed a bedbug infestation which was not only embarrassing but involved an incredible amount of inconvenience in the process of eliminating them. But it has been over six months since I've heard of the problem.

Nonetheless, I was informed the new building would accept no further transfers until the quarantine was listed. When this might be or who might be doing the lifting was unspecified. Today I went over to the new building to see if this was indeed the case, and was told it was. The fact that they had already accepted several transfers of residents from this supposedly cockroach and bedbug infested hellhole before the new management company took over (and who assumedly brought all their bedbugs and cockroaches with them) of course meant nothing.

How long the "quarantine" will be in effect, I have no idea. But I will be willing to wager a kidney that the lifting of the quarantine will be timed to the very day when the new building has rented out its last apartment.

For thus are The Days of My Life.

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend. Your comments are always welcome. And you're invited to stop by my website at, or drop me a note at

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells!

When I was a lad (oh, dear Lord, not another one of those stories!), in that magical time when human beings came before commerce and money became the end-all and be-all of our society, the Christmas season--and in that totally un-P.C. world it was the Christmas season rather than the Holiday season--began the day after Thanksgiving. Retail stores did not start putting up decorations and bombarding you with "Jingle Bells" on the first of August in order to entice you to "shop early."

And with the door just having closed on another Thanksgiving, the true meaning of the holidays--getting you to spend money--is in full swing.

Of course, Thanksgiving is not--yet--really a money-making holiday, except for turkey raisers and cranberry growers. I'm sure corporate headquarters around the country have research teams on overtime trying to figure out how to milk an extra nickel out of the public. ("Thanksgiving is for gift-giving. Get your beloved a sterling-silver turkey charm! Only $99.99!" "Collect the entire 224 piece 'The First Thanksgiving' figurine set. Each exquisitely-crafted ceramic piece sold separately!" "Life-sized Puritan lawn figures, just $199.99 each!")

Holiday traditions appear to be less and less about the original meaning of the holidays and more and more about ways to spend money. Any random hour spent watching television or reading a newspaper or magazine makes it clear that how much you care for your loved ones is directly proportional to how much money you spend on their gifts. Increasingly we are being relieved of the necessity of actually spending the time and effort to shop for specific present, and encouraged to simply give gift cards. (Though to be honest with you I really don't object to gift cards, and am happy to get them. If I'm not sure what someone would really like, or whether they don't already have ten of whatever I'm thinking of getting, a gift card enables them to get what they really want rather than something they'll seldom if ever use.)

Holidays change for each of us as we grow older. The self-centered wonder of childhood slowly fades with the realization that there are others in the world other than ourselves. The joy spreads out to the giving of gifts as well as the receiving them, and the pleasure of seeing others open their gifts nearly equals that of opening our own.

But despite the utterly cold commercialism of so much of the "holiday season," the true spirit of holidays lies now and always primarily in family and friends, and within ourselves. Those of us who were blessed with loving families know full well that their true value lies not in gifts received, but in the spirit in which the gifts, spiritual and emotionally as well as materially, are given.

I will always remember that one year when I was probably around 7 or 8, I wanted a doll house. I in no way related doll houses with girls...they were just another outlet for my imagination. But my dad did not believe boys should have doll houses and wouldn't allow my mom to buy me one. So she made me one out of an orange crate. I've never forgotten it, or her demonstration of love in giving me something I really wanted.

As the years pass, most of us start our own families and our own traditions. But for many of us who do not, holidays tend to lessen in importance as we lose the people we so strongly associate with them.

Depression during the holidays is very common, and very real, as memories of, and longing for, holidays gone from us forever rise to the surface. I deal with this problem by looking at a holiday as simply another day. I still appreciate their significance to others, and derive pleasure from spending them with friends. (While I still have cousins who mean the world to me and remain the cornerstones of my existence, I tend to decline their always-kind holiday invitations with thanks and real gratitude simply because I then would have to face all those memories and longings I choose not to acknowledge. Hey, it works for me.)

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend. Your comments are always welcome. And you're invited to stop by my website at, or drop me a note at

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Bologna Sandwich

Shortly after I returned home from Mayo Clinic after my successful treatment for tongue cancer in 2003, I had the indescribably overpowering craving for a huge glass of orange juice, which lasted for days. I was at that point still taking all my nourishment through a stomach tube and was unable to swallow anything. I probably could have poured it into the stomach tube, but it was the taste I wanted.

And then when, months later, I was slowly able to resume eating and drink, I discovered that the acidity of that long-anticipated glass of orange juice burned my mouth.

Today, for some unexplained reason, I had an overpowering urge for a bologna sandwich...white bread, two thick slices of bologna, a slice of cheese, mayonnaise, a little catsup and mustard between the bologna slices, maybe a lettuce leaf. I fantasized about opening my mouth wide, taking a big bite, chewing, swallowing, then another big bite, chew, swallow until the sandwich is gone.

It has been six years now, and I still cannot believe that I will never again have a bologna sandwich...not a whole one, at any rate, and even then not even one single bite without having to take a sip of water to accompany the act of swallowing, to wash it down. And never with the ease and pleasure I associate with the thought of a bologna sandwich.

I know, I know, it sounds like I'm doing one of my Roger at the Pity Pool numbers. I never have been one to suffer in silence. But really, I'm not writing this to solicit sympathy. Sympathy is not called for in any event. I'm just trying to convey to everyone who takes such ordinary, simple actions for granted the incomprehensibility of suddenly being unable to do so.

I bitch a lot...a lot...about the things I have been deprived of, and how incredibly much I miss them. Yet I also realize how lucky I am compared to so very many people whose limitations are far greater than my own. Only people who have been deprived of things they have always taken for granted can fully appreciate what they no longer have or can do.

My "afflictions" are to a large extent limited to such simple things as swallowing and eating. I cannot imagine what so many other people endure without nearly so much complaint, and I know I should be ashamed of myself. I am truly in awe of what those countless numbers of people suffering fatal illness or severe physical limitations must go through every day.

But rightly or wrongly, I justify my eternal bitching in these blogs as being a cautionary tale of how quickly and how completely one's life can change, and how very important it is for each of us to realize it. I cannot urge you too strongly to take just a moment in the middle of any simple, un-thought-of daily action, like eating or running or turning one's head, and think of the myriads of tiny interactions of mind and body which are involved in and necessary to accomplish them. Of course you can't possibly stop to consciously think of every single action you perform; that's why they are for the most part totally automatic--so you don't have to. But to give an occasional moment to how utterly fascinating it is that we can do them at all can give a far greater appreciation to life.

And the next time you see a person with physical disabilities, resist the all-too-common reaction of pity, which too often is really just glorified condescension, and replace it with empathy by putting yourself, for just a moment, in their place.

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend. Your comments are always welcome. And you're invited to stop by my website at, or drop me a note at

Friday, November 20, 2009


Over the years I have become something of an expert at self-delusion. I can honestly convince myself, short of defying the laws of physics, of almost anything. I hasten to add I am not so delusional that I am unaware that they are delusions, but they are harmless, and they give me a great degree of comfort.

My chief delusion is that I am ageless...well, actually I'm somewhere...anywhere...under the glass ceiling between youth and maturity. This delusion is quite easy to maintain except for when I am in the presence of reflective surfaces, and even then I can sometimes convince myself that I have absolutely no idea who that person is. I adopted this particular form of illusion from Don Quixote, whose ultimate enemy was a mirror.

Delusions are the armor many of us don to do battle with the world. The protect us...some to a greater degree than others...from the harshness of reality, and as long as they do no harm to ourselves or others, there is no real need to dissuade ourselves of them.

I've often used the example of one of the characters from the play The Madwoman of Chaillot who, every day, year after year, read the same newspaper--the same newspaper--because she liked the news in it. What was really happening in the world neither affected or concerned her. I empathize with her completely. I often choose to simply ignore those things which I know would make me unhappy if I were to acknowledge them. I may be deluding myself, but what does it matter, really?

Most delusions are restricted to the mind of the deluded, and it is only when they take physical manifestation do they normally call the attention of others. (The mental picture springs to mind of a 240 pound woman in a bikini, or the elderly man with a black toupee plopped atop the grey hair of his sideburns. And even then, they more often affect the viewer than the wearer.) We all see ourselves very differently than other people see us, but the more delusional we are, the greater the gap in perception.

Like most things, delusions can be positive or negative. I constantly berate and belittle myself for every perceived imperfection and flaw, and for falling far short of who I feel I should be. Yet this is as unfair as deluding myself into assuming the possession of sterling qualities not in fact in existence. I know I'm not...nor could I be...quite as worthless and stupid as I too frequently paint myself as being. But I do it partly out of disappointment that I am not living up to my own potential, or to what I perceive myself as being. And I have, as I've mentioned frequently, an odd compulsion to point out my failings as a first-strike defense against having other people do it for me. ("You don't have to tell me how bad I am: I already know.")

I honestly envy some people their delusions--specifically those which lead them to believe they can accomplish things which reality clearly says is far beyond their reach. Their delusions encourage them to get out there and at least try for something they really want, even though the odds are clearly or even overwhelmingly stacked against them. They are far better off than people like me, who don't try for something I am convinced I can never achieve.

The wondrous thing is that many of the major advances in science and technology throughout history have been achieved by people everyone assumed to be delusional.

I am really quite comfortable with my own delusions. They're like an old robe or favorite pair of slippers I wear constantly. And I truly believe the world would be a happier and less stressful place if more people allowed themselves to indulge their own.

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend. Your comments are always welcome. And you're invited to stop by my website at, or drop me a note at

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

From Spam to Eternity

I've been posting these cesspool scrapings for some time now, and still in all sincerity cannot comprehend how the sub-humans who turn out this crap can actually expect anyone...anyone, anywhere, any open one of their messages, let alone be gullible enough to buy anything from them. That enough people apparently do fills me with despair for the future of our race.

So here, once again, are some random shoe-scrapings and my Lord-help-me-but-I-can't-help-but-react, knee-jerk responses.

"You can learn any language in 10 D" (Not enough to speak it, however.)

andrew - "Re: sending you what you wanted - yo mate, ok I'll give you my trick but if you give it someone else I'll fuckin kill you." (Yo, Andrew, this is the 15th time I've gotten this identical piece of cutsey-poo bilge from 15 different people. Enough, already.)

"Bessie will help you pack your things." (Bessie knew I was moving? That girl is a true psychic!! How can I possibly repay her?)

"Your order is ready to be shipped." (Great! May I suggest where you can put it while you're waiting for my check?)

"Congratulations! You have a $12,600 commission check waiting!" (I do? Really? That's wonderful! Thank you so much! Please send it right along! Shall I hold my breath until it gets here?)

"I waited to hear if I was going to school." (But your mommy shouldn't let you play with her computer while you wait.)

"Give her aggressive drilling! Make your banana huge...." (I'm sorry? What does being a dentist or working on an oil rig have to do with bananas? I'm afraid you're just too subtle for me.)

"Crazy Sale Prices - Your girl taken to the hospital..." (Excuse me? Can we say "non-sequitur," boys and girls? I would ask again just how stupid you think I am, but I already know the answer.)

"Never miss a touchdown again with Dish Network!" (Don't worry, I don't miss them now. Never watch them and sure as hell don't miss them.)

"(Unknown Sender) (No Subject)" (Oh, yeah, you can be sure I'm gonna open that one!)

"The $12,000 monthly Income Information You Have Requested--Hi~~NAME~~. This is unbelievable..." (That I would request anything at all from some hack spammer who can't even fill out his own form correctly? Well, yes, that is indeed unbelievable.)

"Though home or shelter he had none - When smitten by the morning ray...." (In other words "Concentrate only on the watch. You will hear only my voice. You are getting sleepy....")

"$120,000 per year working part-time. Click here." (Let's see, that would break down to $60 per hour for a regular 40-hour week, 50 weeks a year with two weeks for vacation. Since it's "part time," that would equate to considerably more than $60 per hour. And you have to send out spam to find someone willing to work for more than $60 per hour? Gee, should I Click Here? Let me think.)

"There is no doubt that, while the metalbearing lands fell into the opened mouths of the spaniards..."
(And there is equally no doubt that you are so full of s**t your eyes are brown.)

As they used to say, "Roll up your's too late to save your shoes."

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend. Your comments are always welcome. And you're invited to stop by my website at, or drop me a note at

Monday, November 16, 2009

No Time for Words

We each live, basically, in two worlds...the tangible,"real world" of day to day existence, and the intangible world of the mind...and the percentage of time and effort we spend in each world varies from person to person. Most people are so busy dealing with the countless details and demands of the real world--work, going to and from it, eating, errands and chores and tasks, face-to-face interactions with family, friends, and coworkers--they have relatively little time available for the intangibles of the mind.

The intangibility of thoughts--except for those which can be directly expressed physically (a kiss, a thumbs-up, a punch in the nose, or some other universally-recognized gesture)--is why language was invented. Without words, most thoughts would be limited to the brain of the thinker.

Though words can be conveyed either verbally or through writing, I rely almost entirely upon writing as my means of communication. I write because I do not communicate well when speaking. In conversation, I seldom say what I want to say in the way I want to say it. My mind races ahead of my tongue, or falls behind it, or trips over it. My head is always full of words...finding the specific ones and putting them together the way I want them within the framework of the time available is the problem. By the time I think of just what I want to say, I've usually missed the window of time in which to say it. So rather than wait, I tend to blurt out the first thing that pops into my head.

I'm not alone in this, of course. Have you ever read a verbatim transcript of anyone speaking spontaneously without some sort of prepared script? Broken sentences, trail-offs, whiplash changes of subject; that we ever manage to understand one another is amazing.

And when someone so dependent upon communicating via the written word is deprived of the chance to do so, the results are disconcerting at the very least.

In the past week or so, I've found myself in that position. I've been submerged in the real, non-verbal world by the process of helping my friend Norm, who is currently in a nursing home with severe emphysema, move into a one bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility. He's lived in his 2-bedroom + den condo for more than 30 years. Because he is physically unable to do anything for himself, or even return to the condo, I've assumed the responsibility of managing all aspects of his move...selecting what to take, packing, arranging for a mover, then figuring what to do with everything left behind, putting the condo up for sale, selling his car, etc. I don't mind; I know Norm would do the same for me, but it is time consuming.

All this coincides with my own plans to move to a newly renovated building about a mile from my current apartment and four blocks from Lake Michigan--and also far from the constant roar of elevated trains running 500 feet from my window 24 hours a day. While I'm not sure of the exact date of my move...I haven't even gotten final authorization from the new building yet...I've been collecting and packing boxes in anticipation.

None of the above activities involve much in the way of written communication. But it has, regrettably, sharply limited my time available for writing. When I do manage to squeeze out a few minutes to write, I find it difficult to concentrate on what I'm trying to say. I start off to write a blog (and this one is a perfect example), get about one sentence and three words into it, and suddenly wonder if the box I have to pack my statue of Hamlet will be big enough? Or I'll be trying to thing of a "words" analogy that will make any sense and find myself wondering if we should try to carry some of Norm's paintings over to his new apartment rather than trust them to the movers.

Well, I take some consolation in the thought that this is temporary, and that things will eventually settle down and I can get back to writing. Exactly when, I'm not sure. And in the meantime, please bear with me.

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend. Your comments are always welcome. And you're invited to stop by my website at, or drop me a note at

Friday, November 06, 2009

First Jobs

All my life I have considered work to be a necessary evil, and I was reflecting the other day on my earliest adventures in the working world. For me, that began in 1958, when I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.A. in English--one of the most economically worthless degrees known to man, unless one plans to teach. I did not plan to teach. I immediately moved to Chicago to take on the world.

My very first after-college job was with the Olson Rug Company, whose triple claim to fame was: 1) “Olson Rugs are reversible”; 2) “We use your own wool”...which meant if you sent in a sack of wool from your pet sheep, Olson would supposedly use it in making your new rug...a bit impractical, but people actually would send in hair from their beloved dog, and Olson would accept it; and 3) “Olson Rugs Do Not Burn”....but they did smolder.

The Olson Rug Factory was something of a Chicago landmark. It was huge, and it featured on one corner of its property, a really beautiful garden with waterfalls which was a great tourist attraction...a precursor of the much larger Bush Gardens which came later. It attracted people from all over the area, and my folks and I had come all the way from Rockford when I was a kid to see it.

I was assigned to a two man department devoted to responding to customer inquiries, some of which I’ll get to in a moment. This was in the days long before what we now recognize as computers, but we did have available to us an absolutely-state-of-the-art behemoth of a machine which could seat two people, as I recall and which was, in effect, a great-great-grand-uncle of a computer. It contained probably 25 “stock” paragraphs dealing with the most common questions sent in. So I would sit at there and type in: “Dear Mrs. Smith: #1, #14, #8, #4, Type” (yes, type, as on a built-in automatic typewriter). Very rarely I’d have to actually compose a paragraph for which there was no stock response.

Several things kept me amused. One was collecting the names of some of the people who wrote in. There was Peachy Poff, Mitzpah Frau, Quo Vadis Cone, and Placenta Palmer...and I swear I did not make those names up. Who could?

And the inquiry letters were often a delight. We received many along the lines of the following:

Dear Olson Rug Company:
My wife and I entertain a lot, and if you will provide rugs for our home, we will tell everyone they are Olson Rugs, and your company will benefit greatly from increased sales.

Uh huh.

But my favorite letter was from a woman also asking for free rugs, in exchange for which she would give us THE SECRET. She had, she explained, “tried to give it to the Sheriff, but he was sitting on two chairs.”

We passed, though I always did rather wonder what THE SECRET might have been.

I lasted at Olson for approximately a year, then found a job—probably because I could clearly read the “Dead End” signs with Olson—with an insurance company in the Loop where I was, inexplicably, some sort of insurance adjuster. I have absolutely no recollection now of what I did or why I even thought I might have any interest in being an insurance adjuster (which, as it turns out, I did not). But it did get me started as an editor, when I suggested that the company really needed an in-house monthly newsletter, and they agreed. It was called “Hear Ye” and was an incredibly amateurish affair with a hand-lettered title, and produced by mimeographing on regular 8 ½ x 11 paper...but at least it was white paper, and not the yellow lined notepaper. I did have my standards.

I was with the insurance company for probably a year and a half, then moved onward and upward to Duraclean International, a rug and upholstery cleaning organization which sold cleaning franchises in several countries, where I was associate editor for their house organ, the Duraclean Journal. (Probably my sterling service with Olson rugs may have influenced their decision to hire me.)

I really found a home there. Very nice people, and I had the opportunity to travel around the country to conduct seminars for groups of franchisees.

The only drawback was that I lived on Chicago’s near north side, and Duraclean was located in the suburb of Deerfield, which was quite a trek. Even that would not have been too bad, but I had to cross, as I neared my work, the Illinois Central’s commuter rail tracks. And every single morning, no matter if I was 10 minutes early or 13 minutes behind schedule, a commuter train would wait until it saw me coming, then race down the tracks just in time for the gates to lower before I reached them. (A coincidence, you say? I don’t think so.)

I was with Duraclean for six years…actually the longest time I ever spent on any single job…and I left only when my partner and I broke up and I decided to move to California. But that’s quite another story, which we shall get to anon.

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend. Your comments are always welcome. And you're invited to stop by my website at, or drop me a note at

Monday, November 02, 2009

Oh, Spam!

I don't want to look. Really, I don't. But every now and then something that is not spam ends up in my spam folder, necessitating an always-intended-to-be quick scan of the effluvia contained therein to be sure I'm not throwing away something I shouldn't. And try though I might, I cannot resist knee-jerk responding to the come-on phrases intended to get suckers to open the message (the equivalent of unwrapping a soiled baby diaper).

So here, yet again, are a few noble examples of the spammer's art, and my reaction to them.

"Re: sending you what you wanted" (Since there was neither a check nor a copy of your suicide note, you didn't.)

"Millionaire wants you to cash in!" (No, millionaire wants to make more money...from anyone stupid enough to open the message.)

"A miracle took place" (Oh? You mean someone actually did open your message?)

"I made a blog." (Good for you! Now if we can just get you potty-trained....)

"She loves it when I go this much deeper, she gets overwhelmed by her orgasm...." (Oh please, please TRY to imagine how little I care!)

"Just read your letter." (Suuuure you did. But I have no intention of reading yours.)

"My fingers fidget like ten idle brats..." (While mine race to find the "delete" key.)

"Vitaminize your desire! Recipe of hotter lust" (Yessirreee, I'm always looking for new ways to vitaminze my desire. Does the recipe include Tabasco sauce and jalepenos?)

ncortes: "Sea-gull - mevo. -- In 1560 mendoza was abruptly ordered by king philip ii. Hello, I am Allegra Henstridge...." (Whoa! I'm getting whiplash, here! What are you talking about? You're Alegra Henstridge? Then who the hell is "ncortes"? Who's mendoza? What's he got to do with King Philip II? Philip ordered Mendoza to do what? And you...whoever you are...actually expect anyone in their right mind to buy something from you? Good luck with that one, Charlie...or ncortes, or Alegra, or mendoza, or philip, or....Sigh. I think I'll go lie down for a bit.)

"Get an omnipotent porksword!" (What a lovely, lovely mental picture you conjure up. Please, let me have a dozen of whatever it is you're selling, you silver-tongued rascal, you.)

Flossie Cortez - "女性からのお願いを聞いてもらえませんか?" (Oh, Flossie! You're such a card! Of course 願いを聞いてもらえませんか!)

"Did you call me?" (Take a wild guess.)

"What does Bessie say I've done?" (Other than bug the crap out of me? I neither know nor care.)

"Cheap Fashion Accessories." (Ah, yes....sweets to the sweet, I always say.)

"Afraid of being caught sleeping?" (Uh, not between 10:30 p.m. and 6 a.m., no.)

"Did you suffer a Gallbladder injury while using Birth Control?" (My God! However did you know?)

"Get ready to tough day." (Ok, as soon as I figure out how "to tough day" became a verb.)

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend. Your comments are always welcome. And you're invited to stop by my website at, or drop me a note at