Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gladys and The Close Shopper

Remember the episode of Seinfeld where Judge Reinhold played Elaine’s boyfriend “The Close Talker”? He would get as close to the other characters as possible. It wasn’t that he was rude or even offensive, he was actually a really nice guy he was just a “Close Talker”. I remember when that episode first came on I was crying laughing because Judge Reinhold played the part so well. I never thought that he really existed because I’m all about respecting people’s personal space.
I am always reminded of a self-defense class I took one time. Yes Gladys can kick your ass six ways to Sunday. Well I can in my mind. Think Jackie Chan meets Barney Fife or Chuck Norris mixed with Chris Farley, yes I am a virtual ass kicking machine. Notice I say virtual. My self defense instructor told us to pretend we were a mime and stretch our arms out like we were in an invisible box. He told us to put that box all around us and that was our personal space. I have been mindful of that personal space ever since. I think it’s interesting that my self defense instructor was Asian and he was talking about personal space. You know your standing on line at Disney, Universal Studios, Six Flags or heck even TSA at the airport and there are five million Asian tourist all trying to fit into a 2ft space. There is no personal space there. Let’s just say I am aware of my personal space.

I recently had to go shopping for personal goods. Kahuna went to get his hair cut and I ran into Target to get Q-Tips and toilet paper. I took my cart and went down the completely devoid of other shopper’s toilet paper aisle. I was examining the different brands trying to determine the most for the least. I suddenly feel a little pressed. I move my cart a few feet and I feel it again. I turned and looked and there was a woman with her cart within inches of me. Where the heck did she come from? I was alone. Alone I tell you, by myself, a solitary shopper among the stacks of Charmin and Angel Soft. I moved again and she moved. I moved, she moved.

You have to understand I come from a relatively big city where purses get snatched from shopping carts. Heck they get snatched from your shoulder so I have paranoia built in. Perhaps she was a kleptomaniac like Wynona Rider and she was using me to shield her deception. Or could it be that she was the dreaded close shopper. I gave up and pulled my cart out into the completely empty aisle and moved on thinking I’ll come back to this aisle later. I moved to the baby shampoo and Q-tip aisle. I was perusing the different types of cotton swabs and baby shampoo when I got that eerie feeling again. I looked up and she was back. Her cart inches from mine. Was she trying to cheat off my grocery list? Was she envious of the items in my cart? Did she think I was a celebrity and wanted to be just like me? What the heck? I took my cart in hand and moved to the next aisle leaving the Close Shopper to ponder over Boudreaux’s Butt Paste and baby wipes. I rolled the cart to the vitamin aisle. I reached down to pick up the jumbo bottle of Fish Oil Capsules which caused me to have my posterior stuck out a bit. I bend then I bump. I turned and looked. There pressed against my derriere is the basket of the Close Shopper. I grabbed the bottle of fish burps and straightened up. I turned and mustered up my best “back off bitch” glare. Ok really I just gave her my “What the heck?” look. She didn’t even acknowledge me.

I decided the best thing to do was to just move on. I needed a birthday card and so I pushed my whole cart and caboodle to the greeting cards. I stood immersed in the gallery of American Greetings and Hallmark when again I felt the pressure of another. I looked up and there she was standing with her cart within inches of mine. I had enough. I was done. Kung Fu Gladys was about to burst out of me like the Incredible Hulk from David Banner. This was beyond coincidence it was stalking. It was harassment. It was just plain weird.

I stood and turned ready to pounce, ready to strike, and ready to confront the close shopper. I looked at her and said “Am I in your way?” She looked up at me with feigned innocence and replied “Um, no.” Then went back to studying her Far Side Birthday Greeting. I again leashed out “Because if I’m in your way I can always move.” The close shopper looked at me the way my boxer looks when you ask him a question, her head moved from one side to the other with a total look of confusion. Did this deter Samurai Gladys? Absolutely not. I pressed on “Because for some reason it seems as if your cart is attached to my ass and every where I go you are with in inches of me. So is there something I can help you with?” With that the Close Shopper returned her card to the rack, backed her cart out of the aisle and ran towards the front of the store.

I finished my shopping and was met by Kahuna as I reached the check-out station. He excitedly approached me and said “Hey did you see her?” I was at a loss. See who? Julia Roberts? The Queen Mum? Princess Leah? “Who, honey?” I asked. He sighed and took the basket from me “The crazy lady threatening people?” I looked at him and then it hit me “Oh you must mean the Close Shopper. Yeah she followed me through the store.” He started putting the items on the conveyor and said “No, I don’t think so they said this woman was threatening people. See that lady over there?” I looked towards the customer service desk where he was pointing only seeing what looked like the manager and the Close Shopper. “Yeah,” I said “that’s her. The Close Shopper. She was following me all over the store and just being way too close.” Kahuna then looked at me and at my jacket and then back at my face and said “No, honey, she is the one complaining about the crazy lady. She said she had frizzy hair, a white jacket, brown cords and Ugg boots on.” I handed the clerk my money that I took from my brown corduroy pants as I straightened my white jacket. I put my on my sun glasses and smoothed down my frizzy hair and told Kahuna “Let’s get out of here.”

Friday, January 30, 2009

Crawling Out From Under The Rock

You will never know how hard it is growing up the kid who was found under a rock.(click here and read about it) I mean it’s like you live your whole life under that rock. You never feel like you are as good as the other kids because, well, honestly you were found under a rock. You constantly seek attention negative or positive it doesn’t matter. You become the loud kid at the dinner table. Honestly do you have any idea what it feels like to be sitting at the table with all your family gathered around and they totally ignore you? There you sit in the middle of a terribly interesting story and they just start talking over you. Ok maybe it's only interesting to you but they act as if you aren’t there, talking. Then you feel the pressure of the rock on top of you and you realize that you have just been put back under it. What do you do? You start talking louder and more because after all you are trying to be heard from under that rock.

Well today I don’t feel like I’m under that rock. Nope no sir-ree. Not one iota. Not one bit. I feel honored and excited. I feel loved and noticed. Why? First because Punchy over at Lucchese to Louise Vuitton gave me this award.

Yes it’s an award and I am like the dad on “Christmas Story” I am thrilled. Isn’t it cute? I love those rain boots. I think I’m going to have to find some like that just because. I love Punchy because she shops and shows us all kinds of goodies. She also tells us stories about her and her sister’s escapades and all kinds of goodies. Read her love story if you get a chance makes me miss west Texas something awful.

Then just when the buzz from getting that award was about to wan I got this one from LAGirl over at Sweet Tea gave me this award. Yes folks I am feeling the love. It’s the Luv-ly award. There are some rules to follow with this one and it involves passing it on. So I will list those who I want to share it with below.

1. Tales of a Wild Boomba – she doesn’t post often but when she does Oh My Gawd I have to wear depends. Besides we were twins separated at birth.
2. Queenie – Another soul sister
3. Terri Terri Quite Contrary
4. Queen Goob over at This is My Life…So Be It because well she cracks me up
5. Mrs. 4444 over at Half Past Kissing time.
6. Moving At the Speed of Life
7. Katherine over at Smokey Mountain Café- Feed me Seymore.
8. Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder
9. JeanMartha over at Renovation Therapy
10. Girly Stuff

Honorees, please follow these instructions and share the LUV!1. Put the logo on your blog or post. (You can highlight the photo and text of this post and copy/paste wherever you need to...start your highlight from the bottom up to get the photo)2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award

Then Rising Rainbow over at Mikael’s Mania gave me this award. Seems she really liked my Walk of Shame story. Oh honey that is just one of many. So here is the scoop behind the Award.

The story behind the award goes something like this: Andrea at Swamp Suburbia decided to contemplate on where blog awards came from. Her sister said they were made up. So Andrea decided to make one up, and well, the rest is history because this is what she found out: The word 'ham' originated in the early 1880s from a song called The Hamfat Man. It was a black minstrel song about an awkward man. After that, people would use the term hamfatter when someone was trying too hard to be funny and not succeeding. That was ultimately shortened to the word ham. So she made an award featuring her goat Joe. (Andrea, does that mean that Joe is a Ham?)This award has it's rules:1.Blog about the Hamfatter award, tell where the name came from (you can copy and paste, that is what I did!! me too, me too!!)2. Post the Hamfatter Award Proudly on your blog!3. Pick 5 blogs that just make you laugh and link to them in your post!4. Link back to the person who gave you this hilarious Hamfatter Award!5. Let your blogger friends know they were awarded a little something!
The nominee’s are:
Nanny Goats in Panties
The Texas Woman
More than an Electrician over at Naked on the Roof
June over at Bye Bye Pie

Attack of the Redneck Mommie

So now I’m feeling pretty full of myself. I mean I’ve been recognized, awarded and notarized. See I have a notary seal right here in the middle of my forehead. I have crawled out from underneath my rock and I am sitting proudly on top of it. I feel like Steve Martin in the Jerk. I feel like I’ve gotten my name in the phone book. I feel so, so… Well so un-found under a rock like. At least until the next family gathering.

Oh and because I love you all so much... I'm going to be giving away some books. So tell your friends and alert the neighbors. Stayed tuned for news at 6:00!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's That Smell?

One evening after a full night of busting up cock fights and illegal gambling houses Trooper Ray and Trooper Bob decided to go find a quiet farm to market road to work up their paper work. You see out in the country in the late 1950’s there wasn’t much to do so people made their own entertainment. Some people raised roosters to fight while others would spark up a steel. Moonshine was plentiful as was illegal entertainment. On any given night or at any given rodeo you can find an illegal game of craps or a cock fight. They found a quiet place and settled in for the remainder of the shift. Then out of no where came a crazy driver. He was all over the road and traveling at way too fast a rate of speed. “Ray,” Trooper Bob drawled “whatcha wanna bet that sommabeech is drunk as Cooter Brown?”

Remember back in those days there wasn’t a three strike rule and usually the officers knew the people in the communities. Often if you were caught driving drunk you got taken to the county jail allowed to sleep it off and then let go the next morning. Kind of like Otis on the Andy Griffith Show.

I’m going too interrupt the story for a minute and ask who the heck is Cooter Brown and why is he always drunk? Does he live in Cooter Court? Does Cooter’s mother know he has a drinking problem? Do you think he has found a twelve step program yet?

Trooper Ray switched the siren (SIGH-REEEN) on and pulled out of the hidey-hole where they had been parked completing their paper work and took after the speeding auto. He glanced over at Trooper Bob who was stowing away files and pulling out flashlight and ticket book. They could see the tail-lights of the car and noticed they were gaining on him way too fast. This could only mean one thing. The car was stopped. They knew from the years on the job that either the driver had heard the siren and saw the lights and stopped on his own or something had stopped him.

They rolled up behind the speeder’s car that was now wedged firmly up against a telephone pole. The troopers approached the car to find a man in the driver’s seat reeking of alcohol (pronounced al-key-hall). Trooper Bob reached down to make sure the inebriated driver was not hurt. Trooper Bob leaned into the driver door and quickly pulled back. Trooper Ray concerned asked “Bob is he ahright?” Trooper Bob a little green behind the gills looked at Ray and said “Ye-up he’s ahright, but he has shit himself.” Trooper Ray looked at Bob and said “Well he ain’t gettin in our car. I jest cleaned to vomit out of it from last night.” Trooper Bob looked at his partner and shook his head and replied “Ray how we gonna get him to the jail house if we don’t put him in the car. He ain’t hurt so we can’t call an ambulance. We can’t tie him to the hood like a deer. What are we gonna do?”

The two troopers got the man out of the car and sat him on the side of the road while they pondered their dilemma. Then in the distance they heard a car coming their way. The headlights got closer and they realized it was a pick-up truck. Trooper Bob looked at Ray and said “Hey I got idear. You wait here with Pablo and I’ll be right back.” Trooper Bob took his 4 foot long Maglight flashlight and walked out in the middle of the highway. He started waving his hands back in forth in the universal hey I’m standing in the road and need you to stop signal. The truck slowed and came to a stop in front of Trooper Bob. Bob went around to the driver’s window where an old rancher sat with his dog. “What’s the problem officer?” the rancher quarried. “Well sir,” Trooper Bob started “we got us a drunk driver that we need to get to the jail, and we need your help.” The rancher patted his dog spit out a plug of tobacco and said “Why sure. How kin I halp?” Trooper Bob explained his situation and the condition of the driver. The rancher chuckled and said “well just throw his ass in the back and I’ll be happy to oblige.”

Trooper Bob went over to Ray and they perp walked the drunk to the back of the truck. They each grabbed an arm and an ankle and lifted him up to toss him in the back. About that time Pablo the drunk started screaming “please don’t kill me! I didn’t do nuthin wrong!” Trooper Bob said “Pablo, we aint killin you we are putting you in this truck to take you into the jail house.” Pablo cried “but I don’t wanna get in that truck. It smells like shit.” As they tossed Pablo in the bed of the truck both officers said “That’s not the truck, that’s YOU!”

Sometimes being a trooper is a shitty job, but you figure out a way to get it done.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


See Doe cook. See Doe clean. See Doe put up with Bob. See Bob aggravate Doe. See Lughead Larry and Bob tell Doe all kinds of tall tales. See gullible Doe believe them. See Doe laugh at herself when she finds out that she has been duped. See Bob admire Doe.
See Doe and Bob go on a cruise. See Doe afraid of sinking ship. See Bob snapping pictures of Doe’s vulnerability. Sometimes Bob can be an ass.

See Doe and Bob get married. See Bob happier than he’s been in years. See Doe, she makes Bob happy. See Bob’s family happy to have Doe in their lives.

See Doe have a birthday. See how young Doe looks. She looks much too young for Bob. See how happy that makes Bob.

I have to tell you that Doe is a saint that is if Bathtist had saints. She has come into our family and put up with all of our tall tales and pranks. She has put up with being drug from one side of the country to the other to visit kinfolk and fits right in. Doe is another one of those people in my life who has never met a stranger. Maybe it’s from her days as a telephone operator or maybe she has always been that way. She hangs in there and does it all with style and grace. Most importantly she does it with a sense of humor, which in my family is a requirement.
Remember when she and daddy went on their cruise? Read about it here. He took pictures of her sleeping in her life jacket then distributed them via email to the rest of the family. Was she mad? Did she beat him with her shoe? Nope she laughed and went on with life. When Lughead Larry and daddy took her to the Bass Pro Shop and told her that Mount Baldy, which you can see from Rancho Cucamonga, was covered in snow in the middle of July. She bought their story hook line and sinker. Oh and about that hook line and sinker. They also told her that the fish in the giant fish tank at the Bass Pro Shop were battery operated and that they had to change the batteries every other day. Do you see what she puts up with?

You see why I am proud to call this woman, this saint among saints, my other mother.

See everybody wishing Doe a Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Walk of Shame

Way back in the day when I was young and single I made the club scene. You see I was struggling to make it on my own. I lived in a garage apartment with a roommate who seldom if ever paid her share of the expenses. Groceries were non-existent in our little abode but we always had something from which to whip a pitcher of daiquiris or margaritas. Now before you get all judgmental on me this was back in the days of Saturday Night Fever and the Bee Gees. It was Farrah Fawcett wings and Angel flight polyester leisure suites. I have always been one to dress a little off the fashion grid and you would often find me on my way to work in a purple 1940’s styled women’s suite with platform heels. I would be sporting my Charlie’s Angel’s hair and my clutch pocket book. I was a vision I tell you.
I wasn't Farrah I was Jacklyn Smith only with red hair and not as pretty or limber or rich.

Now back in those days we didn’t really know or if we had heard didn’t listen to the fact that you should remove the prior day’s make-up before you applied more. Nope not us. We would just apply another coat of Maybelline to our already caked eyelashes. We would spit on a Q-tip and swath on another layer of azure blue eye shadow and swipe some Dr. Pepper lip smackers on our lips and be ready to roll. We also had a habit of wearing control top panty hose under our Gloria Vanderbilt high waisted jeans with the little swan on the front pocket. We did this even though we only weighed 10 pounds soaking wet in order to have no lines under our jeans.
My daddy used to call these Crisco Jeans. Cause you had to slather yourself in Crisco in order to get them on.

Now the ritual was to get off work and speed home as fast as you could to change from your office attire into a totally hot outfit for the evening. This would either consist of the aforementioned jeans or a super tight shiny Danskin leotard and skirt outfit. I mean how could you dance like John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in anything else? You would change into this totally cool outfit and then break the sound barrier to get to the local disco before happy hour ended. You see in my hometown happy hour consisted of two for one drinks AND a grazing table. This table would be covered in finger food and it was free. Free I said. Free for the taking as much as you wanted until eight p.m. I ate almost every meal for two years at grazing time. This is where my story begins.

What the heck were we thinking? I do have to admit this is an improvement over saggy crotch to the knees jeans.

My roommate was tall and statuesque. I am 5’1” she was 5’10”. I was a strawberry blond with a light complexion. She was an olive skinned dark eyed beauty. Yes we were Mutt and Jeff, Lenny and Squiggy and Lucy and Ethel all rolled into one. One Friday night we had gone and feasted on the grazing table at the local watering hole. We then proceeded to put on our boogie shoes and dance the night away. We did the hustle and the electric slide until we could dance no more. We then went back to our humble abode and passed, um I mean fell asleep.
Melissa, my roommate had an early morning shopping date with her mother. We were sleeping way past the waking time when our phone rang. Melissa answered and immediately jumped out of bed saying “Yes ma’am. I’m on my way. No ma’am I’m not still in bed. I was um, cleaning the oven. Yes ma’am I’ll be right there.” She said all of this while doing the fireman pull up of getting dressed. She pulled her Gloria Vanderbilt jeans up as she was stepping into her fuchsia colored Candies mules and applying her new layer of mascara as she slid her fuchsia and white stripped v-necked La Costa polo shirt over her still curled hair. She then applied her lip smackers and looked at me and said “How do I look?” I peered up at her from my place on the couch, clutched my pillow a little tighter and said “You look great but I think you need some more mascara.” Now I have to stop and tell you that once you get about 27 layers of Maybelline Big Lash mascara in the hot pink and green tube on your eyelashes it becomes hard to hold your eyes open. The weight has got to be equivalent to 5 gallons of water. So my eyes weren’t as sharp or as open as they could have been.

Melissa grabbed her clutch and her keys and with her spider eyelashes ran out to her bright blue Camaro to meet her mother. She was gone for the longest time and I took the opportunity to catch up on some housekeeping and some Saturday afternoon old movie watching. She came in the door just as I was applying another layer of azure blue eye shadow in and attempt to get ready for another evening of fun and frivolity. She came in and threw herself on the bed and exclaimed “I could’ve just died from embarrassment!” Knowing that she had just spent the day with her overachiever mother I thought that Mrs. M was surely the cause of this statement. Then Melissa went on to say “I was at the Bootery, you know over there off of North First. They had the cutest pair of burgundy Frye boots and I thought they would look so cute with my new denim patchwork outfit I decided I would try them on. Mom said she would buy them if they fit. So the cutest guy comes out in a pair of really tight pair of pants and one of those really silky shirts. Gladys I swear he looked just like Freddie Prinze.
This is Freddie Prinze for those of you who are too young to remember Chico and the Man.
Anyway I put my foot out for him to slip it on my foot and he got the funniest look on his face. He looked at my leg and then up and me. Then he looked back at my leg again. I thought how rude! Then he grabbed a hold of something and started pulling. I could feel something in my pants leg start moving. You know what he did? He pulled out a pair of panty hose, complete with my pink panties from last night!”

Now by this time I have dropped my Q-tip and I have sat my glass of wine on the nightstand. I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe. I was wheezing like an 80 year old smoker on the top of Mount Everest gasping for air. I was done for and there was nothing I could do about it. Then she looks at me and says “What so damn funny? I evidently had been walking around all day long with that one leg of panty hose dragging behind me and no one even bothered to tell me! Not even my Momma!”

I guess that was Mrs. M’s way of teaching her daughter a lesson. I just know it made for an entertaining evening at the club what with me telling the story and my giant friend threatening to kick my scrawny little butt.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just the Facts Week ending 1-16-2009

There are a million stories in the city.


"The story you are about to hear is true; only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.")

The Flathead Beacon:
Police Blotter for the week ending 1-16-09

A sampling of crime briefs from the Kalispell Police and Flathead County Sheriff’s reports…by Julius Macker (comments by Gladys)

Tuesday 1/13/2009

6:39 a.m. A Martin City woman kicked her ex-husband out of her home.

Well since he is your ex and it is your home… What the heck was he doing there in the first place? Some after divorce conjugal visits, perhaps?

10:51 a.m. Someone was trapped in a car wash in Columbia Falls.

Let me guess was the caller blonde?

5:42 p.m. Someone impersonating a bill collector called a woman and said she owed money on her electric bill. She had already paid it.

This is WRONG! This is a crime of major proportions! I mean it’s criminal to call someone up and dun them for money they have already paid. It is bad enough that they call you when you actually owe them money.

9:14 p.m. A 16 year old girl went to jail after she slapped her mother.

Now THAT is parenting! You want to act like a punk? Then you get treated like one.

11:54 P.M. Allegedly, a woman’s ex showed up at her house with a rifle, then left. A bit later he returned, then left again.

Hey do you think maybe he was pissed because she kicked him out of her house at 6:30 that morning?

Wednesday 1/14/2009

12:20 p.m. A Columbia Falls man didn’t want to talk to his son anymore.

He must be trying a new parenting technique. The silent treatment and he is going to back it up by calling the police and telling them.

1:38 pm. An Ashley Lake road man was enraged.

Is this the ex-husband or the dad from above?

7:40 p.m. Someone in Evergreen wasn’t pleased with a text message they received.

Yeah I’m not either but I never thought about calling 911 for spam on my phone.

8:59 p.m. A man said two men waited for him to finish work and then assaulted him.

Wow see how polite the people up here are? They WAITED for him to finish work before they beat the dog crap out of him.

Thursday 1/15/2009

1:21 p.m. A man, who called the police on his wife because she was hysterical, found himself behind bars after he broke a telephone. The dispatcher, who took the initial call, reported that they could hear a woman screaming in the background. The woman said the man strangled and punched her.

Um, maybe she was hysterical because he has some anger management issues. I think this one backfired on him.

5:47 p.m. A woman called 911 because she couldn’t connect to the Internet.

Really? I mean REALLY?

8:42 p.m. An intoxicated man called authorities looking for his wife. Apparently he was so drunk that she left the house and took the kids. He wanted to make sure everyone was OK.

Wow how did Mr. 1:21 p.m. get out of jail so fast?

1:51 a.m. A woman’s drunken ex-boyfriend wouldn’t leave her home. Deputies arrived and gave the man a ride to a Mexican restaurant on Main Street.

Ok I think I know WHY there are so many domestic disturbance calls this week. Mercury was in retrograde and that causes all types of craziness. Also the fact that it’s too cold to go outside could have something to do with it. Now would someone please explain the significance of the Mexican Restaurant? I mean why Mexican and not Chinese or Italian? When did the police become a taxi service? I am so confused maybe it’s because Venus is in the seventh house or something.

Friday 1/16/2009

5:43 p.m. A man and a woman are threatening each other via the Internet.

Looks like Ms. Thursday 5:47 got her connection back up. Man who knew the police could reboot your computer?

2:50 a.m. A woman in Evergreen was reportedly doing weird tings. She kept pulling her car into the driveway, getting out of it, then backing up and pulling in again. Turns out that the woman was drunk.

I do that when I’m not drunk. I can’t see over the steering wheel so I don’t know if I’m on the grass or not. Now I’m glad I don’t have neighbors or they would think I was drunk all the time.

Jesse Quinn: Mr. Friday, I'd like to ask you a question. If you was me, would you do it?
Sgt. Joe Friday: Can I wait awhile?
Sgt. Joe Friday: Before I'm you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Say Goodnight Gracie

Long, long time ago in a state far far away. Ok it was North Carolina I lived on a large military post. I was a young mother of about 26 and a military wife living in military housing. Now I don’t care what people tell you there is good post housing and there is bad post housing. The one in which I resided was very nice. It was single family with a yard and a carport. They were built back after World War II and every single house looked just exactly like the house next door and the house next door to that and on and on and on. You literally had to look at the house number and the street sign to make sure you were on the right street and at the right house. I lived in the house with a small Yorkie named Shaniqa (pronounced Sha-neek-ka) and a black Labrador retriever named Gracie.

Gracie was a rescue dog. One day my husband called me from his office and said there was a dog down on the dock that was eating crabs and running around loose. I awed and oohed and cried until he finally asked if I want him to bring it home. I told him absolutely. You see I have the stray dog gene. I inherited it from my mother’s mother who had 4000 stray dogs that lived with her. Think Goldie Hawn’s character in “Seems Like Old Times” where she is the attorney and Chevy Chase is her ex-husband and she takes in stray dogs and stray people. Yeah that would be me. I again digress.

My husband arrived home that evening with the most beautiful black Labrador puppy I have ever seen. She was skin and bones but alert and happy. She didn’t enter our home timidly she bolted in like a bull in a china cabinet. Her tail was a weapon of mass destruction and her head was a battering ram. I immediately introduced her Wickers the cat and Shaniqa and she was instantly drawn to both. She had two new best friends. They chased one another around the house to the detriment of my knick knacks and furniture. The whole family instantly fell in love with her and because of her clumsy big footed spastic actions named her Gracie.

This story happened about a year after Gracie became a part of our family. She was the type of dog that was always ready for an adventure. You could not open the door without her bolting out and running the neighborhood. This is strictly not allowed on post. You have to have your animals leashed or fenced, no if ands or buts. It simply isn’t allowed to have animals running loose you and the animal will be in deep doo doo if you do.

One day I opened the door to take out the trash but Gracie was especially Houdini like that day and slipped out the door past me. I was livid and dropped the trash to chase after her. I ran down the street in my pajamas and slippers. I ran screaming for her to come back but all I saw was a sleek black Labrador butt running down the street and turning the corner. I knew she was gone and I would have to go after her. She would eventually come home but I couldn’t take the chance of the Military Police picking her up and putting both of us in the dog house. I did what I had to do. I grabbed the truck keys and my wallet and went after her. I drove up and down every street calling her name. I drove the alley ways and traced and retraced my path. I went to the school down the street to make sure she wasn’t chasing the kids playing kickball on the playground. I went down to the golf course to make sure she wasn’t harassing the retired generals and admirals playing the back nine. I went to the stables to make sure she wasn’t hanging with the horses. She was no where to be found.

Defeated, I started my way back home when I saw her sitting on the front porch of a house about a mile from my own. I stopped the truck grabbed her leash and a dog bone for a bribe and started toward her. She just sat and looked at me as I continued to call her name and approach her. Usually she would bolt and run or run and jump in the truck. This time she just sat and looked at me. I attached the leash to her collar and tried to walk her to the truck. She was having none of it. Instead I literally had to drag her to the truck. I tried over and over again to coax her into the cab, which was usually a treat for her. I finally wrangled all four hundred pounds of her into the seat and drove home. I had brought Shaniqa along with me and she wouldn’t have anything to do with her best friend. She instead crawled in my lap and growled at Gracie.
The whole drive home I admonished Gracie for running away and making me chase her down. I scolded and chided and made threats of pens and crates. I even told her that it was time to go to the vet and get “the surgery”. I was absolutely wrapped up into reprimanding her that I didn’t pay attention to where I had actually found her. We arrived home and I stopped the truck and looked up at my house. There on my front porch sat Gracie.

I had dog-napped and admonished a stranger. I had taken someone’s pet their family member. I looked at this stranger sitting in the cab of my pick-up and said “OH MY GOSH! I don’t know who you are!” The Labrador looked at me with those big black Labrador eyes. I swear she rolled her eyes. It was like I could read her mind. She said “Yeah Dumbass, I tried to tell you and so did your little ragmop.” I felt horrid. Then I realized I lived in the land of replication, the isle of sameness. I had no idea who this dog belonged to or what porch from which I had plucked her. I was a dog-napper and now instead of one bull in a china cabinet I would have two.

The story had a happy ending though. I put my dog in her pen and put the stolen dog in the truck and tried to retrace my steps. I drove around for four hours waiting for some sign from the Not-my-dog Dog to say “Yeup this is my house.” But it didn’t happen. What did happen was that school got let out and there was a little boy who upon his exit of the bus yelled at my truck “Hey Lady what are you doing with Sprinkles?” I knew it was his dog because Sprinkles got all excited and started whining and shaking and wanting to get to his person. I pulled over and opened the door and there was a huge reunion of boy and dog. I explained to the young man what had happened. He looked at me with his big blue eyes and said “Man lady how stupid are you when you can’t even recognize your own dog?”
I guess I was pretty stupid.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Too Much 411

Hello? What? You sound like you’re in a cavern or a tunnel or something. What? I think we have a bad connection or maybe your cell phone is on the fritz. What? Your WHERE? EWWWWWW I’m hanging up! Call me when you’re done!

When did we become so self-important that we have to talk on the cell phone and use the toilet at the same time? WHY? I mean who does this really? Why would anyone think this was even slightly acceptable much less hygienic? I mean I don’t want anyone talking to me when I’m trying to do my business and forget about it in a public restroom with someone sitting in the stall next to me. No thank you.
I bring this up because on a recent ride in the vessel of germs I overheard a conversation between a couple of business men. Now I’m not sure if they were trying to impress one another or if they were just discussing a fact, either way it piqued my curiosity. So I listened as Mr. Suite said to Mr. Shirtsleeves “yeah I was prairie-dogging really bad and I’m in a rush to the can. I get my pants down and I’m on a conference call with Mr. Bigshot and Mr. Moneybags. I’m squeezing one out as I am doing a million dollar deal.” Mr. Shirtsleeves was dutifully impressed and had a story of his own “Yeah you know it’s hard to hold that turtle-head in until you can hang-up. I did a major hotel deal a couple of years ago while in the midst of a case of the turkey squirts. I’m sure they heard the whole thing on the phone but we just kept going.”

This is curious to me on several levels. First who sits down next to a stranger on a plane and starts telling turkey-squirt stories? Second why are they taking phone calls on the pot? Third why am I listening? So I can share with you of course. This whole conversation got me to thinking have we become a society of too much information. Do I really want to know how regular you are? I mean you just sat down next to me on an airplane. Do I really need this information?

So what does the conversation sound like on the other end “So George, what do you think?” The pooper replies “Unggg, Igg theeennnnk weee neeed more unggg paper.” Then a big kerploosh and sploosh of a toilet flushing. “Thanks for the courtesy flush George.”

Oh my gosh and then lets talk about the advertising world. Why does Charmin think it’s necessary to show me dingle-berries on a bear’s ass? What is it with that commercial? Daddy bear and Baby bear are playing football when BB bends over to hike the ball there is poop paper stuck to his butt. Do we really need to know this? Do we really need to see this? At least he isn’t talking on his cell phone.

Please hold all my calls. Now if you will excuse me I’m going to go study in the library for a while.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Open Wide

I was lying there looking up at the light. I felt drawn to the light. It was bright and warm and held my gaze. Then I heard it that sound, that unmistakable whirring sound. I closed my eyes to the light and tried to relax. Then it got closer and closer and I had to open my eyes and look. I couldn’t help myself I had to see the monster that was coming at me. I opened my eyes and saw the hand holding the instrument of torture heading right for me. I flinched and grimaces but I couldn’t move. My mouth was open in a soundless scream.

The dentist put her hand on my shoulder and asked “You ok?” How was I supposed to answer her? I mean a truck load of workers had just driven a stake-bed truck loaded with picks, jackhammers and dynamite into my mouth. They were to be followed by a concrete truck and another crew with rakes and screeds. A super sucker vacuum had been attached to my saliva gland and an oxygen mask had been slapped on my face. I looked up through my safety glasses at my attacker and she tried to smile through her own oxygen mask. She again patted my shoulder and instructed the jackhammer to begin drilling.

The chair began to quake and my body began to vibrate. She climbed upon the chair and bore down harder trying to get every ounce of the old filling out of my tooth. You see I had mercury filling in a cracked tooth that needed to come out. Dr. Bettermouth was determined to get every single spec of the offending filler out of that tooth. She instructed the crew to suck and drill and grind until she could take a hook like instrument after the tooth. She pulled and tugged and then would go back to the jackhammer. I would close my eyes and try not to think about the horrors being performed on my tooth.

She then pronounced the tooth cleaned out. She called for the concrete truck and they backed up and dumped a load into the tooth. Then she went after the white amalgam with the zeal of a master craftsman. She pushed and pulled and shaped and formed until she had it just perfect. I lay with my eyes closed not wishing to watch the various instruments being inserted into my small mouth. Hey just because I talk a lot doesn’t mean I have a big mouth, it’s actually quiet petite. Finally after sanding and scraping the filling was in place and I was unhooked, unfettered and unsuctioned.

I sat up and put my hand to my face and felt the skin and tissue sliding down my face. I tried to talk but all that came out was “thankabu. Candibagobanow?” In my head I thought oh shit I sound like that kid, Mushmouth, from the Fat Albert Show. I went to the front and paid my life savings to the clerk and turned to go. Just as I turned I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I was hideous! I was frightening! The whole left side of my face was slowly but surely going to slide right down on the floor in a puddle and I was going to have to scrap it up and super glue it back on.

I walked out the door and passed several workers shoveling snow. They looked at horridness and then quickly looked away averting their eyes hoping not to engage me.
I walked on to more of the same type of stares and quick aversions. It was then I noticed my limp that I had picked up. My left butt cheek had been clinched so tight that my leg had fallen asleep and wasn’t working right. Then I realized I had my hand drawn up beside me in the shape of a claw. I looked around at the people sneaking pathetic peeks at me. Then I announced in my Mushmouth voice “Imba notba ambinal! Imba humbabeana!” and with that I walked away dragging my foot and wiping the slobber from my mouth.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Trooper Bob Answers the Tough Questions

Thank you all for your questions to Trooper Bob. He printed them out and then he put them under his pillow and slept on them. Then he put them in his back pocket and thought about them some more. Then he went out in his shop and built a few boot tables and a couple of bird houses and thought about them some more. Then he went in the house ate a bowl of venison chili and thought about them some more. Trooper Bob is a very introspective man.

Finally he had his answers. Ok really he remembered he stuck them in his back pocket and figured he better answer them or I would be nagging him to answer them. I would nag him like I used to when I was little. My little 6 year-old Gladys self would say “Daddy, do you know what time it is?” or “Daddy what is the difference between a girl flea and a boy flea?” And Daddy, can I have a Popsicle? Can I have a quarter to get a Popsicle? Can you drive me to the store to buy the Popsicle? Can you unwrap my Popsicle? Will you get the stain out of my white blouse from the Popsicle? Can I go to Kelly’s house? Can Kelly stay over? Can I go to the movies? Can I? Will you? Did you know? Why not? Why? Daddy was I really found under a rock? Daddy, am I really going to get hit by a meteor? You get the idea.

So he picked up his trusty cell phone and called me. “Gladys get your pencil and paper ready because I’m gonna answer those questions.”

So without further flubber from me here are the answers to the tough questions.

1. Terri asked
I want to know if Trooper Bob ever stopped someone for speeding and the offender used the old, "I have diarrhea and was trying to get home before I sh*t my pants" excuse.I have always wondered if that would get you out of a speeding ticket.

Trooper Bob Answers:

Well Terri, my answer is yes lots of times. Men used the “I got to shit” excuse and well most women used the “I just started my period excuse”. Now I gotta tell you I was always a little more leery of the period one than the about to crap my pants one. Then there was this one time back in the early nineteen and sixty-one when I was down south of San Antonio sitting off of Highway 281. It was a nice day and there wasn’t much traffic when out of nowhere came this Lincoln flying down the road like a bat out of hell. I pulled out and caught up with the car turned on my lights and siren (remember to say it SIGH REEN). The big car pulled over and I got out adjusted my hat grabbed my ticket book and approached the vehicle. About the time I got up even with the back door the front door flew open and a woman in a real nice outfit jumped out. She said “Officer, I have got to go to the bathroom really bad. Can’t you just let me go?” I assessed the situation and felt it was just a ploy to get out of a ticket and said “Well Ma’am if you needed to go so badly why you didn’t stop at that Texaco Station about a mile back?” The lady looked at me in disgust and said “Because those bathrooms are filthy. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one. Now you need to let me go because I really need to go to the bathroom.” I looked at the woman and decided to call her bluff. “Mrs. Astor if you need to go so bad then I suggest you go behind them bushes over there.” I pointed at the open field with a few sparse bushes on it just past the bar ditch and behind a three strand barbed wire fence. The woman looked at me and said “Well, I need to shit.” I said “Ok, leave me your license and I’ll write your ticket up for you while you go.” The woman grabbed her purse gave me her license and then tromped off into the field in her nice outfit and high heeled shoes. I wrote up her ticket and waited and sure enough in a few minutes she came traipsing back out of the field and stomped up to me. “I’m going to call your commanding officer!” she screamed “You made me shit my pants.” I gave her the ticket and said “Gosh, I’m awful sorry about that maybe next time you’ll stop at the Texaco.” She grabbed the ticket and was gone.

A few days later the Captain called me in his office and read me the letter she wrote. He asked if it was true and I said yes and told him the circumstances. He listened and said alright sounds like it was all legit. Then as I was turning to go he said “Hey Bob, you might want to keep this with you.” And tossed me a roll of toilet paper.

2. Blue Violet asked

I wonder if turning on the tears ever works or if it just ticks Trooper Bob off.

Trooper Bob Answers:

Violet what a pretty name. No crying didn’t tick me off. I kinda took it on a case by case basis. I mean some people were in serious distress for one reason or another. Like someone who just lost their spouse or family member or broke up with their boyfriend. Now if I thought they were just turnin on the tears to get out of a ticket I wouldn’t let them get by with it. If they were mentally and emotionally distressed I would cut em some slack.

3. LaGirl at asked:

Does he hand out more tickets on days that he's had a quarrel with the wife? Does he have a quota to meet for the day/week/month, etc.

Trooper Bob Answers:

La if I handed out more tickets when I quarreled with my wife I would have burned through ticket books. So the answer is no. You got to just leave all that behind when you go on duty. You put it on hold and take it up at a later date.

We didn’t have quotas not on the Texas Highway Patrol. We were trusted to do our jobs and use out discretion. They didn’t require us to have a certain number of tickets or revenue. That being said we also didn’t have a bent to give anybody a ticket. We would rather you not get a ticket and if you showed an honest misunderstanding. Heck I don't like getting them myself.

4. Girly Stuff at asked:

Did you ever have a close call? What did that feel like?

Trooper Bob Answers:

Girly I have had many close calls. Some more impacting than others. The one that stands out in my mind was one night when I had a drunk driver pulled over on the side of the interstate about 2:00 one morning. I had approached the car on the driver’s side and was talking to the driver. Another drunk driver came along and must have been drawn to the flashing lights on my car like a moth to flame because he grazed the patrol car and then caught me between his car and the car I had pulled over. It drug me along the stopped car and literally peeled my gun and gun belt off of me then took the review mirror off the side of the car. It took me a while to recover from that one and I had to use the roll of toilet paper the captain gave me.
Disclaimer: I have never heard this story and now am even more grateful that I still have my daddy.

5. Renovation Therapy asked:

Trooper Bob - What's the grace speed in a 65mph area? Say, if the driver's doing 72, do you let them pass on and only race after the 75, 78, 80+ mph folks?

Trooper Bob Answers:

We don’t have a grace speed in Texas. That again is left up to the discretion of the officer. Is the speeding car driving recklessly or dangerously. What is the weather, the traffic the attitude of the driver? Now if you are in the right hand lane speeding along at 75 and the speed limit is 70 and a car passes you going 90 I’m going after the other guy just for the fun of it. But in Texas you can get a ticket for going 1 mile over the speed limit and with the new radar there really isn’t much you can do about fighting it.

6. Katherine Aucoin asked

What was the funniest traffic stop you ever had?

Trooper Bob Answers:

Well, Kat I have had too many to count but one that stands out in my mind is the night I stopped a man and his dog. You see this was again south of San Antonio, Texas and it was a hot night with no wind. I was out close to the Mitchell lakes. The Mitchell lakes were the open sewer sludge ponds or better known as the shit ponds. The smell out there would literally take your breath away it stunk so badly. So I pull this old boy over and he rolls down his window. In the back seat hanging over the front seat is a big old German Sheppard dog. The man rolls down his window and kinda sniffs and turns around and slaps the dog and says “Gawdamit Rex! I done told you to stop farting.” Well I just about fell out laughing. I said “Sir I don’t think that was your dog. I think you need to roll down your window and smell outside.” He did and then he wrinkled up his nose and turned a little green and said “What the hell is that smell?” I told him it was the sewer ponds and that it always smelled like that. Then he turned around loved on the big old dog and said “Oh gawsh Rex I’m sorry I hit you, but your farts smell just like that sewer pond.” Yeah I let him go with a warning.

And finally

Queen Goob at asked:

Questions for Trooper Bob:
1. What cannot be seen, cannot be felt, cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
2. Who is cooler - me or my brother?
3. Who will win Super Bowl XLIII?
4. Why should you never mention the number 288 in front of anyone?
Thanks Bob!

Trooper Bob Answers:

What the hell kind of question is that? Can not be seen, can not be felt, can not be heard and can not be smelt? Burgeous Heslep is that you? Are you messing with me?

2. Your brother is definitely cooler.

3. Who will win the Super Bowl? Well it sure as hell won’t be the Dallas Cowboys.

4. Why SHOULD you mention the number 288 in front of anyone? What should you do mention it behind them?

Thanks everybody for asking these questions and reading the stories Gladys has taken to writing down for me. You see I have a bazillion of them and the older I get the more afraid she is that they will just go away. So I’ll keep telling them as long as she keeps writing them. Y’all stay save now ya hear!
Hello everyone. It's Gladys. Now here is the deal you can ask Trooper Bob questions on any Trooper Bob post. I will compile them and ask him the tough questions and post them here when we get enough of them. So come on don't be shy cause he certainly isn't.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Do you know what twenty-five dollars in quarters gets you? Well if you are into gambling it would get you about five minutes on a slot machine. Only they don’t use quarters anymore do they. They use those cards that you stick in the machine and if and when you win they play a sound track of the plunk, plunk, plunk falling into the tray. What’s the point? I mean if you can’t scoop the quarters into the bucket and walk around sticking a quarter in this machine or that machine why go through the exercise. My mother was the slot machine queen. She was incredible. I can not tell you how many times I have sat down at a machine with her when she stuck a couple of dollars in and the next thing you know bells were sounding, lights were flashing and she had won anywhere from five hundred to five thousand dollars. She had the touch. She had the style and grace and she had a method, a theory, a contrivance. She had the Voodoo that you do when you do that Voodoo that you do.
Meme didn’t start gambling until the last decade of her life. I have mentioned before that she worked eighty plus hours a week as a nurse administrator of a large hospital. She kept an immaculate house and I think she slept thirty minutes a night. She was a go getter. She and her group of friends who had deemed themselves “The Old Broads” would carpool the 6 hours to the casinos and they would gamble for three days. They would sleep very little and play the slots, the video poker machines or black jack for 72 hours straight. They would then pack up their winnings or lament their losses and drive home to work another long week.

On one of my first gambling outings I went with the “Old Broads” armed with about $50 in quarters. I entered the smoke filled casino wide eyed and ready. My mother pulled me by the hand to a big machine with the words Double Double Diamonds Deluxe on the face.
I stood there looking around for one that looked ready to spit out a bucket or two of quarters. Then I heard a whoop and I turned to look. The bells were sounding, the lights were flashing and my mother had a smile bigger than Dallas on her face. “How much did you win” I screamed while jumping up in down clapping my hands? My mom all smiles screamed back above the noise “I don’t know!” We waited for the chink, chink, chink of the change to fall out of the machine but nothing came. We looked at each other and looked around at the people crowded around asking what she won but no change girl appeared. Finally a floor boss came over and told us it would be just a moment that the winnings were so much they would have to write her a check. Again we looked at each other and screamed, still not having a clue what she had just won. Then the floor boss told her she had just won three thousand dollars. He then took her information and went off to write her a check. The slot machine clerk re-set her machine and walked off. My mother stuck a twenty in the same machine and started to pull the handle. “Momma, I don’t think that machine is gonna payout again. I mean it just gave you three thousand dollars. Maybe we should play somewhere else.” Meme with her mad voodoo skills and her inner voice looked at me and said “Nope, it’s going to pay me again.” Just as she said that and about $5.00 into the play the lights started flashing and the bells started clanging. I stared at the machine in complete disbelieve. She had hit the exact same thing she hit the first time! It was another three thousand dollars. That was it I was done. It was time to take the money and go home but not Meme she was just getting started.

My mother again collected her winnings and deemed that machine done. We moved to another bank of machines called the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now on this game the machine goes haywire here and there and eventually may spin five or six times after the initial spin. It’s a little nerve wracking but hey it’s gambling it’s supposed to be. Next to my mother sat an older woman who looked to be in her late eighties. She was playing one quarter at a time and before she pulled the handle she would rub her hands over the screen and say some words. She would then pull her hand back snap her fingers and pull the handle. My mother watched for a moment and then asked the woman “Would you mind doing that to my machine?” The elderly woman smiled a toothless smile and performed her little ritual on my mother’s machine. Meme pulled the handle and the Chili Peppers danced around and around and then they lined up all in a row. Then they took off again and did this five times which meant she just won five times whatever the winnings were. The lights flashed, the bells clanged and the elderly woman was ecstatic. My mother fed a twenty into the woman’s machine and told her “You play this one.” The Voodoo woman grinned even bigger, her whole face became one big excited smile as she performed her ritual and did a little dance before she pulled the handle. Then the Chili Peppers whirled and twirled and then one by one they came to rest next to each other all lined up like Chili Pepper soldiers. Then they took off again to do the same three more times. The old woman screamed and danced around like a teenaged cheerleader. The floor boss was standing next to my mother when this happened and he laughed and asked my mother if she wanted to put both winnings in one check. My mother smiled at the floor boss and said “oh no! that is HER winnings” as she pointed to the voodoo queen. The voodoo woman stopped and looked at my mother and said “Oh no, honey I can’t take this. This is yours. It was your money it was won on.” Meme smiled and said “Yes, but it was you who got my machine to win and you are the one who pulled the handle.” The voodoo queen hugged my mother and with a tear in her eye thanked her. My mother told her to put that money away and not gamble it just keep playing the money in her bucket. The voodoo queen was glued to my mother. She did what Meme did. The two voodoo women using their mad voodoo skills on the slot machines played on. Meme would tell her “Okay it’s time to play now” and the Voodoo Queen would perform her ritual and pull the handle. She didn’t have any more big winnings but she didn’t lose either. Eventually it was time for her to go as her tour bus was leaving. She hugged Meme thanked her from the bottom of her heart and said “I can have heat now” then she was gone.

I went gambling with my mother every chance I got. I went not because I like to gamble in fact I hate it. I mean if I put money in a machine I want something back. Tadpole says if she puts money in a machine the very least it should spit out is chocolate or shoes and I agree. I went because my mother loved it. We would laugh and talk and act stupid. She would talk to everybody around her and socialize while drinking one cup of coffee after another. She would explain to those who would listen “Don’t play until the quarter of the hour. You see they pay out on the quarter hour.” People would look at her and smile and think to themselves “yeah right crazy woman.” What they didn’t do is watch and learn because she won on the quarter hour.
I digress back to the twenty-five dollars in quarters. I didn’t take it gambling. I did a mountain of laundry. I washed and dried and fluffed and folded twenty-five dollars worth of laundry. I would have rather gone gambling with my mother.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Don't Look Ethel!

I have decided I’m going to sell ad space on my blog for the Super bowl. No really. I saw a news story that said in 2007 a 30 second ad space for the Super bowl cost 2.5 million. In 2008 it went up to 2.8 million and for 2009 it is 3.0 million dollars. THAT IS DOLLARS people not Pesos, not Rubles not even clams that is U.S. Dollars. I am thinking that I could sell ad space on my blog and then watch the super bowl. I could do kind of like the roving reporter thing. You know like in the Ray Stevens song “The Streak”? Don’t look Ethel!

Big name brands that don’t have the money to spend on big time advertising like General Motors and Bank of America could run their spots on my blog for a much reduced rate. Shoot I could even come up with some ads myself. Like for G.M. I could show how homeless people could now live in the left over SUV’s that no body is buying.
The announcer would come on and say “G.M. part of the solution not the problem.”

I mean look at that room. You could recline the seats for beds. Heck they come with 14 TVs, Ipod hook-ups some have mini fridges in them. Why not they cost more than my first house.

See I could be on Mad Men. I could be a copy writer just like Peg. Would I get to wear those great clothes and drink lots of booze? The only thing I couldn’t do is be around all that cigarette smoke. Ok I have to admit I watch this show because of the clothes.

I digress. I could sell this ad space and then instead of paying big bucks to the major networks they would pay me. See how great that works out. Then when it’s time for the half time show instead of showing some lame half-time production with Sting or Madonna or some unknown showing their left breast I would just show really funny commercials. Everybody wins. I mean think about it all these big time players are crying broke and asking for a federal bail out. Do they use their 17 billion to pay for a couple of commercials during the Super bowl or do they save billions and pay me? Bank of America could advertise for 1/1000 of the cost of network time. Remember a couple of years ago when one of the best commercials was some cowboys herding cats for some internet company that no one remembers. Well I would make sure everyone remembered because I would continually link back to the advertisement.

So come on all you ailing big companies advertise with Gladys. She will save you money. She will save you time and you won’t even have to explain to Uncle Sam why you spent so much of the bail out money on advertising.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Big Bertha Got V.D.

Do you think I might use my mouse pad a bit much?

Big Bertha, my H.P. 8000 17” laptop, got sick. Really sick. She must have been out floozy-ing around because she got a virus.

This is Big Bertha. She is 18 inches long and weighs 8.4 pounds.

It was a bad virus too. She was corrupted and not functioning properly. She was well let’s just say not herself. Now I’ve mentioned before that I have Big Bertha and then I have Mini Bennie. Mini Bennie is my little Acer Aspiro lap-top

This is Bennie he weighs 2.1 pounds and is 8.5 inches long.

that Kahuna bought me after I had to run through the Salt Lake City Airport with Big Bertha strapped to my back in a back pack and had some GINORMOUS man try to cram his 200 pound suitcase on top of my laptop. Click here and read about it.

This is Bennie sitting on top of Bertha. Gosh I hope she didn't infect him.

Anyway I have been writing on Bennie while Bertha has been ailing. Techman brought his Doctor’s bag and pulled out his stethoscope and his tongue depressors and found out what was causing Bertha’s regurgitation of a C++ runtime error and the fatal error message fever. He stripped Bertha down to the bare bones and then started rebuilding her just like they did the Bionic Woman. He announced that Bertha had V.D., virtual death, but he resuscitated her. Then he had to hop a plane and travel back to the land of Oz and Oprah. Only Bertha wasn’t Bertha. She didn’t have any programs on her and the version of Microsoft Office that he left me was ancient. It was from all the way back in 2002. I know I gasp too when I saw it. I ran after the plane yelling to TM saying “But Techman, what shall I do? Where shall I go?” Ok that was Scarlett and Rhett and not me but that’s how I felt. Anyway I went back home dejected and depressed but Techman had told me that it wasn’t too difficult to load.

Do you think they had enough room in the airplane for all this stuff?

Here is techman advising me.

So I cradled Bertha in my arms and sat her lovingly on the table to perform the uploadoscopy. I gently ejected her c.d. drive and inserted the disc. I carefully and gently pushed it back in as I held my breath hoping beyond hope this would make her right again. I heard her whir and then she wheezed. I sat patiently by her side while she ran through the files reading and absorbing all the knowledge she needed to read my scribble scrabble that I had saved on my external E-book. I was anxious as I heard the disc slow and then the upload wizard asks me if I was finished. How was I supposed to know? I mean I wasn’t the one with V.D. I wasn’t the one who had just been forced into amnesia and had all my memory dumped elsewhere. I was just the dummy pushing the buttons. Shouldn’t Bertha know if she were finished or not? So with great trepidation and the knowledge that Techman was on a plane 30,000 feet in the air and 1500 miles away from here I said “yes”.

Yeah Microsoft evidently wants you to switch to Vista because they laugh like hyenias when you tell them you have XP 2002.

Things seemed alright. Bertha seemed normal except she didn’t have all my secrets, my images, my blathering blitherings back in her brain yet. She still didn’t seem quite the same. She seemed to have aged. Her screen looked different. She looked as if she had a bad face lift and instead of making her a newer cleaner version she just looked antiquated. You see she had Windows XP 2003 before and Office 2003 now she had 2002 and well it just didn’t seem right. Aren’t you supposed to come out of an upload upgraded? Shouldn’t she have been sleeker and faster? Shouldn’t she have been at least the same? I lamented. I cried “WHY? WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?” I wept “Was it looking at vintage shoes that did this to her? Was it the hours I researched antique cars? What did I do to cause this?” I got no answer. Bertha was too busy living in 2002. She was still in post 9-11 shock. She was too busy wondering who Tony Soprano was going to whack and which vampire butt Buffy was going to kick. She just wasn’t up to snuff. Why when someone isn’t feeling well do they say they ‘aren’t up to snuff’? I mean is snuff all that great? I think it’s pretty gross. Maybe that was Bertha’s problem, she had too much snuff.

Then I got another error message. What was this? Was Bertha having a relapse? Did TM not get all the V.D.? Was it the virus of which you are never rid? Bertha kept telling me that I had to authenticate my Windows. She told me this every time I opened her and several times while she was sitting thinking she would spit this message up on the screen. I don’t even want to tell you what she said when I tried to open some files that were in Outlook 2003. She was pissed. She was nasty. She was like a menopausal woman being asked for sex. No way, no how no siree, she was NOT going to even attempt to open up files that in her mind haven’t happened yet. Not compatible is what she said. I tried to authenticate her. I put in the number that was on the package. I typed in all 25 characters. I did it all in capital letters then when that didn’t work I tried lower case. I did it over and over again. I went on the Microsoft Website and read what to do and followed the instructions to the letter. Nothing seemed to work and that message kept screaming at me from the lower right hand corner of my screen. Then the message got BIGGER and told me that I only had 27 more attempts to authenticate or they would terminate my program. “NO!” I screamed.

So I did the only I knew to do I called Bill Gates. Okay, not him personally but the number on Microsoft help page. It rang once then again and again then finally a recording came on the line and told me someone would be with me shortly. I waited listening to “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” singing along when I realized the music was gone and there was breathing on the other end. “Hello?” I started. “Headoh” I heard in retort. “Is this tech support?” I queried. “Eeyas” was the return. “With whom am I speaking?” I asked. “Dis is Humbedumbe, ow me I hep shu?” the voice said. “Uh?” I asked. Then there was silence. I tried again “I’m sorry we must have a bad connection. What did you say your name was?” Again the voice said only much slower “Dis is Humbedumbe, ow me I hep shu?” I’m at a loss. I have no idea what this persons name is or what they just asked me so I charge on speaking just as slowly “um, I had to dump everything off of my computer and I am trying to reinstall Windows. Only I keep getting an error message telling me my Key Code isn’t correct.” There was silence then a deep breath “Otay, I keen hep shu wid dat” the voice answered. The voice instructed me to go the ‘Activate Key Code’ screen. As I have told you before I do as I am instructed and go to the page. “Ok Humpteedumptee I’m at the ‘Activate Key Code’ page now what do I do?” I say. “No, no me ame id Humbedumbe. New tip id de noomber on de pikadge of de siftwere” the voice said. I sat there a moment trying to figure out what language this voice was speaking. I gave up and said “Did you tell me to type in the Key Code Number from the Microsoft package?” “Des shu tip in di noomber” the voice replied. I tipped, I mean typed in the number and nothing happened. I did this twice and told the voice as I did it. “I nid to sneed to shu to de Ki Cod doptment. Vil shu held peas?” Again the little part of my brain that thinks it has an aptitude for foreign language but really doesn’t tried to translate. Finally I gave up and just said “OK?” I mean either I just agreed to marry some Nigerian Prince who has millions of dollars in a Nigerian bank that he will share with me or I just said yes I’ll carry I bomb. Either way I got the idea that I was being sent to another department.

Suddenly the Righteous Brothers had Lost That Loving Feeling and I again was on hold singing along. “Headoh, dis is Bumbleydumbly, ow meh I hips shu?” The new voice said. “Um, hi I’m holding for tech support” I said with trepidation. “I kin hip shu” the voice assured me. So I charged on and spewed my story about dumping my computer and trying to reinstall Windows. “Wit is do de noombers beno de cold see?” the voice prompted me. “Do what?” I asked not having a clue what the voice had just asked. Silence then a deep breath. They must teach them that when they teach them tech support. If the dumb American can’t understand you breath really deep then speak v e r y s l o w l y. “De id noomber oondah de cold. Tip dem id de bexes” the voice repeated as if speaking to a four year old having a tantrum. “You want me to type the numbers under the Key Code into the boxes on the screen?” “Yed!” the voice exclaimed. Again I did as the voice told me and nothing happened. I typed them several more times to no avail. The voice then advised me “Shu nid to spick wid de otencaltion doptment. Vil shu hild peas?” Obviously when Bertha lost her memory I lost the ability to understand what people are saying. I know I called a number in the United States. It was a number located in Washington state. Either the people in Washington have a really funky accent or I am losing my cognitive ability to recognize the spoken word. So I do what we all do I said “Otay”. I mean if you start talking like them then maybe you can understand them.

“Tall and tan and young and lovely the girl from Ipanema goes walking…” played in my ear as I again sing along “and when she passes, each one she passes goes Ahh…” Just as I sing the ‘ahhh’ I hear “Headoh?” “Ahh, uh, Hello. I need some help re-installing Windows. I had to dump my programs because of a nasty virus and I can’t get the Key Code to work so I can authenticate my Windows program and I have talked to 3 other people and they can’t get it to work. Can you help me?” “Headoh. Hew mi E hip shu?” the new voice asked. WHAT? Didn’t you just hear the 5 minute run-on sentence I just rushed through? Has no one told you that I’m the dumb hick on the phone trying to figure out how to get my product key code to work? Come on people give me just a little bit of a break here. I am computer illiterate. I am a virtual imbecile. I took a deep breath and repeated my long run-on sentence. The voice took a really deep breath and said “Held peas.”

I waited expecting to hear another Burt Bacharach or Frank Sinatra tune when I realized all I heard was a dial tone. Bill Gates had hung up on me. I was crushed. I mean he seems like such a nice guy but he hung up on me. Okay it wasn’t Bill unless he has developed a strange accent; but still he is Mr. Microsoft. I fild didjected, I mean felt dejected. I was frustrated. I looked at Bertha and laid my hand on her humming heap of plastic and chips and said “don’t worry old girl. I will get you better as God is my witness I will find a way to put in your key code.” I went back to the Microsoft website and read and then I read some more. Then I did what we all do. I started pressing buttons. I clicked ‘NEXT’ and ‘NEXT’ and then it told me that my product code might be on the bottom of my computer. I gently turned Bertha over and got her product code. I inserted it in the box and all of a sudden it was as if I had given her a massive dose of Penicillin. She was better. She was beginning look like her old self. Then I stroked her and leaned over and whispered “Bertha, I’m going to buy you a present. I’m going to get you updated all the way to 2007.” I heard her sigh and a beautiful sunset picture appeared on her screen saver.

I picked up the phone and called my Visa card to make sure I had plenty of room to upgrade Bertha. A recording answered and told me to put in my credit card number. I did as I was told and then a voice came on the line and said “headoh? Hew mi E hip shu?”