Friday, July 29, 2005

DMV or Diarrheal Mahatma Voodoo

Only in America could a severely flatulent white woman, a nice gentleman from India, and his Haitian wife meet in the line at a Department of Motor Vehicles office, and bond. Still suffering The War of the Bowels, I was feelin' mighty poorly, and the last thing I EVER want to do, (much less when I am suffering from diarrhea) is go to the DMV. But the new Neon had to have the taxes paid and the license purchased, because Husband must commute from the farm through a nearby small town, and the fine upstanding officers who may read this so I am not about to say anything bad about them, do tend to look for those minor infractions like one mile over the speed limit, or two minutes past the expiration of your tags. So, while Husband was sympathetic to my plight, he requested that if it were humanly possible, he wanted me to go take care of the nasty business. And nasty it was. I packed up my troubles (and Kaopectate) in my ol' kit bag (along with all of the necessary paperwork) and biled, biled, biled. The line snaked around in a zigzag pattern, disguising how long it really was. Sneaky bastards. An exotic couple were last in line when I entered the building, and were muttering to one another in accented English, about the pitiful lack of available office workers and the wife's desire to put a hex on the clerks who disappeared through a side door never to be seen again. I stepped into the space behind them and promptly passed gas. They turned, I blushed, and apologized. It was the first of many such moments. My gut ached and cramped. The line never seemed to move forward, but other weary applicants lengthened the queue. The couple in front of me turned again when an involuntary moan escaped my lips. "You sound berry bad," the kindly gentleman from India said. I nodded. Motioning to the slow-moving line and group of folks who continued to pour into the building, he asked, "is it always this crowded?" You know you're in a bad situation when a Calcutta native thinks the place is crowded. I nodded again, afraid to open my mouth, fearing a sulfurous belch might escape and combust, the room was so hot. An old man several spaces ahead of us was pretty clever. He had retrieved a chair from the hallway, and sat in it in line. Every so often, he would abruptly stand up and spout random epitaphs to no one in particular. After his pronouncement, he would sit back down, and doze off for a while. I conversed with the couple, who explained they had met in a community college class. They were very nice, and held my spot for me when I felt something heavier than gas about to escape, and dashed to the toilet. When the old man took his turn with the clerk, the nice gentleman from India retrieved his chair for me. Finally, I was able to shuffle off to beefalo. That is not a typo, it is a product sold at my next stop, the nearby meat store. It a cross between beef cattle and buffalo, high in protein, low in fat, and amusing to imagine being conceived. I drive past the buffalo ranch if I take the gravel road into town, and they are magnificent beasts to behold, but for some reason, picturing one of them fornicating with Elsie the cow, just makes me giggle. I feel a little better today, and plan to sit back and chill, 'cause it's my birthday! Best wishes to all who read!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Week that Wreaked

OK, Ordinarily, I am so upbeat and perky I make some people want to puke. This week however, 'twas I doing the puking, as Fate stood back with a .45 and shot b-i-g holes in my Perky bucket, draining it faster than I could patch them. First was the enormous expense involved with getting repairs done to the car that the salesman-who-is-lucky-I'm-too-sick-to-go-kill, said was in excellent condition and had no major flaws. Hmmm.....to me, needing hundreds of dollars worth of brake AND suspension work is not flawless, and I have a pretty lax judgement meter for such things. So the brake work was done Monday, and upon picking up the car, we were informed that much more work was required to make it safe and remove its shimmy (grumpy thought to self regarding salesman-whose-shimmy-should-be removed) Of course, shimmy-removal would require additional parts, which had to be ordered from the planet Expensicus, and be manufactured from a solid block of Unobtainium. Be here Wednesday. Stress rubbed its grimy, gnarled fingers together in glee, deep within my bowels, and saw an opportune time to invite some viral friends over to party. At the stroke of midnight Wednesday, they lit the place up, and I doubled over in agony; a position I have maintained ever since. Groaning, cramping, and running a high fever, I got Husband and his needs-more-work Neon to the mechanic and returned home to spend time admiring the bathroom from various angles, either hunched over or squatting upon the toilet. Thursday there was little improvement in my condition, but duty called in various forms. Middle Son was to travel to the Great White North. Well, the Great Lake North, as he is going to witness his best friend graduate from the Naval Academy in Great Lake, Illinois, just outside Chicago, which shouldn't be possible, because they can't really be old enough for military service. Sigh. Sent him on his merry way, leaving me feeling worn and forlorn. Had fallen behind on packaging orders from online sales, so between fits of pooping and puking, I wrapped parcels, until I ran out of materials. Had to go on the Great Box Hunt. Poured fevered body into blazing hot car, as Stress conspired with Weather for hottest-day-yet, and started out towards office supply store. Didn't make it. Flat-tar, despite receiving a blast of cool air on the way, screamed in protest and gave up. Perhaps it was the suction from the melting asphalt roadway, but the bead burst, and my trip was interrupted with "whumpata, whumpata, whumpata". I know of no situation where that is a good sound. Pulled into Walmart Tire and Lube, which was blessedly nearby, so the poor soul who was stuck out in the blazing sun taking oil change tickets could have a moment of comic relief by asking me what I needed. I motioned to the shredded remains of the tire, and requested a replacement. "Gwana bay wall," he muttered. Fortunately, I speak Redneck, and I nodded acknowledgement of the long wait he was implying. I went inside, spoke to the clerk about purchasing a replacement tire, was advised of the four-hour waiting list, then trudged to the ladies room to barf. I spent a fair amount of time in the ladies room, barfing and pooping, wondering how there could be anything left in my abdomen to come out either end, and being amazed when there was still more. A couple of hours into the wait, hollow now from emptying my intestinal tract and sweat glands, I returned to the automotive department, to collapse onto the wire mesh settee. People came and went, glancing at me with pity, some kindly inquiring about my condition, either out of genuine concern, or fear that they awaited the same fate, since it looked like I could be carnage of the wait. I became one with the wire mesh settee, eyes glazed and dull, occasionally attempting to focus on the security camera's flickering images of the vehicles ahead of mine. At last, I saw movement..... oh praise God, they are pulling Bentra Sentra in! The clerk told me they were going to have me finished up before long, and I could see the relief on his face, since funerals are one of the few services not yet available at Walmart, and he looked pretty sure I was going to die soon. At last, I paid the bill, staggered out into the dusk, drove home and disintegrated into a blubbering blob and went to bed. Friday I sent out the orders, and came home to re-hydrate. I spent much of yesterday in bed, sleeping and sucking down massive quantities of fluids. The window air conditioners struggled valiantly against the 100+ temperatures, but the indoor thermometer read 87 degrees at 10 PM. I ran a tub of cool water and floated in it dreamily until I was a blonde prune, at last dragging my dripping body onto the mattress where I remained until moments ago. I will be welding up the Perky bucket and replenishing it with joviality and unrelenting optimism, so Fate, you'll just have to go take target practice somewhere else. It was a worthy effort, and I salute you. {{Raises jigger of Pepto-Bismol, and nods}}

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

While my flat-tar gently weeps

Was I a car killer in a past life? Some sort of mass machine murderer? What have I done to make every mechanical thing on the planet despise me so? The Bentra Sentra, with its sadly smashed-in side, courtesy of French Fry Boy, just ain't been right since he decided to sling it in front of another moving vehicle. Something about pushing it sideways down the road tends to square the tires (or in my native hillbilly language, "tars"). Plus he is very, very bad with curbs. I think he sees them more as, "guidelines" of how far off the roadway to park. He usually scrapes and/or jumps them. So the sad lil' Sentra has a smashed in side, squared tires and bent wheel rims. Bent wheel rims are bad.... very, very bad. Tires recognize their deformity, and struggle vainly to distance themselves (as if they're any better - they're nearly bald for cryin' out loud - and squared, don't forget squared.) Apparently, the automobiles gossiped in the driveway, and Bentra Sentra complained to shiny new Neon about its sad and sorry state. Neon felt magnanimous (don't hate me because I'm beautiful) and reacted with empathetic brake shimmy. Husband's car had to be taken in to the shop. Both rotors would have to be replaced, but the mechanics praised its attractiveness. Neon blushed modestly. Upon returning to mechanic to retrieve Neon, Husband got out of passenger seat of Bentra Sentra, glanced down, and said, "Hey look at this" (which is never a good sign). My front passenger tire, which has been filled with fix-a-flat so many times it probably contains more goo than air, was spewing a small stream of frothy pink gunk out, next to one of the more severe dents in the wheel rim. As the stream dribbled down the tire, it formed a large teardrop shape on the rapidly flattening tire. We went in and signed our souls away to retrieve the Dazzling Dodge, while poor lil' Bentra Sentra sat in the sun, oozing and flattening. I asked one of the mechanics if they could give it a little air to get me home. They told me it was going to need a new wheel. I requested the name of a fine, upstanding salvage dealer who could offer me the most reasonable price. "Where can I get one cheap?" The owner came over, and took a look at BentRim, and said, (knowing we'd just signed our souls over to him) "Hang on a minute, I think I can bang it out a bit, maybe tide you over for a while." He proceeded to use a very large hammer to whack mightily on BentRim. I stood in silent awe. At dawn, it was still holding air, and I mouthed a silent supplication that it will maintain a semi-inflated state until next payday. The-praying-it-rains-dollars-in-Mazoorah Marti

Friday, July 15, 2005

Subaru and Springfield Too

Old rock and roll never dies. It just gets recycled into commercials that make us so sick of a once-beloved song that our ears bleed when we hear it. Subaru is using the tune, "Dust in the Wind" made famous by the rock band Kansas (not my neighboring state, although the state does frequently have dust storms). I used to love this song, now it makes me wince. I hate Subaru for this. I hate other car companies for ruining other great tunes - Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" hawking Cadillacs, Buicks being hyped to Aerosmith's "Dream On"...MAKE IT STOP! If not being recycled by automakers, the artists (?) themselves, recycle themselves. What is it? Did they go through all of the millions they earned? Sigh, probably so. This morning I saw Rick Springfield on Regis and Kelly. He looks like Skeletor from He-Man cartoons. He's still singing, "I Wish That I Had Jesse's Girl". Why? So she could bring you a can of Ensure? I'm old. I admit it. Hell, I'm proud of it. To have gone through everything, done everything, been everything I have, and come out alive and ready to turn 52 on July 29 (cards and gifts graciously accepted LOL) is quite a feat. I cherish my memories of making out, or spouting philosophically, to those songs. It causes me to have muscle spasms when the commercial plays the first few times and I catch myself singing along, only to have my kids say, "Gee mom, how'd you learn the words to the Mitsubishi song so fast?" Please. Write you own jingles. There must be a line of starving jingle writers somewhere - find it. The-still-loves-rock-and-roll-but-not-as-a-marketing-tool Marti

Thursday, July 14, 2005

To Dance, Perchance, to Dream

Oh. My. God. What a Wednesday. Yeah, I know today is Thursday. It's just the lack of sleep that makes me.....what was I saying? Yesterday I went out on the weekly treasure hunt, to scour the garage sales and thrift stores for those incredible finds that could be turned into profits at online sale venues. Children were nestled all snug in their beds, as visions of vid-yo-games danced in their heads. (Sorry, it was the only way to make the syntax work - LOL). Middle Son, who toils at McDonalds, was off for the day, and joy-in-a-box was winging his way. (No you dirty-minded geezers, not THAT). He had ordered a dance pad. Curious readers around the globe ask, "What's that?" He is SERIOUSLY into arcade games like, "Dance, Dance Revolution" , which the webpage says you can make part of your "lifestyle" {OMG I don't HAVE a lifestyle, but I digress, sleep deprivation does that to me, but I haven't told you about that yet because of these damned digressions, sorry} It is like watching Riverdance (Michael Flatley - Lord {which you have to pronounce as "lard"} of the Dance - remember him? (Mother of freaking gawd, I am trying to find his link and his page takes forever to load - oh there's part of it - he has his OWN I.E. toolbar, isn't that a sign of the Apocalypse? Geez, instead of his own toolbar why doesn't he get a webmaster who can build a page that doesn't take the rest of my life to load, oh dear, I am digressing again) Ah, at last the link. Un-digressing now. Middle Son spends hours at arcades, wearing out shoe leather on this thing. Yet there are those who are better, whose names have been placed in the hallowed ranks of "high scorers" {casts evil eye at snickering geezers} which pops up on the screen before and after the mayhem begins. Being a clever and calculating boy/man, he figured the cost of tokens to achieve the greatness level needed to join the hallowed ranks, and decided to purchase a home version, where he could spend hour upon happy hour rattling the rafters. Yesterday, (cue trumpets playing exalted entrance music) it arrived. The Fed-Ex guy probably hates us. It weighs about 50 lbs. It comes in a box that is larger than my first apartment. I returned from sale-ing, to notice the ground shaking as I got out of the car. This is not earthquake country. Entering my home was like going into the funhouse at a carnival (not my beloved-but-cancelled-by-those-wretches-at-HBO TV-program Carnivale', oh gawd I'm doing it again....focus, Marti, focus) The floor seemed to tip and roll, and strange lights and noises were emanating from his quarters. I approached to see him sweating like he was being chased by wolves. On the floor was (cue trumpeters again...I don't care...wake them up, I didn't get any sleep, they can't either)... THE PAD. click to enlarge (Trumpets blare, slightly off-key) To protect the privacy of Middle Son, and the aesthetic sensibilities of viewers, mommy has used her photo program to black out the background of dirty clothes, Krispy Kreme Donut boxes, and Monster Energy Drink cans. click to enlarge He danced. He smiled. He sweat. All into the wee hours of the morn. I attempted several times (vainly, but with increasing degrees of intensity) to request he cease and desist. Each time was met with a charming smile, a sincere-sounding apology, and what he thought was an appropriate period of silence. Then it began again. click to enlarge So that's the tale. I shall plot my revenge when I am more alert, and can fully open both eyes. Beware, my child - The Wrath of Mom approaches. The needs-a-nap-and-a-good-scheme Marti