Category Archives: Guess You Had to Be There
That was the question, and a very good one at that, I had rattlin’ round my brain the morning my husband looked over the back fence and then came back to announce said ‘loo was placed right at the entrance to our back forty.
It’s not really a back forty, it’s only a back quarter. But, back forty sounds so much more farm-y.
Actually, I don’t live anywhere near a farm, and the land behind my house is really two lots we bought a long time ago and they measure a quarter acre.
The land is constantly being used for construction crews to drive across to get to other lots they’re building on, or to stack materials for the same reason.
The port-a-potty was a first, but it was just after the dead body in the yard and it was a holiday weekend, and it was elebenty hunnert degrees at 9:00 a.m. so to say I was not happy is an understatement.
First thing I did was go out back and get the name of the company, their phone number, and the unit’s identifying number so I could call and tell them to get their shitter off my property.
I called before realizing it was July 4th, and got the answering service.
Yes, shitter-rentals has an answering service.
My own doctor doesn’t even have an answering service.
Apparently shitter renting is lucrative.
The lady I spoke to was suitably apologetic and understandably perplexed. She said she’d relay the information to the appropriate people and they’d get back to me on Monday.
I got off the phone just in time to hear a truck out back stopping on my lot.
I ran outside to confront the driver as I could see he had one of the rental company’s logos on the side of his truck.
He spoke no English.
Not. A. Word.
But, he understood my violent hand gestures indicating I wanted the shitter off my property to mean he should get the hell off my property immediately.
He skee-daddled…leaving the shitter behind.
Sigh….great, now all I’d done was scare the shit out of some poor immigrant and he had no place to ‘go’.
Monday rolled around, and (gasp!) no call from the rental company. Not only that, but we’d had a storm and the shitter was lying on its side covering my back driveway and bleeding blue chemicals. It looked mortally wounded.
I called them.
The lady I spoke to was very nice up to the point where I said, “…and I need this thing off my property right now..today, immediately. It got knocked over in the storm and now it’s leaking.”
“Did you request the rental?”
“No, no I didn’t.”
“Oh..well, ma’am we can only move the port-a-potty at the request of the person who rented it.”
“Wait, so you’re saying you come drop a shitter wherever you’re asked to and then when you’re called to point out a mistake in location you refuse to move it.”
“Ma’am, we can’t move it unless you ordered it.”
Right about here is where I lost it.
“Fine.” I fumed, gritting my teeth. “then I’m shoving your shitter into the street and the police will be giving you a call.”
I hung up the phone, furious.
Hubby was standing right there.
“Of course, I didn’t mean we were going to shove it into the street.” I said, noting his alarmed expression. “I don’t want some unsuspecting driver to come along and hit it. Someone could get hurt.”
“That would be…..shitty.” Hubby said, and we both collapsed in laughter.
I went back into the house, leaving him still trying to catch his breath.
A few minutes later hubby came inside, wiping the sweat off his brow.
“Took care of it.” He announced.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I moved it to the property next door.”
I went outside and sure enough through a combination of pushes and rolls, hubby had managed to get it from our yard to the property it probably belonged to.
“Was it heavy?” I asked when I came back in.
“Nope, but you have no idea how badly I wanted someone to drive by just so I could yell, ‘Shitter was full!’ at them as I shoved it over on its side.”
Last week our 2 1/2-yr. old Philips 46″ Flat Screen, LCD, 1080p, 240hz, television went on an acid trip.
We’d turn it on, and after a moment or two, the pictures would go all psychedelic colors and such.
I verified it wasn’t just me seeing it, and concluded that the television had dropped acid.
My husband gave me the side-eye.
“Well, at least that’s what I’d heard it was like.”
He shook his head…his wife may, or may not, have partaken in some 60’s psychedelic culture but that paled in comparison to the fact that his beloved Philips 46″ Flat Screen, LCD, 1080p, 240hz, television now seemed to be on a permanent trip.
“Maybe it’s the cable box,” I said, trying to be helpful, “let’s have a tech come out here and swap them out before we go assuming a television that’s only a couple of years old has gone on the fritz.”
So, we did.
That’s when things went horribly awry.
A young tech, bearing a striking resemblance to every young man I’d ever met in the 60’s (what is with me and the 60’s all of a sudden?), came to the house and powered up the Philips 46″ Flat Screen, LCD, 1080p, 240hz, television, simultaneously oohing and aahhing over hubby’s impressive man-cave interior decorations.
The television powered up, dropped acid, and psychedelic-ishness (it’s a word..now) ensued.
“Yep, it’s probably the HDMI interface on the flux-capacitor.” The tech said, or something like that I’m not technical.
So, the tech went and got a new box and cable and came back in the house, this time with his driver/helper in tow, and proceeded to swap stuff out while the driver/helper oohed and aahhed over hubby’s man-cave.
The task accomplished, the tech hit the power button on the television.
Nothing happened, except the blue standby light flashed.
It appeared, after several attempts, that the last acid trip had been a fatal one.
Our 2 1/2-yr. old Philips 46″ Flat Screen, LCD, 1080p, 240hz, television was dead and gone.
The tech was visibly shaken, and I didn’t know why until he mumbled something about “an incident report”. That sounded ominous, so I asked him what that meant.
“It means that since ‘we’ (as in we the cable company) were the last to touch the television, and it was working when we got here, then ‘we’ will take responsibility for replacing the television.”
“Oh…but…” Hubby shot me ‘the look’ and I stopped.
What I was going to say, though, was I didn’t see how swapping a cable box would kill a television.
But, I’m not technical, and maybe the flux-capacitor is touchier than I thought, so there’s that.
The tech and his helper left shortly thereafter, and I found a repairman to come out that day to see if our 2 1/2-yr. old Philips 46″ Flat Screen, LCD, 1080p, 240hz, television could be saved.
The two repair techs disassembled the back, placed testers on various components, clucked their tongues a lot and proceeded to shake their heads.
It appeared, the older one said, that our worst fears were realized. The television had gone to the big remote in the sky.
The good news was the part that failed, the main board, could be replaced.
There was rejoicing in the kingdom.
Except every television made around the same time as ours must have used the same main board because none were to be had, and no one was making any more. Ever.
“It is the company’s way of forcing you into buying a new television.” The tech added, not helpfully.
So, the television techs left and we proceeded to search online for a replacement television.
Guess what you can’t find anymore?
A Philips 46″ Flat Screen, LCD, 1080p, 240hz, television.
You can get a 48” flat screen, but then it’s LED, not LCD, and it’s 120hz, not 240 hz.
You can get a 240hz, but only in LED, and then it’s a Samsung.
You can get an LCD, but then it’s a ginormous screen and too big for our needs, or it’s a tiny screen and too small for the space.
Searching for hours, only to be disappointed time and again, we finally settled on a 48” Samsung, LED, SMART, television on sale for $799.
And, it was shown to be in stock at our local Best Buy.
Again, there was much rejoicing in the kingdom.
I called the store, and repeated the SKU number for the helpful clerk.
“Oh, the Samsung 48”, right?”
“Yes, the site indicates you have them in stock.”
“Yes, let me check inventory.”
*horrid hold music plays*
“Ma’am?” the clerk said getting back on the line, “we show those to be on backorder.”
“Do you have an expected ship date?”
We had a big Father’s Day barbecue at the awesomesauciness house on Sunday.
(big shout out – late of course – to all you Daddies out there – WOOT!!)
Anyway, oldest daughter, K, is the liberal in the family and not at all cool with guns.
Especially in the hands of her 6-yr. old son, Little J.
Let me explain.
It was an ‘airsoft’ gun. You know the kind that shoots tiny plastic pellets? Yeah, one of those had been given to his 7-yr. old cousin, W, and Little J was beside himself with anticipation and glee at the prospect of shooting some cans out of the trees out back.
Until K stepped in and pitched a hissy fit, “NO 6-yr. old NEEDS TO HAVE A GUN IN THEIR HANDS, I DON’T CARE IF IT IS NOT REAL.”
Big J, (K’s hubby and Little J’s daddy) quickly decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and ate ice cream.
In fact, most of us ate some of the homemade ice cream I’d made for the occasion.
While we were doing that, K went outside and set up the croquet set bent on teaching her son a more genteel way of playing with his cousin, W.
Little J did not get the ‘genteel’ part of the memo, and deciding a croquet mallet required a massive backswing, swung the mallet back in preparation for a shot and made direct contact with W’s eye, leaving an impressive shiner that we assured W the “chicks will dig”…even though, at seven, it’s not a thing for him, he was still gratified to know this.
K applied ice, kept apologizing, and administered many auntie kisses to W.
Big J, seizing the opportunity, took Little J outside where he proceeded to teach him the finer points of aiming an airsoft rifle at a non-human target and plinking the hell out of it.
Much rejoicing ensued, and K sat inside tight-lipped, until I said this…
“So, to recap here, K, it appears that whilst trying to protect the kids from the big, bad, gun you did, in fact, cause injury to W by placing a croquet mallet in the hands of a 6-yr. old that sees everything as a weapon.”
“And, has anyone been hurt by the airsoft gun?”
“I rest my case.”
I missed the first few texts, because it was late and you know, ninjas…
“Are we just going to stay in this awkward place, where we don’t talk ever?”
“Please talk to me.”
“I miss u.”
And that’s when I picked up my phone off the charger and realized I had suddenly become a teenage boy named ‘Alec’.
At first I giggled, and briefly contemplated being ‘Alec’ for the lovelorn, but then decided I’m not mean enough, so I picked up the conversation with…
“Sorry, wrong number”
“Cut it out Alec”
“Wait, is this seriously the wrong number?”
“No problem. Good luck”
“Alec, stop it”
“Ashley gave me ur number and ur just tricking me”
“Look, you have the wrong number. Check with whoever gave it to you. I’m a grandma, not a young man.”
“Alec, seriously stop it.”
“No, you stop it. I am NOT Alec.”
At this point, it’s nearly 11:00 pm and my hubby says, “Just turn your phone off.”
“No, I’m not going to be held hostage by a lovesick teenager.”
He shakes his head.
My phone’s text sound goes off again…
“I memorized ur number, and that is it.”
“Fine. Call me then.”
My phone rings, and as I pick up to say, ‘Hello’, I hear an audible gasp on the other end.
“See?” I said, “I am not Alec. You are texting the wrong number. Stop it.”
*click* – she hangs up, so I text her…
“See? I was not kidding.”
I put the phone down, and think the whole thing is over.
Ten minutes later….
“Ma’am, I am so sorry.”
“It’s okay, honey. And I wish you luck.”
The next day…
“Still not Alec.”
“Alec, who answered your phone last night?”
“No, it was a woman”
*okay, feck it, I give up*
“Yes, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you for a long time…..”
When I was a kid my parents bought a condo in a really nice community. It had lush common areas, a large floor plan, even a small back yard with a storage shed.
It was perfect.
It was also intended as a retirement community, but apparently Mom and Dad didn’t get that memo.
As I reached the teen years, my penchant for mischief increased exponentially. It didn’t help that the elderly residents of the complex were batshit crazy, but I think had they not been already me and my cohorts would have pushed them over the edge in due time.
One of our favorite spots to hangout, act goofy, play our music on portable radios, smoke, and eat junk food, was a common area between two large buildings that had a lovely hillside to roll down in summer or sled down in winter. One building had windows facing the common and if we were out there one nanosecond past dark a blue-haired woman stood in her window taking pictures.
Naturally, we posed and strutted or tried to time jumps in the air so she’d catch us mid-somethingcrazy. We’d also crank up the tunes and dance for her.
She’d then take those pictures and distribute amongst the various bulletin boards in the complex. Or, if she knew our parents, she’d go straight to them with the incriminating evidence of….kids being kids…dun..dun…DUNNNNN!
She called the police so many times on us that we got to know each of them on a first-name basis. They were decent enough, understanding, and exasperated with batshit crazy blue-haired women, and unruly teenagers. Whatever they were paid, it wasn’t enough.
Fast forward to a month ago when my sweet neighbor across the street apparently sold her house to me and my friends from lo those many years ago.
They act crazy, racing around the yard and up and down the street on their John Deere riding mower, have turned the workshop into a mini-club complete with a full drum set, and play music loudly at 7:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
I’ve lived in this house 18 years, and never called the police once. And now, I’ve called the police to complain five times in the last two weeks.
I’ve refrained from getting out the camera and standing at my window to take pictures.
I’m not ‘that’ old woman, not yet anyway.
Which reminds me, it’s time to get the bluing added to my hair.
Like, all the time…
In November of 2013 we adopted a rescued feral dog.
Actually, that’s not true.
In July of 2013, this feral dog was trapped at the plant where I work and subsequently went to live in East Texas with a truly lovely woman and her 2 other dogs.
Unfortunately, this woman was not equipped to rehab a feral and her other two dogs were constantly fighting with the new addition.
So, I got a call that the dog we’d trapped was going to a shelter if I didn’t come get her.
Sigh…I had ‘lived’ with this dog around the plant for a year. She was typical of the feral dog..with one exception..she seemed to like humans. Well, most humans. She’d bark furiously at the ones she didn’t like.
I asked hubby if we could get her, knowing she’d be a big challenge, and given the fact that we are gone from home like 10-12 hours every day, he said yes.
Of course he did.
Since the day we got her we’ve been working on socializing and rehabbing her. Today, she’s nearly a total transformation. She still displays some behaviors typical of unsocialized dogs, like growling at new visitors, running from people – particularly new people – and not really being all cuddly.
She’s sort of like a cat in a dog suit. A white shepherd/Lab mix dog/cat. It’s that complicated, and that simple, too.
But, look at this face, and tell me how you can’t love it?
However, that sweet face can also look/sound menacing when she’s confronted with a frightening situation, even though in every way she’s sweet and submissive.
So, last week we had some AT&T U-Verse kids (they weren’t kids, but I swear they weren’t far from it) come to the house to install some new fiber-optic contraption thingy for the Internet and phone in the house.
When they came to the door, the dog immediately growled and paced and barked at them from her post in the kitchen.
“Don’t worry about her, she’s fine.” I said.
“Really?” Kid #1 was not convinced, and of course I couldn’t resist adding to his nervousness…
“Wellll…she’s fine so long as I don’t say THE WORD.”
(there is no word)
“What word?”, he asked, his voice an octave higher.
I raised an eyebrow.
“Wait, DON’T SAY IT!” he said.
At this point, I’d given the dog her command to stand down. It’s small and subtle, so Kid #1 hadn’t seen it, but he did see her lay down to watch him.
Enter Kid #2, “Whoa! Is she okay?” he asked as she stood to growl at him.
I gave the stand down signal and she laid down again.
“She’s okay.” I said.
Kid #1 and Kid #2 started to work.
“So, how long will this take?” I asked, since the agent on the phone had said it would be 2-4 hours I was going to make myself comfy in another room and read or whatever.
“Oh, we’ll be done in about an hour or so.” Kid #1 said.
“Awesome.” I replied.
“Is she really okay?” Kid #2 asked Kid #1.
“Unless the lady says ‘the word” Kid #1 replied, working with one eye on the dog.
“The word?” Kid #2 asked looking at me.
“Yes, all I have to do is say one word so you two better behave.” I said, barely able to contain myself.
“Yes ma’am.” they replied in unison.
Work commenced and about 30 minutes later they were ready to leave, but my husband had just walked in the door and the senior tech – Kid #2 – was about to launch into his sales spiel..you know the one where we need to bundle all our services and save money and so on.
An aside: I’ve actually looked into this bundling thing, and doing so would cost us about $5 more a month. Certainly not a deal breaker, but I’ve not heard good things about AT&Ts television reliability.
I had been in another room, the dog with me, but when hubby got home I walked out to the living room where Kid #2 was talking to hubby, and the dog followed me.
Kid #2 spotted the dog and stopped mid-sentence.
“Well, we’re all finished here and if you’d just sign the work order we can get out of here..I mean, we can leave and let you enjoy the rest of your day.” Kid #2 said, shoving the work order and pen towards hubby.
Perplexed, hubby signed the order and the kids nearly ran out the door.
“What did you do?” he asked as they left.
“I resent the implication.” I said, the smile spreading on my face.
Hubby stared at me.
“Okay, I may have implied there was a word I could say that would make the dog attack them so they better behave.”
“You did not!”
“You need a babysitter. All. The. Time.”
Most every time I go out in public, I end up with a story.
Earlier this week I went to a local Sprawl Mart to get a few things for the office.
It was a simple shopping trip.
But, we are a talking about me here.
I got to the self-checkout lane and rung up my purchases. I swiped my credit card, and that’s when things went horribly awry.
The screen read “Processing…Please Wait”, and it stuck there.
The helpful cashier monitoring the self-checkout lanes came over and tried to cancel, tried to suspend, tried…everything.
It didn’t work.
Instead, it got worse.
Slowly, I noticed cashiers and customers alike up and down the checkout lanes mashing buttons and cursing the gods of shopping as purchases were stuck in limbo.
Apparently, I’d broken Sprawl Mart.
Finally, after many minutes, one manager with long false eyelashes and nails started mashing on buttons at her console and the gods of shopping released their death grip on the machines.
I finished my transaction and booked it out of there.
I got in my car and noticed I needed gas, so I stopped at the nearest place and as the gas was pumping I decided I needed a vat of soda from their vast fountain selections.
I filled the vat with ice and diet soda, went to sit it on the counter so I could pay, and my miscalculations as to the height of said counter led to soda-launching as if from a trebuchet.
The now-drenched clerk waiting to ring me up stood there blinking at me, pieces of ice and rivers of soda running down her hair, face, shirt.
“Well, at least it’s diet…so…umm…you…uh…won’t….be…you know, sticky…” I mumbled as I backed away, intent on
reloading refilling my vat…because, dammit, destroying the world is thirsty business.
When I came back to the counter, I had a new
victim clerk waiting to take my money.
I paid, and got the hell out of there.
And this is why we can’t have nice things, and why I shouldn’t be allowed out without a chaperone.
…a day for which I am amply prepared year-round.
Oh no, kids…it’s also Paczki Day!
So after the paczki, we can work off the extra calories by racing to the top of the stairs and out onto our balconies in N’awlins, and throw beads at people.
See, here I thought that was a Mardi Gras tradition, and all this time it was people working off the pile o’ paczkis they ate.
It’s all in preparation for Lent, a very important religious observance for some. My husband suggested we participate in Lent this year. I don’t know why, we aren’t Catholic. I told him I was all for it, and suggested we give up ‘sacrifice’ for Lent.
I sacrifice paczki all year long. I think, during Lent, I should give up that particular sacrifice. I also sacrifice leisure time for work, I’d like to reverse that trend, too.
He walked away muttering to himself about how I don’t understand the concept.
Clearly, the man does not understand the concept of ‘sacrifice’.
I got this iPod/iPad/iPhone speaker/charger docking station-thingy (it’s a technical term, trust me) from Amazon, and this is the conversation I had with my boss about it:
ME: Hey, look at my new speaker/charger-thingy for my iPhone.
BOSS: Does it hold an iPad?
ME: I don’t know, I haven’t figured that out yet. But, it’s got different modes.
ME: I don’t know, I haven’t figured that out yet.
ME: Well, it’s also a clock when nothing’s docked on it…it displays the time, though it’s in military time because I haven’t figured out how to change it yet.
BOSS: Does it have an alarm?
ME: I think so, but I haven’t figured that out yet.
ME: *chuckling* I guess there’s a lot I haven’t figured out yet.
BOSS: Yeah…when did you get this?
ME: Oh I’ve only had it a short time.