Monday, May 21, 2012

I am a HERO

--well, at least I'm a hero in my own mind--

When I was a child, I was considered "shy", painfully shy. It wasn't that I was afraid to talk to people.  And it wasn't that I didn't have anything to say.  Believe me, I had plenty to say!  It's just that I was worried that if I said what was truly on my mind, I'd end up in some sort of group home.

What?  Well...yeah....  I've always had these weird thoughts and ideas in my head that I never express out loud. (Btw, the voices stopped when I hit puberty. Apparently I traded the voices for the monthly curse. I'd really like the voices back, please.)

When I went to college, I began experimenting with expressing some of the weird thoughts I had.  I became known as "the quirky girl" and landed a spot in a sorority.  Go figure.

I also have this thing where I act out certain situations in my head.  Daydreaming?  Call it what you will, but I always end up being the hero.

Weird, I know.  Psychologists would have a field day with me.  But I've rescued people from burning buildings, stopped run-away strollers from plunging into oncoming traffic, reunited dogs with their owners, helped deliver babies - you name it.  I'm a hero.  At least in my own mind...

It even happened this morning.  I was taking a bag out to the curb because today is trash pick-up day.  As I was rounding the corner, I saw this guy who visits us every Monday.  He rides an old 10-speed bike with his clothing and personal possessions hanging from Walmart bags on the handlebars.  He visits all the recycling bins and takes the deposit-worthy cans and bottles and returns them for 5 cents each.

When I saw the guy at our bins, I waited and hid behind the corner of the house and watched him.  I expected him to grab some cans and continue on to the neighbor's bin, but instead I watched as he opened one of our trash bags and fished out an old piece of pizza.  And took a bite.

And then I became a HERO....

I ran forward and said, "NO!  Wait!  I have some fresh pizza in the house.  We just ordered it last night.  Now, I'm not sure if you like Brazillian pizza - I don't because they put this gooey white cheese on it that looks and tastes like cream cheese but they insist on calling it something I can't pronounce and they put hard-boiled eggs on absolutely everything and I'm deathly allergic to egg whites, and oh my.....Next time you go through the trash, please be careful sir, because I threw away an epi-pen not too long ago and I sometimes have to test my blood sugar because...well, I'm old and borderline diabetic and I totally wouldn't want you to get pricked by a needle."

And then I went in the house and got the homeless man some fresh pizza and he didn't get salmonella or botulism or intestinal parasites or anything.  And I was a hero.

The pizza I gave the homeless man.  Except ours didn't have onions.  And it had green olives instead of black.  And it had five pieces missing.  And it was in a cardboard box and not on a wood board.  Otherwise, exactly the same.

But really, I just stood there and watched him eat and when he looked up at me, I bent over and pretended to tie my shoe, but I wasn't wearing any shoes and I should probably schedule an appointment to get a tetanus shot since I'm walking on a porch with rusty nails holding together boards from 1915.

And then I said a prayer that the homeless man won't get salmonella, botulism, or intestinal parasites or anything bad and I swore to myself that I would start putting left-over food into goodie bags so it won't be contaminated by other trash.  The End.

P.S. If you all promise not to band together and commit me, I'll share more of my hero stories in the future.  The time where I stopped a man from putting poison in a girl's Dunkin while she was getting money from the atm is a classic that you won't want to miss.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tom from Home Security

<ringing phone>

Me:  Hello?

Phone:  Good morning!  This is Tom from Home Security.  How are you today?

Me:  Hi Tom. I’m fine, thanks for asking.

Tom:  That’s great to hear.  I was calling to see if you’re aware that the number of home burglaries in your area has increased by 7% in the last year.

Me:  Actually, I was aware of that.  I just read about it in our local newspaper.  I also read that our teacher’s union just submitted a vote of no confidence for our superintendent.  Were you aware of that?


Tom:  I wasn’t aware of that.

Me:  Well, you should be, Tom.  I mean, this is pretty serious.

Tom:  Right, I agree.....  Actually, I was calling today to let you know that we’re offering a 20% discount on home security systems for homeowners in your area.

Me:  I thought you were calling to let me know about the increase in burglaries in my area?

Tom:  Right, well....that too.  It’s why we’re offering a discount on our home protection services.  

Me:   Is this the part where you tell me I can buy a home protection system for 52 monthly payments of only $39.99 and then I find out all you really sold me was a sticker that says “this home is protected by....” to put in my window?


Tom:  Oh, definitely not, Mam.  I think you will find that our system is quite reasonably priced and we offer a full home protection security system.

Me:  But do you have a sticker?

Tom:  I’d have to check with my supervisor on that, but if you bought one of our systems, I’m sure we could make a sticker for you.

Me:  I just want the sticker.  How much is that?

Tom:  I’m sorry Mam, but we don’t offer a package that only includes the sticker.

Me:  Well, do you know where I can buy a sticker?  I already checked Walmart and....well, let’s just say that it ended with me meeting the Walmart security team and they didn’t
want to talk about stickers...

Tom:  Oh.  Uhm....I’m sorry to hear that.  I’m afraid I don’t know where you can buy a sticker....

Me:  Tom, are you suggesting that I steal a sticker from a neighbor’s house?  I thought you were in the home protection business?

Tom:  Uhh...I am, Mam and I was definitely not suggesting that.

Tom from Home Security.  -- or at least this is what he looks like in *my* mind.  I had to go with this one.  The other version was an old guy sitting at home in his coffee-stained wife-beater, trimming his nose hair while cold-calling people and frightening them into buying home protection systems.  I know you didn't want a visual of that.  You're welcome.

Tom:  Let me ask you another question.  Do you feel safe in your own home?

Me:  No.

Tom:  And wouldn’t it feel nice to know that you’re protected in your own home?

Me:    Oh, yes.  That would feel wonderful.

Tom:  With our home protection system, you would have peace of mind knowing that you are safe and secure in your own home and no one can get in without your permission.

Me:  Getting in isn’t the problem.  They’re already here.

Tom:  I’m sorry?  Is there already an intruder in your home?

Me:  I guess that depends on how you define “intruder”.

Tom:  Uhhhmm....are there people in your home that you don’t want to be there?

Me:  Oh yes.  Definitely.

Tom: <panicky voice>  Have you alerted the authorities about this?  <more panicky voice>  Do you need me to call someone and report this?

Me:  I’ve already tried. The police won’t do anything.


Tom:   I’m not sure I understand.  There are intruders in your home and the police will not help you?

Me:  No, I didn’t say they were intruders.  I said they were people in my home that I don’t want here.

Tom:  <sigh>  So is this like a domestic issue?  Like an issue with a spouse or something?

Me:  No, definitely not.  I like my husband.  Well, not so much today because he ate a can of Chef Boyardee and put the can in the trash instead of the recycling and I told him I didn’t like him because he doesn’t like our planet.  And he was all “Yeah, but the recycling bin smells bad” and I was all “Well, that’s because you need to RINSE the cans before you put them in the bin.”  

Do  you rinse your cans, Tom?

Tom:  Uhh...yes.  I do.

Me:  Good, because smelly cans are the worst.

Tom:  I agree...  So back to the unwelcome people in your home....Have you called anyone else to help you?

Me:  Yes, I called TAPS, but they put me on a waiting list.

Tom:  TAPS?

Me:  I guess you don’t watch Scfy?

Tom:  Scfy like the tv station????

Me:  Yeah, I was pretty pissed when they changed the name too.  I mean, SciFi was totally fine.  But they had to go and be all cool and add that Y in there to make it look all technical and be like “Oh, look at us!  We have a Y in our name so we must be all hip and everything.”

Tom:  So you called a tv station?

Me:  No, Tom.  That would be silly!  I called the guys from TAPS on the tv station.  You know, the TAPs Ghosthunters?

Tom:  Wait a minute.....are you telling me the intruders in your home are ghosts?

Me:  No, Tom, we’ve been over this before.  Were you not listening?  I said they’re NOT intruders.  I mean really, they’ve been in my house for centuries.  I guess you could technically say that I’m the intruder.  They were here first.

Tom:  Is this a joke?

Me:  Why would I joke about something like this?  So are you going to help me out or what?

Tom:  I’m afraid to say we don’t deal with ghosts.

Me:  Actually, they prefer to be called ‘entities’ or ‘spirits’.  The whole ‘ghost’ thing went out with Casper.

Tom:  Ok.....I’m afraid we don’t deal with ‘entities’ or ‘spirits’.

Me:  Bummer!  Ok.  I guess I’ll have to wait for TAPS to get back to me then.  

Tom:  Right, uhhh.. good luck with that.

Me:  Thanks.  So are you still going to send me a sticker?


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One Man's Trash....

Every Monday, THE FLYING MONKEY and I leave a little early for school. I tell him it's because traffic is heavier on Mondays.  But really, it's because Monday is trash day.  And on trash day people put all sorts of treasures out in their yards. 

This week, I found this nice piece of furniture.....or at least it was nice until I got ahold of it....

 I *believe* this is an antique china cabinet, but I may be mistaken.  I drove past it at least six times and then decided to run some errands and come back to see if it was still there.  It was.  Fate.

Part of my reason for driving past so many times was because I wasn't sure if it would fit in my vehicle.  I drive a Honda CRV.  They're not known for excess cargo room.  The other reason was because I didn't want other parents see me loading someone else's trash into my car.  I DO have an image to uphold, you know?

So when I got back to pick it up, I did my standard procedure to make sure it would fit in the back of my car.  I stood next to it.  You see, I know that if I flatten the back seats in my CRV, I have exactly 62 inches in length available for cargo.  And I just happen to be 62 inches tall.  So anything that is taller than me won't fit.  Brilliant, huh?

As I was performing my scientific measurement, the owner of the house came outside and offered to help me put it in my car.  I asked him if the piece of furniture was taller than me.  He thought I was odd.  I told him I didn't think it would fit.  He said we'd make it fit.

I asked him if it was an antique.  He told me his mother bought it when he was a child and then asked if I thought he was an antique.  I almost said "YES", but instead I spilled my Starbucks all over his driveway.

So we made it fit.  It's 64 inches tall.  I've measure it since then.  With a ruler.  We had to move the driver and passenger seats forward.  We had to push it in.  Hard.  But we got the tailgate/hatch closed on my car.  I was happy.

Happy until I heard a gigantic C-R-A-C-K as I was driving the 2.2 miles home.  The glass in the door shattered as I was driving.

I probably deserve an award for not thinking things through:
  • The cabinet should have had some sort of padding around it.  
  • I probably should have taken out the removable shelves. 
  • I should have thought about how I was going to get the furniture OUT of the car, by myself.  You see, I was home alone that day and I had to return to the school to pick up THE FLYING MONKEY at 3pm.  And there was nowhere for him to sit.  And there was glass all through my car.
I thought about knocking on a neighbor's door and introducing myself and then asking for them to help me.  Nice and neighborly.  I eyed up the UPS man when he came to deliver a package.  No, probably not a good idea.

Then the school called to tell me THE CRAZY CLOWN was sick and I needed to come get him.  And bring a vomit bucket, because I may need it.  Great.  For one quick second I thought about having him ride atop the cabinet so he could vomit into it if needed.  But then I realized he's too tall and there wouldn't be enough headroom.

So I did what any insane person would do.  I backed up car up onto the sidewalk (totally illegal) and pulled this monstrously heavy piece of furniture out of the car BY MYSELF.  And left it on the porch.  In the rain.  With the FREE sign still attached.  As I was driving to get THE CRAZY CLOWN (with vomit bucket in tow), I had an insane moment of panic when I worried that someone might drive past my house and see the FREE sign and take my beautiful piece.  Then I laughed.

When I got back home, I realized why you shouldn't shove an antique piece of furniture that is 64" long into a 62" space.  It cracks the wood.  Like the whole back piece of the thing.  Cracked.  Broken.  

The furniture sat on the porch in the rain for a little over 24 hours.  I couldn't get any of the MANLY MEN that I live with to help me get it inside and my back was already hurting from lugging it out of the car.  I finally bribed them with Dairy Queen Blizzards and my piece is in the house.

But now the glass is missing.  And the back is cracked.  And it has water damage.  And last night I was removing the shelves and got the top one wedged in at a weird angle and it won't budge.  I'm thinking of pouring melted butter on it.

I had grand dreams for this piece of furniture.  I've refinished antiques before, quite successfully I might add.  Strip, sand, prime, paint, decorate.  I planned to use it as an accent piece.  I was thinking of painting it a bright color and covering the shelves or backboard with a coordinating wallpaper, then replacing the pulls and handles with shiny new ones.

Or I may just move the piece back to my front porch and hang a FREE sign on it.