Sunday, December 30, 2012

Immortal Bugs

   Oh yeah. I have my share of irrational fears. I've talked about my fear of demonic toys, and how I think that my mom's cat is kin to the devil, but nothing compares to the big fear. Besides death and permanent injury to my child, this is probably the biggest fear of my life. And it starts with l and ends with e. And unlike in that Ice Age movie, Sid was right the first time. Oh yeah, lice: immortal bugs. My fears do tend to be on the supernatural side, but that should tell you something about these bugs. They aren't like some harmless spider; these bugs are not natural. Nothing kills them, and I mean nothing.
   My daughter has only caught this dreaded pest once, several years ago, and once was enough. She caught the pest from daycare or school, and she brought them home. All her little buggy friends. So I went out, and I bought hundreds of dollars of chemicals that are supposed to kill the buggy invaders, and stocked up on laundry soap, so I could wash every single thing in the house, and garbage bags so I could suffocate the ones that couldn't die a sudsy, watery death. And I took the chemicals for my daughter's head, read the instructions and began the process of killing the pests carousing in her hair. 
   Except  that the chemicals, oh they don't work. As I was combing out her head with a fine-toothed comb, I was finding plenty of live bugs. I also realized that my poor baby was suffering from a full-scale invasion of pestilence. And her hair was long, hanging down to her waist. Now, I could have cut that hair, but I felt she was already suffering enough. I couldn't stand the thought of humiliating her further by cutting off all her hair because of bugs. So I combed, and I combed, and I combed, and thought that I had gotten them all out. 
   But they were still alive, as I had mentioned, and some of them escaped. She failed the lice check that she had to pass to be let back into daycare and school. One of the daycare teachers suggested that we try mayonnaise and a shower cap. Leaving the mayo in the hair covered by a shower cap over night would suffocate the bugs in the same way that the garbage bags would, and the mayo was a more natural, chemical free solution that seemed safer. Word of advise: never do this. Not only did my daughter smell like a sandwich, bad enough, but washing out mayo that has gone bad the next day? G.R.O.S.S. This is the most disgusting, horrible lice treatment ever. Truly gag-worthy. Foul and nasty. The smell! The slime! Never, ever, ever do this. And the mayo didn't kill the bugs. When I combed her hair out, they were still alive and kicking. Her hair was super-shiny, and home to hundreds of little crawling things.
   I tried a different type of chemical, still alive; I tried more home remedies, nothing worked. My daughter had been out of school almost a week while we battled these buggy immortals, and I was at a loss, searching the internet for any solution that did not involve shaving my daughter's head, because I was still determined that my poor baby girl would not suffer that humiliation on top of every thing else. That is when I found out about tea tree oil. Supposedly, this treatment really worked. So  I tried it, and I combed, and combed, and combed, and the treatment seemed to work. I was over the moon: happy and relieved. Her bugs were gone. 
   This is a treatment that I swore by, until I suggested this treatment to a friend, when the bugs invaded her daughter, and guess what? Tea tree oil did not work. Not even a little bit. I am now fully convinced that those bugs are immortals, and the only reason that I managed to get rid of them is because I harassed them into packing their little buggy bags and finding a new home, where some crazed woman wasn't trying to do them in with every nut-brained concoction that she could find on the internet. And now my whole family can attest to fact that I am batshit crazy about lice. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I Ain't Afraid of No Spider

   We all have our fears, irrational or reasonable, and my sister's is spiders. And what kind of big sister would I be if I didn't rag on her for this fear? No self-respecting older sister could leave this alone! None! And it's not like I don't move the spider out of her way after I am done ragging on her......wait! Yes it is! I totally leave the spider there.
Mr. Spider, who lives over my front door. 
  Like the spider that lives outside our front door. I completely and unconditionally love that spider. He is the coolest, most bad ass spider ever, completely playing guard dog. Do you know how many sales men and door-to-door solicitors do not knock because they see that giant, freaky-looking spider? It's great for an antisocial introvert like myself. But that spider scares my sister to death. She literally makes her kids chant "still there, still there" while she is unlocking the door so that she knows that the spider hasn't moved. And she doesn't linger in that doorway, which is great for when you are trying to carry in heavy loads of groceries into the house. And he is still there; I am never moving him, he is welcome for as long as he wants to stay. I love Mr. Spider; he is the most useful pet that I have ever owned. I mean, he is better than a viscous, face-eating guard dog. He scares people just by being on his web, and I never, ever have to feed him or take him out to pee or clean his cage or litter box. Best pet ever!!! Sorry, sister, but I feel nothing but love for Mr. Spider. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

"You Know Too Much"

   I had an elderly woman and her daughter come through my line, and at first they weren't so much to commit to memory. Nothing really unusual, just a daughter helping her mother. Then when the time had come to pay, the elderly woman hands her daughter a very large amount of bankcards. Split payments aren't hard to do, so that was no big deal, but the daughter tried to apologize to me anyway.
   "I'm so sorry. I don't know why she has all these cards." I assured her that this is no big deal, and as she started sliding them the elderly woman is telling her to put twenty dollars on this bankcard, thirty on that bankcard, one hundred on the next and her daughter is fussing, "Mom, you have too many cards, why can't you put all your money in one spot."
   "What if something happens to the bank? All my money would be gone," and she gives the daughter the final card, and the daughter slides it and puts in the pin without having to ask her mom the pin number. She hasn't had to ask her mom for any of the pins; clearly, paying in this manner is familiar to her.
    The elderly woman, however, gets this cunning look in her eye, and in as ominous voice as she can muster, intones "You know too much."
    "What? What are you talking about?" the daughter demands.
    "You know too much," the woman repeats, "You aren't supposed to know all my pins."
    "Momma, we do this every week," the frazzled daughter says.
   "I was watching Investigative Report-"
   "Oh lord," the daughter interrupts, her face having a 'here we go again' expression on,"You watch too much TV."
   "And they were talking about identity theft," the elderly woman continues, as if the daughter hadn't spoken, "Everybody isn't supposed to know your numbers."
   "But Momma, I'm not everybody; I'm somebody," the daughter exclaims, exasperated.
   "You never can tell." The elderly woman says. The daughter walks away in a huff as I hand the elderly woman her lengthy receipt, and I am laughing by now, because I can't help it. Frankly, I want to get a bag of popcorn and sit back and watch this show: these two are hilarious. As the elderly woman takes the receipt, the she gives me a huge grin and a realization strikes me.  She has been messing with her daughter's head the whole time! This is great, and all I can think is that I want to be just like this woman when I get older. She's exactly the type of woman who whacks the unsuspecting with her cane and causes mayhem in the nursing home. In other words: this woman is now my new role model. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Drive -- No Freakin' Way

   Years ago, I used to drive. I know this might come as a shock to some of those who know me, because I won't drive now and don't own a car. This is not only because of cost, although I really don't feel like taking out a bank loan just to pay for my frigging gas. No, there are other reasons.
   We could talk about the time my car, back when I actually owned a car, started on fire while I was driving  down the middle of the road, forcing me to abandon the flaming, smoking, demon-possessed monstrosity in the middle of the road- much to the disgust of all the people piled up behind me. We could talk about the number of times I've been forced off of the road, once by a mack truck, once by a giggling on-the-fricking-cell-phone idiot of a teenager, once by an elderly man who either couldn't see or just wanted to kill me, but those instances are not the real reason. We could even talk about the time I was a vapid, not so smart 19 years, and didn't lock the passenger door, and so was staring at a crazy meth-head who jumped right into my car at the gas station and was demanding that I start to drive. Thankfully a random stranger saw and came to my rescue (there are good people, there are!!!) We could talk about that, but that is not the real reason. Nope. We are going to talk about a squirrel.
   That'r right, a squirrel. As in, the poor little defenseless squirrel that I ran over one day, way back before my daughter was even born, when I still lived in good old Mississippi. The little brown cutie ran right in front of the huge hulking minivan that I used to drive and I couldn't stop in time. My brakes were never good, and I had to build up to a stop, so I couldn't get the van stopped in time for poor Mr. Squirrel. I swear, even to this day, that as I drove over him, he looked up at me with his little squirrel eyes and I saw the fright on his poor little squirrel face. Oh. My. God.
In memory of you, Mr. Squirrel
   I had slammed on my brakes, but not only did I not stop in time to save him, but I stopped right on top of him! Could this have gotten any worse! What kind of heartless monster was I?! Not only did I kill him, but I parked my friggen' car right on top of him! I cried. And cried. And went home to my rental house, which I rented a room from and shared with three guys; all of whom tried to act like older big brothers with me, but all of whom could not keep a straight face when I burst up into that house in tears and mortified beyond all belief. Oh no. Their concern soon changed to outright gaffaws of mirth as they howled at my and the squirrel's misfortune. Do not expect guys to care that you just killed a rodent, because you will get 0% sympathy. All they will do is taunt you with your grief and laugh to all their friends about their silly chick roommate; completely ignoring the fact that you are now scarred for life and haunted by the memory of terrified squirrel eyes. Rest in peace, Mr. Squirrel. Even if they did not have the heart to mourn you, I did.
   Oh, I've driven since then, and if I ever move to a place where driving is not an option if you want to go anywhere, I'll suck it up, put on my big girl panties, and drive again. But right now, here in Washington where mass transportation is readily available for the few things that are not in walking distance, no. That's a negatory. The Mr. Squirrels of the world are safe. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Evil Furbies

   So Christmas is over and all of the presents are unwrapped and my daughter is comparing loot with my niece and nephew. Since we live in the same household for the time being, my sister and I share Christmas present plans so that we can do comparable Christmases for our kiddos. We don't want the Christmases to be unbalanced.

It's pissed; we're in trouble now. 
   Well, this Christmas my sister decided to get her kids furbies. She's been obsessed with the creepy things since her own childhood, and when they started making them again, she had to share her furby mania  with her children. Sometimes we do matching gifts, if we know that the kids will all like the gift. However, I did not want to get a furby so I opted for a gift of a fancy blue stuffed bear from the Build-A-Bear workshop, complete with a few outfits so that my daughter can dress her bear up in differing fashions. And my daughter loves her bear, she really does. But.... she also loves the furby and I can tell that she wants one too. And I have an irrational fear of toys that can develop their own personalities. Oh hell yeah, because furbies do develop personalities based on the way that you treat them and interact with them.
This little furby could be hiding profound supernatural strength.
   How is this a good idea??? Am I the only person who ever watched Chucky? What if the furby's personality decides to be demonic? I can't handle that. I can't handle demon toys; they scare the crap out of me. What am I supposed to do when the little bugger decides that it wants to kill us all? What if it starts chanting in tongues and begins summoning Hell into my very own living room? It has no arms, so it's powers are probably going to border on the supernatural, and I thought knife-wielding dolls were bad. Sure, the thing is smaller than a cat, but small things can be powerful. You should never underestimate the power of the small; they are strong in mind. And yes, the thing does have a reset button, that you can press if you do not like the emerging personality, but if the furby develops evil, demonic, supernatural abilities, do you really imagine that you are going to get close enough to press that button? I don't think so. It's going to protect itself, and you are going to be the first to die. Great. Good job, sister. Our lives, our very souls are in danger, and so I wrote this blog.  Now, when we all don't show up for work, everybody will know that the furbies are responsible. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

'Merry Christmas' Gets A Bad Rap

   It's the day of Christmas Eve, and like every Christmas Eve, I find myself working. Luckily, the store closes at six, and doesn't open at all on Christmas Day, and I'm thankful, because I know there are poor unfortunates out there who have to give up their holiday so the companies that they work for can squeeze in every drop of profit. My store doesn't though; we get our Christmas Day.
   All season long I've been politically correct and Happy Holidaying people left and right, because I know that there are other holidays out there, and I respect that. But today it is actually Christmas Eve, and while I'm glad that my store closes early, I could be doing other family things. I have a daughter at home waiting for me with baited breath because Santa is coming. There are cookies to bake, dinner to eat, stockings to hang by the chimney with care, sugar plums to have visions of (what the heck is a sugar plum, anyway?) and all that holiday magic. She has been waiting forever, and she wants me home, but I'm at work. And on Christmas Eve, I flat out refuse to happy holiday people. This is Christmas. Merry Christmas. This is my time for celebration, and how are you going to refuse me, on the actual days of my celebration? Even if you don't celebrate, you could just take my exuberant Merry Christmas as my heartfelt desire for you to have a fabulous day. You do not have to act like I spit in your face and kicked you in your shins. I mean, I have the temper for it, but I didn't. And for all your talk of freedom of religion and freedom of speech, you sure don't mind shitting all over my freedoms. Thanks. And congratulations, because those fanatics that you say you hate? Those delusional Jesus Freaks that you like to make fun of? Well, you're just like them, enforcing your beliefs on me by not allowing me to openly celebrate my holiday. I don't care what you believe, and I've been Happy Hanukkahing and Good Solsticing (and I don't even really know what that is) until I am blue in the face, so I think that turn about is fair play. So all I have to say to you is:

Merry Christmas!!!!
  May you have a fantastic holiday, whatever you celebrate. And may I have a very, Merry Christmas. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Mom's Cat Is Kin To The Devil

This face is reserved for me. 
   We all love our pets, right? Well, not me, but only because I have no pets. However, I do have my mom's cat. That cat and I, oh the times we have. We have declared open war on each other. To be honest, it's kinda half-hearted on my side, but on his, oh how he hates me.
   This all started about three years ago, back when my sister decided that she needed a cat. Wait, my sister? Wasn't this about my mom's cat? Well, he started out as my sister's cat, but good luck trying to tell a cat who owns him. He loves my mom. He literally worships the ground she walks on. If she is knitting, he has to be there, helping by batting at the needles and playing with the yarn. If she is on the computer, he has to be there, laying across the keyboard. If she is gaming (oh yeah, my mom's a hardcore gamer, you better believe it) he is right there, in her lap so that she has to hold the controller at a crazy-ass angle. He hates when she leaves and stays curled up on her bed until she gets home. When she gets home he frantically mews to her, like he is telling her is whole day. He really is almost dog-like in his devotion to her.
    But he is only a one-person cat; everybody else he ignores. If they pet him, he will tolerate this affection in a manner that allows them to see that he is really above all of their affection and that by allowing them to touch him, he is really doing them a massive favor. Except me: his archenemy. He does not tolerate me.
   If I touch him, ha! Wait, no I don't get to touch him. He runs from me, hissing, if I get to close. When I do manage to pick him up, he moans. Yeah, moans. That is the weirdest sound I have ever heard, and this is why I keep picking him up, I can't help it. In return, he trips me up and swipes at me when he thinks he can do it without being caught.
   And why am I calling him the devil's kin? Doesn't it sound like I am the one harassing the life out of that poor little kitty cat? Oh, folks, this is payback. See, back in the first few months of having him in the family, really before he had even attached himself to mom, he started this war. And now it's on, no mercy. (Don't freak, I am not interested in hurting him. I just like to annoy him.)
   He loved to bat at feet when we first got him. He really was attached to my daughter first, but she hated getting her feet slapped with ten little needle-like claws (go figure), and soon he realized that she just could not love him. But me, he still got under my feet. And I have this habit of pacing. If I am happy, I pace, if I am agitated, I pace, up and down the hall, back and forth, the bane of my family, the hallway hogger: I am always in it. And during one of my pacing episodes, this cat got underneath my feet without me seeing him, and I fell. As I fell, my feet twisted funny because they were caught up in a big. black cat, and I heard the strangest, wet popping sound. I had never heard a sound like this. And then I felt it. Oh. My. God. My foot screamed with pain. As I tried to get up, I realized that I couldn't put weight on that foot. Oh, have you guessed yet? That's right, my foot was broken. The cat had broken my foot!!!
   Oh, do you think that's all? Isn't that bad enough? Oh no, see, he got startled once while I was holding him as well. He didn't mean too, I admit that, but all his claws came out as he was trying to escape, and he gave my sister mocking rights for weeks to come. She laughed and told me that I looked like I was attacked by a baby tiger. Oh yeah, the clawing was that bad. I have scars. Not only that (there's more!!!), but I caught a strange bacteria from him, that you usually get from birds but can get from cats.I forget what the doctor called it, but this bacteria, according to the doctor, caused bubbles to form on my eardrums and my eyes to look like I had a major case of pink eye. And my ears and eyes hurt worse than the foot!

His eyes are glowing with hatred.
   So now we play this war game. I pet him, hold him, and thoroughly aggravate him because secretly, I love him I feel that I have earned that right, and him: he plots his next 'accident'. I see you, cat, I see you.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Butterflies Verses Zombies

  As every parent knows, often, your child will develop a personality that is not at all what you would have expected from someone formed with your DNA. I mean, we all have plans and expectations of what our child will be like. And I got a great child. We have many similarities, such as our avid love of reading. We devour words with our eyes the way a starving man eats. We are both serious gamers and love to travel. We have other similar traits as well, but for the most part,she is stunningly, refreshingly different from me. She loves school, and I was the truancy queen. She likes the color pink, and I prefer black. Her clothes are glittery, gem-encrusted ensembles and mine are usually black. She wears sparkly sneakers and colorful boots and I detest socks, so wear flip-flops until they are impossible. She likes to do things now, early even, and I am the Master of Procrastination. She is outgoing and likes people and I am an antisocial introvert, and so-on and so-on These are differences that I can accept. I enjoy and value these differences. But there is one difference that I am committed to change. She must come to my viewpoint in the matter! I am determined. And what is this difference, you may ask? Well, let me tell you:

How is this better than a zombie?
   Whaaaaaaaaaaat???!!! How can that be? That's not right. Zombies are awesome. Zombies inspire such characters like Jill Valentine and Daryl Dixon. Butterflies, not so much. I mean, I understand that they are pretty, and the pollinate flowers and make things grow, but are they rotten, animated corpses? I don't think so. Do they eat human flesh and infect the masses? That's a negatory. How are butterflies more awesome than zombies? This assumption boggles the mind and just is not rational. Zombies inspire long, intense chats with your sister about how we are going to survive the zombie apocalypse, and what we need to have in order to protect the family and how we need to fortify the house. Does anybody worry about the butterfly apocalypse? No, because that sounds dumb. Oh gosh, the butterflies are going to pollinate me! Please. Butterflies are not bad ass. They just have pretty wings. How can that compare to decaying, flesh eating corpses? Really, daughter? But everything is A-okay. I am patient, and one day, you will come to the dark side.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Drug Tests Are Awesome

   The place I currently work at is a drug free zone, and they take this very seriously. After you interview, the very next thing that you do is take your little pee cup (that they provide) and your paperwork and march yourself down to the happy little health clinic and sign yourself up for the pee test. Not really a big deal.
   After hiring, you are not done with the drug tests, because my work does monthly drawings for a random testing, and since my hire date, I have been drawn five times. Yes, five times. I am a pee test pro. However, the very first time I was drawn, I was not the pro that I am today. As I was given, by the store secretary, my plastic cup and paper work, I was slightly nervous because I had just gone to the bathroom, and I didn't feel a real need to go. I was hoping for one of those looooong waits in the waiting room. But, I was not too nervous, because ever since giving birth to my daughter, peeing has not been a problem for me. I always need to go, so I was pretty sure that I could do this drug test - no problem.
   Was I wrong! When she called me back there, and I was struggling with the impossible task of aiming (when you are a chick) into that little cup, I realized that I couldn't go. Not a drop. My bladder had let me down, and my job flashed before my very eyes!!!
   Shamefully I handed the tech my empty cup, telling her that I couldn't go and asking what I had to do now. She stared at me hard, like I was a bad little pot-head trying to pull a fast one. "You have to sit in there," she said and pointed me towards the little exam room, "Don't close the door."
   She left for a moment and came back with a small pitcher of water and a cup (to drink from, not to pee in). Handing these to me she told me that I only had two hours to manage to pee and that this was all of the water that I was allowed to have. I gulped. I wasn't thirsty, but don't image that the pitcher was big, this was probably about a liter of water. I'm not sure of the exact amount, not a lot, but an awful lot if you are not thirsty. Oh, I felt like I was being forced to drink an ocean of water. And I wasn't allowed to leave that little exam room; I had to stay there for the entire two hours. Luckily, I was giving back my belongings, which they take from you when you first get to the back of the clinic, before you get into the bathroom, so I was able to spend some of the time texting my sister. Other than that phone, all I had for entertainment was one very old magazine, and in that two hours I flipped through the entire thing about three times, forcing myself to drink from the pitcher of water that seemed to be bottomless.
    I took the whole two hours. The tech kept popping in and asking if I needed to go yet, but I couldn't. My bladder was frozen with stage fright and I had nothing. I tried speaking firmly to it, tried scolding that unruly bladder of mine, but nothing worked. I just didn't have any urge to pee what-so-ever.  Nothing was coming, and by this time I had multiple techs, nurses, and doctors pop their heads in at me, giving the stink eye to the silly woman who couldn't pee.
   Finally, my time was almost up and the testy little tech told me that I either had to go, or that she had to report to my job that I had not taken the drug test successfully. I gulped; what did that mean?! Would I be fired?! I had not (and still have not) ever been fired and my poor little pride shrunk from the thought. I couldn't be fired. With one last dire threat to my misbehaving bladder, I took the cup, and went to pee. And I did! I did the 'don't flush' chant, because a flushed toilet invalidates a drug test, and proudly opened the door and handed that tech my cup of pee. Let me tell you, no one has ever been so profoundly relieved to go pee as I was in that moment. My job was saved!!! I was not a druggie and I could prove it!!! The absolute relief that I felt, not because my bladder was bursting, but because my pride was saved and I could prove to all those little techs, doctors and nurses that I was not on drugs.
   Since then, as I have said, I have had many more pee tests, but I have never had that issue again. My bladder now understands that the pee test is not an option, and participates without giving me trouble. Still, because of that one time, I always have that moment when my heart stops because I wonder if I am going to be able to pee.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fish Heads

   I live in a fairly diverse community, so the customer base for the store that I work in is (duh) pretty diverse. We have some of everybody, and are glad to have them. However, this means that our inventory must reflect that diversity. As I work in a grocery store, this means food. As in, some people eat strange things. They eat pig feet and chicken legs and turkey tails. They eat chitlins and beef tongues and chicken hearts and tripe. All kinds of strange things that I would never in my life want to look at, much less eat, but hey, to each his/her own, right? Usually when I am ringing these items up, I try to pretend that I am not holding, say, a tongue in my hand. No, not even covered in plastic packaging could I really handle that if I fully thought about what I was touching. See, some people like to try all manner of things to eat, and these people are very courageous. Me: I am a food coward. I'm not eating that. Uh-uh, no way, I am NOT hungry today. Or tomorrow. Or any day that you are serving anything that I am afraid of. But some of my customers, they don't let me ignore what I am ringing up. They revel in my wussyness, take joy in my food phobias.
   One of the foods that I have a phobia for: fish heads. I don't even know what you do with fish heads, but we sell them. And one customer in particular, an Asian guy, he buys them. And he gets in my line. And he purposely lines them up so that all of their dead, fishy eyes are staring straight at me!!! I look down at the belt to grab the next item, and I'm looking into fish eyes. Dead, glazed fish eyes that have no bodies. Oh, I just jump a mile. And this jumping must be why this man keeps getting into my line, because his smile, oh lordy his smile: it's twice the size of Texas. I look at him with my huge, 'I'm afraid' eyes and he just sits there with this cheshire cat grin on his face. I have made his day. Well, I'm glad someone is having a good day. Not that I blame him. Because if I had a use for fish heads, and I knew a cashier like me, I'd totally do the same thing. Good job, customer, good job.

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service: What About No Pants???

   This is a tale from my retail past; a field that I have been in for many, many years. Though I currently live up North, I lived in the South for most of my childhood. At first, Mississippi, but after I caught the preggers bug, I moved to Florida. Now, I know you are thinking, "Florida! Why did you move from the sunshine state to rainy, rainy Washington???" Well, before you go off thinking I am crazy, I did not live in the nice parts of Florida, like Miami or Tampa or Orlando. I lived in a rural ghetto. Yup. Rednecks as far as the eye could see, and not the nice ones that you see on TV. Not the funny ones that get their own shows and are clean, no. I mean the dirty, unwashed mean ones that smelled like liquor and weed, with feral dogs that wanted nothing more than to chew on your face. The urban ghetto gets gangsters and turf wars; the rural ghetto gets angry burly bear-men who own shotguns and face-chewing dogs. Neither is a good place to live, but I digress.
   In my old home in Florida, we were a cut off people. The closest store was about a 25 to 30 minute drive, but  I could do it in 15 minutes on a good day, and I could have driven it blindfolded if I had too. Now why was I so familiar with this drive? Because I worked at that closest store, that small oasis of food that you didn't have to grow or hunt. I mean, you could drive out another 15 to 20 minutes, depending on traffic, to get to the nearest Walmart, but most people just didn't have the gas, even back then, when gas wasn't $4 a gallon. 
   There is this sign that small, country stores tend to post, and we all laugh at that sign  posted on  windows and  front doors. Ya'know, the one that states: No shoes, no shirt, no service. Many of you think that this sign is unnecessary, but us workers in the retail field, we can tell you different. We can tell you of all the people who come in barefoot, bare chested, with a complete disregard for a sanitary environment and a total lack of dignity. I understand that in Florida, the weather does get a tad bit toasty, but come on! Flip-flops and tank-tops are completely acceptable, people!
   Well, I had thought no shirts were the worst I was going to have to deal with. But one day I was working the customer service desk, and in this store customer service was right smack-dab at the entrance, so on top of all the other typical customer service duties, we had to monitor the customers coming in (and those going out. Theft is a common problem in retail.) I was working the desk, as I had said, and in came this man, no shirt, all his chest hair and man boobs proudly and shamelessly on display for the entire store to admire.  I made motions to the supervisor, because I didn't want to deal with him. I could tell he was trouble.
   "No shirt! No shirt!" he yelled when confronted by said supervisor, "Well guess what?! Your sign don't say no pants!" And he stormed out. The supervisor and I looked at each other in horror, and she called all the managers to the front of the store, because they were guys, and us little girly-girls did not want to deal with Mr. Winky.  Uh-uh. No way. Of course, all those manly protectors didn't want to deal with Mr. Winky either, until my supervisor (a true kick-ass Southern lady) stated that if they didn't want to deal with him she had a gun in her car and she was more than capable of shooting the snake. Yeah, they couldn't really let her do that, as tempting as this offer was. He did come in, with Mr. Winky flapping in the breeze, and was promptly thrown out again, with much cursing and yelling on his part, exclaiming vehemently that we were infringing on his rights. Whatever you say, but I think that my rights are that I don't have to see your neither regions. And all I'm saying, is while we might think that those signs are common sense: the truth is that they need to be upgraded. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

We Aren't Morning People

    My daughter and I have an extremely important routine that we follow almost every morning, especially those mornings when school and work means that we will wake to one of the most obnoxious sounds in the entire world: the alarm clock. If you are anything like me, that sound fills your very soul with dread. The end of sleep; the beginning of responsibility, obligations, and (gasp) daylight. Awful stuff. Our routine consists of 3 steps.
    Step 1: Every morning we start out by whining at each other. This whining does not consist of words but of a sort of 'uuuuuuuuaaaaann' sound that we alternate making towards each other. At this point, this sound is the only sound that we are really mentally capable of making; words are beyond us. Sometimes, towards the end of this step we will whine simultaneously to see who can whine the loudest. Winning the loudest whiner contest can put the loudest whiner in a good mood. 
    Step 2: This step has 3 options, which vary depending on mood.
       2a. If we are both in bad moods: We alternate snapping 'no' at each other for no real reason except to say no. We say no loudly and emphatically, just to be sure that the other one knows that we really mean it. Since both my daughter and I dearly love to say no, for any reason whatsoever, sometimes this part of the routine can turn our bad mood into a good mood. 
      2b: If one of us  is in a good mood but the other isn't: The one in a good mood will break into song. The song has either has no real words or the words make absolutely no sense. The person in a bad mood will order the singer to 'Shut up and stop making that racket,'  or some variation thereof. Everyone should keep in mind, good mood or not, this is still early in our routine and while at this point we may be able to form words, we are not able to string them together into logical sentences that anyone will understand. We are unable of communication at this time, even if we do seem to be communicating with each other on some level.  To be blunt, if I did not grow you in my womb, I am unable to communicate with you until about an hour after waking. The kiddo is a little more capable of communication at this point than I am, but not by much, and she mumbles, so good luck with that. 
     2c. On the rare occasion that we are both in a good mood: usually I will sing some stupid song that makes no sense while the kiddo laughs hysterically and suggests words when I get stuck. Again, these songs never make any sense, and neither one of us has what could be called a 'singing voice.' Frankly, I can make your ears bleed. After the song has ended, we may start snapping 'no' at each other, despite being in a good mood, because we just love to say no. In this case, however, we will not use a grumpy, emphatic no but a playful, snappish no accented with giggles. 

   Step 3.  My daughter will then go eat breakfast while I search for some sort of caffeine (anything will do) and sit in front of the computer until she needs me to fix her hair, which then proceeds to look like no one has even brushed it 5 minutes after I have fixed it. This is because she rolls all over the couch and rubs the back of her head on everything, making for extreme static. This never fails and there is no use fighting the process. She is gonna have that hair looking like bed hair no matter what I do.

   After this step we are safe to approach. However, it should be noted that this daily routine  is important to us and should never be interrupted by someone trying to converse with us. This could lead to injury, permanent disability, or even death by smart-ass sarcasm so extreme that the system goes into shock and tries to shut down in a type of 'you can't see me' line of defense. And while my daughter is not quite as smart-assy as me, she does have this glare-of-death. Not recommended.