Tag Archives: humor

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Standard

Things that go bump in the night.

or….

Kids who discover the photo booth on your new Ipad and experiment without your knowledge.

Boy as man eating shark?

Boy as man eating shark with braces?

And as with most sibling activities in my house – separate but equal is the name of the game.

Other boy as man eating shark

Other boy as man eating shark

My life holds few distinctions, but I think it is safe to say the fact that my boys are confirmed goofballs is one of them.

I am just lucky that way!

Are You a Parent Fighting the War on Electronics?

Standard

funny-cartoons-electronicsElectronics, machines in general, and I do not always see eye to eye.  This was never more apparent than in my article about the onset of my war on electronics in the fight for control over my kids – I Am Woman (Ode to Chris the Caveman).

However, there was also the showdown with the nasty smoke alarm in Woman vs. Machine.  And don’t even get me started on my nemesis – the vacuum – as portrayed in The Day I Killed the Vaccum.

The thing is, I was recently lulled into a false sense of security when I found a way to make my big time enemy – electronics – into my unwitting ally.  Or at least, I thought I had found a way.  Today, on ParentSociety.com, I share my story of underestimation and slippery deception.

Are You a Parent Fighting the War on Electronics?

Here is something you need to know about the enemy!

Go Here! Quick!!

Irreconcilable Differences – A Marriage Made in Heaven

Standard
Feet Untucked

Wouldn’t you want to hide those feet?

My husband and I have irreconcilable differences.  We do.  I have always known it to be true.  I suppose for a time, I thought there were reconcilable solutions (i.e. he quits being stupid and sees the light of my way).  But after several years of marriage, I have finally given up the notion.

For 17 years, my husband and I have had a cold war standoff over differences of great import such as where his muddy shoes should go, how big a pile of dirty laundry can get before going into the hamper (big enough to lose the dog?), the necessity of closing a door if you are going right back through it (personally, I don’t see the point), and whose job it is to clean up the trash after the dog has strewn it all over the yard. But, the deal breaker to, I fear,  finally bring down our wall is the pivotal “tucked” or “untucked” issue.

You see, my husband subscribes to the sheet and blanket “untucked” – free to be you and me – feet flapping in the breeze philosophy while I, on the other hand, am a sheet and blanket “tucked” –  fully covered  – feet tightly bound & gagged – extremist of the most radical kind.

I mean, really, when you take this difference into consideration,  how did we ever get together, anyway?  The reality is, when you are dating everything is all “schnukems” and “peanut wuvs monkey” – so who cares if your feet freeze (me) or can’t move (him).  But when the honeymoon is over – i.e. once you have washed his dirty underwear for the umpteenth time and he has cleaned up everyone’s puke after stomach flew (including the dog’s) – these issues begin to take on a whole new level of importance.

And thus, the cold war began.

So now, when I make the bed, I wrap the sheet and blanket tightly, all the way around to underneath the mattress.  When he makes the bed, he leaves the sheet and blanket untucked, and then surreptitiously hides the evidence with the bedspread.  Upon going to sleep at night, I will secretly check all bedding to make sure they are securely tucked.  However he, in the middle of the night, will dislodge the bedding with a hefty kick of his feet. When I am awoken by the disconcerting feeling of my cold and flapping-in-the-breeze feet I, while resisting the urge to clobber him with the bedside lamp, get up and securely re-tuck all bedding.

And so it goes – which makes me crazy and not a little bit pissed off.  The thing is, I know now beyond a shadow of a doubt, for the whole of our life together this tucked vs. untucked Cold War will continue.  Neither of us will ever raise the white flag (nor well, sheet) of surrender.  It is an issue that cannot be reconciled, ever.

But on the other hand, he does take out the trash…and can fix most anything…and never complains when I spend money…

And the truth is, I just kinda love the guy (and doubt anyone else would put up with me)

So, tucked or untucked, I guess I will keep him.

But, he might want to learn to duck in his sleep…

Teen Talk: Episode #7

Standard
teentalk5.1

Comic by K

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you another episode of  Teen Talk.  I assure you, everything you are about to hear is real and unedited. Please, do not try this at home. Unless, you have a gas mask handy.

One day, Teen needed a shower.

Mom:  “Teen, could you take a shower before we go.”

Teen:  “Why?”

Mom:  “Um, lets see, long drive…small car…”

Teen: “Yeah, I get your point.”

Later that day, Teen was in the bathroom.

Mom:  Hey Teen, is that you in the bathroom?”

Teen:  “Yeah.”

Mom:  “I need to get something out of there.”

Teen: “Well, I really don’t recommend coming in here at this particular time.”

Teen draws a conclusion.

Teen: “I’m a growing boy, I smell in ways I never thought possible.”

The End

Teen Talk: Episode #6

Teen Talk: Episode #5

Teen Talk: Episode #4

Teen Talk: Episode #3

Teen Talk Episode #2

Teen Talk Episode #1

For more views by Teen Go Here: Teen Talk

Making Choices: Outlook Not So Good

Standard

8ballTo Shave or Not to Shave?  This is a question, or rather choice of great import I recently faced – which started me thinking about the parenting nightmare it can be teaching our kids how to not only make choices but also, (dare to dream) make good choices.

Today, over at ParentSociety.com, I share three phases we (husband and I) have experienced in the quest to teach our kids how to make choices, which phase I am not sure I will live through, and the ultimate outcome of my own big decision!

Go here!

The 3 Phases to Teaching Your Kids to Make Choices

And if the proposed strategies all fail, no worries, there is always the 8 ball!

I Once Had an Awkward Moment, Just to See What it Was Like

Standard

dos equis guy

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Have you ever asked your kids this question?

When my boys were little, I would ask the question and get cute, dream-big answers such as; “an astronaut”, “a fireman”, “Tim Lincecum” (um – without the weed?), “rich”, “anything that does not require college” (there goes that whole ‘rich’ idea).

But when my boys reached a certain age, it became ‘uncool’ to answer this question and my inquiry into their future plans was met with blank stares, I don’t knows, or scary answers meant to silence me from asking the question ever again such as “the garbage man” or “a guy who mutters to himself”. It worked.  I quit asking.

But, last weekend, as we were driving around in the car,  Pre-teen,out of the clear blue sky (which is where he likes to draw ideas from) exclaimed,

“Being an ice cream tester would be a cool job”

And that was when I had one of those brilliant Mom moments aimed at tapping into the illusive psyche of my Pre-teen and Teen.  Ok, well it may have been my only instance of brilliance to date. Be that as it may, I quickly jumped into pre-teen’s musings.

“Really?  What other jobs do you think would be really cool?”

And without hesitation, Teen and Pre-Teen, in complete and full agreement with one another (thus the 8th Wonder of the World was established), fired off for me a list of their ideal and sought after cool jobs (and various accompanying colorful comments).  As follows and in the order they were given to me:

Video Game Tester

Super-Model Photographer (“Now there is a job you wouldn’t mind working over-time!”)

Sports Announcer

Body Guard for an Actor (“Someone cool and funny – like Johnny Depp”. I sense some possible perks for Mom here.)

Secret Service

Bouncer (“’Cause, you know, you get to be all buff and stuff”)

Any type of Professional Athlete except Curling (unmovable they were on this point of specification)

Olympic Athlete

Monster Truck Driver

Architect

Gun Designer (what can I say; we live in the country…)

Scientist for Black Cat Fireworks (not placing a whole lot of value on protruding body parts)

Car Tester (I didn’t have the heart to break it to them, crash test dummies pretty much have that job all sewn up)

And lastly, of course what all kid must want…or maybe it is just mine,

The Actor in “The most interesting man in the world” Dos Equis Commercials

And here, was the end of Teen and Pre-teen’s list of future aspirations.  Really, though, where else does one go from there?

Surely, as a Mom,  I am so proud.

And in some cases, possibly a little sorry I asked.

Teen Talk: Episode #6

Standard

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you another episode of  Teen Talk.  I assure you, everything you are about to hear is real and unedited. Please, do not try this at home. Unless your Mom has a good sense of humor.

One day, Teen discovered the new chalkboard Mom had put up.

chalkboard3

The End.

Teen Talk: Episode #5

Teen Talk: Episode #4

Teen Talk: Episode #3

Teen Talk Episode #2

Teen Talk Episode #1

For more views by Teen Go Here: Teen Talk

Down with Fish Tyranny!

Standard

fish4

My son got a 5.5 gallon fish tank for Christmas – something he had long wished for.  The day came to go purchase the lucky inhabitants.  My son dutifully put in colored rocks, hooked up the light, put together the filter, let it run for a few hours, and “Voila!” ready for fish!

Our trek to the pet store was actually twofold.  One, to acquire the perfect fish for his tank and two, to pick up potty training pads for puppy-size-of-a guinea-pig  my mom & dad in-law had UN-preparedly acquired (which is a story in an of itself and will likely be filed under the heading – Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time).

Anyway, back to my fish story.

Once at the Pet Store, we confidently headed for the fish section and engaged the attendant.  However, before we could even start our fish inquiry, we were barraged with questions.

“Has your tank been running for a minimum of two days?”

“Umm, no, more like two hours.”

“Have you treated the water in the tank so the fish don’t get stressed?”

“Fish stress-out?”

“Do you have thermometer in the tank?”

“Well, no.”

“Is the water the right temperature for tropical fish?”

“Yeah, probably.  The guppies we had in the fish bowl seemed to do fine…well, two out of three anyway.” (In retrospect, I probably should have kept this last tidbit to myself).

“Do you even know how warm it needs to be for Tropical Fish?”

“Warmish?”

“Do you have a heater in the tank?”

“No.”

“Have you considered tank décor?”

(ok, she didn’t ask this but I know it was coming!)

I sensed where the inquisition was going and so did my son whose eyes were beginning to well up in disappointment.  I offered to him that we could go ahead,  get the fish and take our chances. It was at this very moment we discovered we had fallen into the net (ha, fish humor, get it?) of The Fish Nazi – for before my son could even consider my proposal, the Fish Nazi interrupted with…

“OH NO, NO FISH FOR YOU!”

“But…”

“NO, NO FISH FOR YOU!”

And that was that. We were loaded up with all the necessary items needed to acquire fish in some distant future and hustled out the door with an unceremonious don’t let the door hit you in the butt.

However, two days later, we dared show our faces again in the Pet Store Fish Republic.  But this time, we were prepared.  When we arrived, The Fish Nazi was busy terrorizing another customer so we were offered help from The Fish Nazi’s Assistant.

We were informed by The Fish Nazi’s Assistant,  for the fish tank size, my son could have 3 “beginner” fish and two shrimp cleaners – any more than that and the fish get “stressed” (Oh yeah?  Bring it on Fishies, I’ll show you stress – can you say Christmas shopping in Wal-mart???).  However, with The Fish Nazi within earshot,  we decided to acquiesce quietly.

Once chosen, we left The Fish Nazi’s Assistant on his own to collect our 3 fish & 2 shrimp into a bag – a mistake as it turned out.  For, when we returned for our bag-o-fish & shrimp, The Fish Nazi’s Assistant was having trouble looking us in the eye.

“Ummm, well, you see,  I was just told (duh, by The Fish Nazi!) that you can’t have the shrimp until you have had fish in your tank for a minimum of 2 to 4 weeks.” 

In other words,

NO SHRIMP FOR YOU!

So for now, my son’s tank has 3 fish and no shrimp as we await the day our tank will be worthy.

The fish, however, seem happy and completely without stress (boy that Valium works wonders).

I, on the other hand… well let’s just say I fear the fish tank experience may also end up under the heading – Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time.

Aaaand….

That is where my story was supposed to end.  But, before I could stop being a slacker and finish it, I found myself a few days later back in the Pet Store returning items (a little over zealous on the tank décor).

I couldn’t help it.  I had to take a chance.  I stealthily crept through the aisles and peeked around the corner at the wall of fish tanks. There, happily scooping up fish for any and all, was your average (but knowledgeable) Pet Store employee without The Fish Nazi or The Fish Nazi’s Assistant anywhere in sight.

So, I explained to the average (but knowledgeable) employee, I wanted for my son’s new  5.5 gallon tank, a cleaner fish or shrimp.  She unceremoniously offered me the very fish my son had previously been denied – something about it being an “intermediate” fish and he  but a lowly “beginner”.  She, however, did not seem concerned.

“I’ll take it”, I said as I quickly looked around for any blindsided sneak attack. (i.e The Fish Nazi jumping out from behind the fish food). Home I went, cleaner fish happily in hand (or, well you know, in the bag).

And with this heavy blow to the  reign of The Fish Nazi and let’s just face it, to all Fish Tyranny in general,

My fish story is finally all told out.

Destroy This Note After Reading

Standard

I try to be home when my kids get home from school.  It is a time I enjoy, hearing about their day, getting the skinny on happenings at school and any drama ensuing.  But, on this particular occasion last week, I knew I would not be home until a few hours past when they had arrived home.  Therefore, being the responsible, sweet and awesome Mom I am (hey, somebody has to say it), I left them a few instructions for when they arrived home and a special after school snack.

Apparently, my husband felt my note needed a few additions.  He is just lucky I love a good laugh!

Cat Meets Fish

Standard

My son recently got a fish for a pet – three guppy fish to be exact.  We decided it was no use actually naming them until we saw how our cat, Lulubelle, was going to embrace their existence and residence in our her house. Thus, a formal introduction was arranged.

Lulubelle paced around and around the bowl.

Sniffed the contents.

Looked wide eyed at the moving objects inside.

Batted at the glass.

Tested the water with a paw.

It was touch and go there for a while.

Would the poor defenseless fish actually survive our heartless, survival-of-the fittest cat?

And then it happened.

Lulubelle stuck her head into the bowl and…

… drank the water.

cat meets fish

I am thinking, in the end, she decided it was too much work for such a small prize.

Oh and probably, she was thirsty.

Besides, Take Out Delivery is just so much more convenient.

Nightmare on Doddridge Street

Standard

Ok, I confess, this is a post I wrote for Halloween last year during the first month of my SweetSpot days.  But I am thinking all ten of the followers I had at the time won’t mind the re-blog…hopefully!

Happy Halloween

Monday seemed like a normal day. Little did I know something was lurking, lying in wait for me. It started out like any other day; kids off to school, coffee hot, dog fed (thus, her own personal nightmare assuaged).  I turned on my computer, ready to work, blog, socialize, check Facebook.  And that is when the horror began as I was greeted by the words – NO INTERNET ACCESS. I took a deep breath, no need to panic, it’s probably nothing, I thought.  After all, my dog appeared unconcerned and you know how animals can “sense” things.

Very calmly, I began to work my magic…or rather, I began to work tech-guy-on-speed-dial’s magic.  But still, ACCESS DENIED.  Then tech-guy-on-speed-dial offhandedly suggested, “what about your home phone line?” (You see, us here folks out on Doddridge, a.k.a. the boonies, rely on phone lines for our DSL mojo).  I ran for my cordless phone like a chick trying to outrun a chainsaw and as in any good bad horror flick, the line was dead.

However, unlike next-to-die-screaming-teen, I still had cell phone service.

So, to the phone company I went for rescue. Harassed-phone-company-lady informed me that “they” (guys-with-huge-hacking-scissors?) had cut the lines and “no”, the DSL line would not be reconnected anytime soon because first the phone line must be repaired in order to restore 911.  But I stammered that this was a 911 – No internet, no access to the World Wide Web, NO FACEBOOK!!

Harassed-phone-company-lady, unmoved by my hysteria, hung up, leaving me once again to face the horror alone. So there I was, waiting, staring, pacing, looking out for strange-guy-in-hockey-mask; when suddenly, out of nowhere, a thought struck me.  Something my Dad used to always tell me;

“Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.”

I grabbed my car keys, I grabbed my dog, (because clearly, judging by her worried look, the canine sixth sense had kicked in), and we started driving – away from the dreadfulness and in search of flowers.

We didn’t find any flowers, because, well, it’s October, but we did find a pretty spectacular fall tree to hang out under.

We didn’t worry about work, we didn’t long to socialize, we didn’t angst over missed Facebook posts,

And nobody denied us access.

Never Sit on the Couch at a Nudist Colony

Standard

There is a guy who lives in my house.  I like to refer to this particular guy as PRE-Teen.  Truth be told, this is not the first time I have been motivated to write about PRE-Teen and his unique take on the world around him.  (A Decade of Wisdom).

Listen, I know he is my kid and therefore I am genetically programmed to think every thought he expresses is cute, amazing, hysterical, brilliant even (quick, call CNN).  But I honestly challenge you to read through the list quoting 10 of his more recent declarations and not find at least one that makes you smile, laugh or fist pump in agreement.

In the world according to PRE-Teen:

Being smart is fun and all, but I it is good to take a break.

Batman’s movies are good but Batman is a sissy Superhero because he has no actual super power and he isn’t even smart, like Ironman.  The most Batman can claim is “Manhero”.

And while on the subject…

Joker is a completely lame villain when played by anyone other than Heath Ledger.

Eating too many gummy bears gives you gummy spit.

There is nothing more completely wrong than a “Mankini”…

…except maybe a hairy man wearing a “Mankini”.

Never miss (breakfast) “the most important meal of the day” – even if that means having it for dinner.

Teachers are like tissues, they are no good once they have been used. (although, he recently added the discovery that some can be folded and used again).

Vegetables are like ice cream…except they taste bad.

And last, my own personal favorite…

Never sit on the couch at a nudist colony. (think about it)

Sometimes, following his random proclamations, a lengthy debate ensues.

But most of the time I just have to nod my head,

and agree.

(and giggle a little, too)

For other Pre-teen isms Go Here!

Teen Talk: Episode #5

Standard

Comic by K

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you another episode of  Teen Talk.  I assure you, everything you are about to hear is real and unedited. Please, do not try this at home.

One day, Teen was hungry.

Teen:  “Hey Mom, could you make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

Mom: “Sure, ok”

Teen:  “And Mom, could you cut the crust off?”

Mom:  “What?  Cut the crust off?  That is something you do for little kids!”

Teen:  “I know”

Mom:  “Even when you were a little kid, I never cut the crust off.  You never asked to have the crust cut off.”

Teen:  “True…I am  finally getting up the nerve to ask…”

The End.

Teen Talk: Episode #4

Teen Talk: Episode #3

Teen Talk Episode #2

Teen Talk Episode #1

For more views by Teen Go Here: Teen Talk

Teen Talk: Episode #4

Standard

Comic by K

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you a review by  Teen Talk.  I assure you, everything you are about to hear is real and unedited. Please, do not try this at home.

One day, Teen returned home from an entertainment activity, shooting zombies with a paintball gun.

Mom:  “So, how was it? Was it fun? Did you have a good time?”

Teen:  “No! It was horrible, completely lame,  a real rip-off.”

Mom:  “Really?”

Teen:  “Yeah, it was a total waste of time and money!”

Mom:  “Well, would you go to it again if it cost less money, say like half the price or something?”

Teen:  No way!  I would never do to it again.  NOT EVEN IF THEY PAID ME!!!”

(pause)

Teen:  WAIT!  Actually, they could pay me to go…but, they would have to name their price.

The End

Teen Talk: Episode #3

Teen Talk: Episode #2

Teen Talk Episode #1

For more views by Teen Go Here: Teen Talk

10 Awesome Parenting Tips You’ll Actually Use

Standard

So let’s just say you did something completely crazy like, oh I don’t know,  answer the wanted ad for parenting?  Wanted: A Parent. Faint Hearted Need Not Apply.  Hey, it’s ok, we all do it because there is no accounting for crazy.

But now, you may really need to check out my post on ParentSociety.com10 Awesome Parenting Tips You’ll Actually Use.

It is the logical progression.

1.  Do something crazy like become a parent

2.  Ask for help from those who have run the gauntlet.

3.  Apply advice liberally in a trial and error fashion.

4.  Hope, plead, pray, cross fingers for the best.

Thank you to all the contributors who helped me put together the awesome list! Apparently, I not only need help with parenting, I need help compiling a list of tips to help with parenting. It is a good thing I have such wonderful (and vastly smart) friends and family!

10 Awesome Parenting Tips You’ll Actually Use

Wanted: A Parent. The Faint-Hearted Need Not Apply

Standard

Ever wonder how a Want Ad for the job of “Parent” would read?

Well, wonder no more, just head on over to ParentSociety.com where my latest article or rather ‘want-ad’ is running today. It might be good for a laugh (or cry).

Wanted: A Parent. The Faint-Hearted Need Not Apply

How to Grow Old Gracefully

Standard

See that cool lady in the photo?  That is my Grandmother, on her 80th birthday, riding the pink bicycle she requested as a gift.  The picture was taken shortly before she passed away. I love this picture because it will always remind me to…

Well, if you want to know the answer to that dangling statement you will have to hop on over to my recent post on ParentSociety.com,  “How to Grow Old Gracefully”.

Here is a little excerpt to tempt you:

Here is the thing; mostly I picture my personal aging journey being more like “Sunset Boulevard” than to “Driving Miss Daisy.” And what’s more, I fear I will be taken through my golden years chained and shackled like Hannibal Lector in “Silence of the Lambs.”

However… bear with me here because I think I may actually have figured something out for once about How to Grow Old Gracefully!

Go here to find out what I think I may have, with the help of my beautiful Grandma, figured out about how to grow old gracefully!  You might be glad you did…

“How to Grow Old Gracefully”

Other musings on age: “Is There Life After 40?”

Why I Can Never Be a Big-Boobed Hoochie Mama

Standard

hoochie mama

I have recently been in the unenviable position of seeking employment. Honestly, in this economy it’s a bit of a futile trek uphill.  It doesn’t help that in my job life I have jumped all over the map. However, at this phase in my life I can pretty much rule out a few occupations:

A Vampire – I mean, Bella makes it look pretty cool but seriously, how great could it be having to drink animal blood for an eternity?

A Doctor – apparently you need some kind of special license for that job or something.

And after my experience last week, A Big-Boobed Hoochie Mama is now permanently off the list (and I am just sick over the lost tips wages).

How could such an admirable career goal be dashed with one experience?  Well, let me explain.

Last week, I had an appointment with the dermatologist to have a little, itty bitty, teeny tiny cyst removed – a cyst that was trying hard to mind its own business but made the doctor nervous nonetheless.  Apparently, the whole idea of someone coming near me with a knife freaks me out (Thank you Nightmare on Elm Street) because the closer to the appointment it got the more nervous I became – to the point where I could not sleep the night before and was a bundle of jittery goop by the time I arrived at the office on “the day.”  However, the Doctor assured me once the numbing agents were in place, I wouldn’t feel a thing and it would be no big deal. Low and behold, he was right – that numbing stuff is the bomb!  So I settled down and prepared for an easy experience feeling proud of my Spartan Woman level of bravery.

But then I began to hear something– snip, snip, snip, snip.

Doc:  “I know you can hear the ‘snipping’ but don’t let your imagination run away with you.”

Um, too late.

It was pretty much a quick toboggan ride downhill from there.

Me: “Doc, you should know, I feel kinda sick at the moment.”

That statement was instantly followed by cold sweats, light headedness, the urge to hurl, and the involuntary desire to pass out – which I would have done had I not already been lying down with my feet now so very attractively hiked up in the air and the AC cranked down to Arctic proportions. Right then and there I knew I had pretty much blown my whole “I am woman hear me roar” status so I tried to concentrate on preserving what dignity I had left. And then finally, after an eternity, the ordeal was over.  Ok, it only took, like, 10 minutes, but it felt as if I had watched Dr. Zhivago…twice.

Later, as I lay on the recovery table of shame, the Doctor came in the room to check on me.

Doc:  “How do you feel?”

Me:  “Fine” (I lied, no sense in enhancing  my newly acquired wimp status).

Doc:  “Hey, look at the bright side…”

What, there is a bright side?  I’m not as big a wimp as it seems?  I won’t be trying to live down my behavior for the rest of our doctor/patient relationship?  I really am the Spartan Woman I momentarily believed myself to be??

Doc:  “…At least you didn’t puke on my shoes.”

Yeah, ok, I guess I will take what I can get.

But, clearly, the boob job required for me to ever acquire the rack needed for Big-Boobed Hoochie Mama employment is unequivocally off the table.

There goes that “special skill.”

Today I go back to the Doctor get my stitches out.  I hope Doc chooses his shoes accordingly.

The Day I Killed the Vacuum

Standard

I hate vacuums.  I can’t even express how much I dislike all vacuums. Vacuums have been a plague on my life (no drama at my house).    No matter how many vacuums I purchase, or how much money I pay for them, it is always the same story.  They don’t pick up what they should, like dirt and animal hair. But oh yes, they love to pick up what they shouldn’t, like the carpet corners and their own chords.   And speaking of the chord, is it my fault that my vacuum chord always ends up a mass of black electrical tape to fix the places where the vacuum has continually sucked up its own appendage and stripped it clean?  Shouldn’t a self-respecting vacuum be more discerning?  Eventually, my vacuums always end up spitting more dust than they pick up. And don’t even get me started on the new and improved “bagless” vacuum. Because changing a bag every once in a while was so much more inconvenient than having to manually dump the disgusting contents from the canister into the trash (as dust flies everywhere) on a regular basis!

Anyway, on the day in question, my current vacuum/bane-of-my-existence clearly crossed the line.  Now, it is only fair to point out this was not my first indiscretion where machines are concerned.  There was the time with the smoke alarm (Woman vs. Machine).  However, trust me, this time the machine really had it coming.

Last week, I was up to my neck in a heinous vacuum job involving the eradication of a summer’s worth of dead and live, scurrying spiders. It was near the end of the job when the vacuum chose to jump (ok, it might have fallen) off the step it was perched on, thus dislodging the nearly full “bagless vacuum” canister and spilling contents all over the floor.  In that instant, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the vacuum’s time had come.  And, ok, I will admit it…I was a tad peeved, and maybe a little pms, and possibly temporarily off my rocker.

Whatever the case,  the annihilation began as I kicked the offending machine…several times.  Lacking the desired results, I then proceeded to take the vacuum apart piece by piece and throw each piece violently out the back door onto the concrete driveway.  I swear I heard the sweet sound of cracking plastic and dislodging mechanisms.  The attack was only complete when the main vacuum unit was sent skittering across the driveway to its final resting place, lodged partially under a parked car.

Around this time, my sons, hearing the ensuing brawl, came to investigate.

Teen: “Uh, Mom, what are you doing?”

Me:  “Killing the vacuum.”

Preteen:  “Need any help with that?”

Me: “No thanks, I think I’ve got it covered.”

Then, I shed tears – not for the vacuum now lying scattered all over the driveway like the Scarecrow after the Flying Monkeys had their fun – but for the dusty, bug infested mess left in its wake that had to now be manually cleaned up and just out of good old frustration.  And that my friends, was the end of the vacuum, or so I thought.

For you see, sometime later that day, I looked outside to see Preteen collecting up all the scattered vacuum parts. And when next I looked out the window, there sat my vacuum on the back porch fully reassembled (and I am completely sure it was snickering at me).

I left it sitting on the back porch hoping it was reflecting on its bad behavior and fairly certain of its demise as a result of the onslaught.  However, the time came when pet hair in the house began to clump and blow in front of me like tumbleweeds in the Nevada desert.  Dreading the thought of facing yet another new vacuum purchase, to the porch I went to drag the vacuum back in the house, hoping it could, albeit inadequately, still to do its job.

That afternoon, when Preteen came home from school…

Me:  “By the way, I tried using the vacuum today and, guess what? It worked!”

Preteen:  “Really?  That is amazing!”

Me: “No Preteen, actually, you are amazing.”

Preteen smiled and then we both laughed.

As parents, it is our job to pick up our kids when they are down and put things back together for them.

But sometimes, it works the other way, too.

You Know You Live in a Small Town When…

Standard

You know you live in a small town when…

You are sitting in your car at the bank drive-through window waiting on the lone teller  (we’ll call him Ted) to finish your transaction.  Around the corner of the bank comes the other teller heading out on her way to lunch.  She waves to you as she walks by heading to her car.  Suddenly, she doubles back and approaches your drivers side open window.

Teller:  “Paula (yes, first name basis, of course) could you give this key to Ted when he returns with your transaction receipt?”

Me:  “Ok.”

Teller:  “It is the key to open the safe to get money out.  I forgot to leave it when I left for lunch and he won’t be able to get any money for customers without it.”

Me:  “Um, yeah, sure.”

Teller:  “Thanks.” 

Me: “No problem, have a good lunch.”

And no, I did not run to the nearest Walmart to make a copy, because well, the Walmart is like everything else when you live in the boonies, far away.  Oh, and that would be a federal offense…and wrong…and very un-small-town-like.