Friday, October 28, 2011

A Family Gets Lost in a Corn Maze--I Warned You All. Maybe Now You'll Listen.

I told you guys, corn mazes are terrifying but you didn't really believe me, did you?

I told you they eat entire families--preferably with young, juicy children who make for a tasty meal to a hungry maze and that before killing you, they clog your lungs with poison gasses and take over your mind so, in your final throes, you start to believe that the Kardashians are intellectuals and that Justin Bieber is a musical genius.

Admit it, you thought I was crazy.

It wasn't enough that I and one of my string of boyfriends named Tony barely managed to escape with our lives on a golden fall day many years ago.

But will you believe this article about how a husband and wife got so lost in a corn maze in Danvers, Massachusetts -- along with their delicious three week old infant -- that they had to call 911?? It was so traumatic that, even after they were finally located by a K-9 unit, the woman proclaimed that she was "never leaving the house again?"

"We thought this would be fun. Instead, it’s a nightmare,” were the words used in the call to the police. I could have told them that.

People have wondered why the corn maze managers didn't make sure that everyone was out of there before closing time. Why do you think? Obviously, they are in on it.

For the love of God, people. Wake up!

In fact, not long before this incident, a couple got lost in an apple orchard and also called 911. These people, however, were just idiots. They even admitted it...."Sorry about this. We feel like idiots." 
I wish you only well.

Who gets lost in an apple orchard? Biblical symbology aside, orchards are happy places where delicious fruit grows on leafy branches so nice people can bake pies.

Both of these incidents took place in Massachusetts. This should cause bells to go off in your head. Not only do they not pronounce the letter "r" in Massachusetts and have lots of scary cranberry bogs but the most obvious warning is that their favorite adjective is "wicked." This says it all and I strongly suggest you avoid that state entirely.
They lure you in with crap like this.

I'll tell you one thing that corn mazes did not count on: cell phones. The arrival of cell phones will, hopefully, thwart their deranged consumption of innocent seekers of autumnal fun, hapless victims lured in by smiling scarecrows and hay bale displays adorned with blooming mums and cheerful pumpkins.

If you can make the call for help before you start hallucinating the Kardashian sisters discussing empiricism vs. naturalism or Justin Bieber in a powdered wig and silk knickers pounding away at a harpsichord as he composes his opus for choir and orchestra, you may survive.

You can't say I didn't warn you.

Have a great weekend, and thanks to everyone for reading, commenting and signing up. We're expecting snow up here on Saturday and since snow is the natural enemy of the corn maze, hopefully, lives will be saved.
This is the actual maze in which the family of three got lost. Note the location in the upper right corner.
I rest my case.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Trick to Getting People to Say Weird Stuff to You

Yesterday, after reading the recent post about the guy buying the Jason mask in CVS and our subsequent interaction on the checkout line, my son Tom (aka Doubting Thomas for you New Testament fans), asked me if this had "really happened."

First of all, this is a blog not a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales, buddy--so yes, it's true.

Second, that was only the most minute, tip of the iceberg of a lifetime of interesting/disturbing/hilarious/terrifying/thought-provoking encounters I've had with strangers since I was old enough to form sentences.

And it hasn't only been because I accost strangers and force them to talk to me. This is a development -- in only one of my many personalities -- begun recently when my frontal lobe and estrogen supply began to simultaneously curl up around the edges.

I regret to inform those who wish to embark upon a similar trajectory of "stranger interaction," that part of it is a natural phenomenon. I also attract it through some sort of aura visible only to the slightly mad or an actual scent that is exuded through my pores that only the marginally bizarro can detect.

Yes, I am that lucky.
Actual deer in the headlights

Add to this a deer-in-the-headlights physical demeanor and that, despite my bitter and unhealthy attitude, I often walk around with a little smile on my face. Factor in a bit o' crazy and you have the perfect storm.
More interesting than fiction

The fact that I grew up in New York City, seals the deal. Per capita, we have the highest number of people who talk to strangers in the known universe and (well) beyond.

I have a substantial catalog of such encounters but, like any card player, do not wish to reveal too much of my hand in the beginning of the game. Most are totally forgettable but occasionally they're weird enough to haunt me for decades.

Like this one...

I was 18 and my mother and I were on one of our typical Saturday jaunts. We'd hop the subway and head for Manhattan and go where the wind blew us, stopping only for an occasional pretzel or hot dog on a street corner for sustenance.

One blustery afternoon, my mother wanted to go into a thrift store on First Avenue but I preferred to people watch outside. Soon, a homeless man approached. He was ragged and somewhat stinky but didn't seem threatening so I allowed him to come a little too close and stare, scrutinizingly and directly, into my face.

After a steady couple of minutes, he turned slightly and said, to no one in particular, "As I thought! The bloom is off the rose." And off he went.


"Hey!" I shouted as he ambled away. "What do you mean the bloom is off the rose?? I'M ONLY 18!!!" 

But he had said his piece. Uttering not another word, he continued onward, perhaps to destroy another young girl's youthful, and already precarious, sense of self.

If there ever had been a bloom on this rose, it was then--at 18. Or, so I thought. This itinerant philosopher of dashed hopes had successfully made me doubt not only my "bloom" but forced me into an existential phase that I have never quite shrugged off.

When I told my mother about it all she said was "I told you not to talk to strangers."

Sorry, Ma, that was one bit of advice I never took. And, in hindsight, I am very glad.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Walking in Heels-or- Yet Another Reason to Feel Inadequate at a Wedding

No can do.
We recently attended a wedding at which I bemoaned the concurrence of having a bad hair day with a social occasion where you would hope to look your best.

Well, people, it isn't just hair that's a problem. It's the shoes, too.

I was reminded of this while watching the morning news to see what fresh hell had been unleashed upon society (there was plenty),when the camera came in with a long shot on one of the anchors.

Dressed in a conservative turtle neck and slacks, her foot was exposed--and, upon it was a leopard print stiletto heel that looked as if the chorus of S&M singing Nazi hookers from the musical Cabaret might wear them. In other words, they were fabulous.
Yes, Nazi hookers.

It reawakened my bitterness over the shoes I have taken to wearing at special occasions.

It's all about the heels. I'm afraid I simply cannot walk in them.

I bought a new pair of shoes for weddings a while back. Accepting my lack of balance and ungainly lurching, I found a nice pair of sensible dress shoes. Low-ish heeled but not clunky, they work under skirts or the swish of chiffon pants and while they do not scream Nazi hookers, they do the job.

The point is I can walk in them and not create a one-woman floor show where I stumble and struggle from the ladies room back to my seat or, on a rare trip to the dance floor.

You know that trip--when the power-crazed MC says "Now ladies and gentlemen, if you wish happiness and good fortune to the newlyweds you must join them on the dance floor but if you wish them a lifetime of abject misery and hopeless despair, you will remain in your seats..."

No one dares remain seated for that. Not even 93 year old Aunt Edna who suffers from bunions, vertigo and must drag an oxygen tank behind her.

Unfortunately, I could not find my practical shoes on the day of the wedding. I hadn't left myself time to tear the house apart, foolishly assuming they would actually be in the closet with the other shoes. I had to go with an old pair with a rather high heel.

I kept them off in the car, slipping into them upon arrival.

They felt fine and, for a shining moment, I allowed myself to dream that I might survive but the moment I stepped out of the car, I almost fell on my nose as my heel got caught in the uneven gravel of the parking lot.

Damn you gravel.

I felt all eyes upon me (although there wasn't a soul in sight--we were late) as I stumbled, minced and tottered into the church and fell into a pew.

Throughout the ceremony all I thought of was my feet, bitterly observing that everyone around me appeared to be having no trouble whatsoever navigating on heels much higher than mine.

I wondered if they'd all taken lessons. Had I missed a seminar at Bloomies on how to walk in four inch heels?
Thanks for nothing.

Is it a problem with my gene pool? Did my prehistoric ancestors only wear practical flats as they rolled dough for strudel in their caves?

Struggling to remain upright at the cocktail hour, I watched enviously as others laughed gaily, dipping their delicious coconut shrimp into sweet and sour sauce while balancing on a variety of sleek stilettos, strappy sandals and bejeweled mules.

I, however, was now so preoccupied by not falling that I gave up and just leaned on one of those high tables, grimly swilling my wine spritzer.

Catching sight of another woman in apparently similar circumstances--leaning on a table across the room, she and I made silent eye contact as we clung to the edge and watched the shrimp pass us by.

We couldn't eat and stand at the same time and we knew it.

Oddly, I never saw her again after that. Had she conceded defeat early to go wait in the car as her husband spent the evening wishing his wife could manage in sexy shoes like the other X chromosomes at the wedding? 

I finally settled on a bent knee walk, lowering my center of gravity enough to keep upright as I hobbled into the reception hall and made it to our table.

I removed my shoes soon after.

We've all seen women in their stockinged feet at weddings. Even the bride and her maids often change into flip flops but mine were off way too early in the evening so I kept seated for about an hour. I finally got up to walk to the bathroom but nearly crashed to the floor anyway as I skirted the periphery of an extremely slippery dance floor.

When we got home, I immediately tossed my shoes onto a tower of crap in the garage and, lo and behold, noticed the lower, more practical shoes in that very pile. 

I remembered then that even they had been a problem at a previous wedding and that I'd tossed them there with the same disgust with which I'd launched the higher heels I'd worn that night.
Or I could wear these.

It was at that moment that I realized that I would have to wear work boots to any weddings in the future. Maybe it will start a trend. 
Cybill Shepherd never, ever wears heels.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Note to Self: Don't Make Idle Conversation With Men Buying Hockey Masks

Seth has been away for a few days. The first few were fine. Even fun.

I went wild in his absence.

I ate popcorn for dinner, washed it down with Diet Coke and apologized to no one after my carbonated belches. I ate nothing that required utensils or plates, didn't make the bed and gave the cats as much cheese as they wanted. 

I slathered on the weird green facial mask that someone gave me and wore it all evening (which was a terrible mistake because I needed a chisel to get it off) and watched a string of Indie movies that I'd been DVRing for weeks in preparation for his absence.
Can you say "water retention?"

I even bought a plant which I am forbidden to do because I always forget to water them and they die horrible deaths. I have named this one "The Philodendron of Redemption" and have put up a few randomly placed post-its with the words "Redemption" on them. I'm inspired by this on several levels and maybe it will save the plant.

After several days of these hijinks, I decided I'd better check to see if the outside world, as I remembered it, still existed. So out I went...

By this time my mood was kind of low. The sugar rush had worn off, I was lonely and daylight hurt my eyes.

But I needed a new toothbrush so I headed to CVS. Trudging through the aisles, I spotted a tall, young man of about Charlie's age choosing a plastic hockey mask from a Halloween display.

Instantly recognizable as the mask worn by Jason in the "Friday the 13th" horror franchise, I found myself standing right behind this fellow at the register.

Perked up by the possibility of conversation with a total stranger -- admittedly, an odd manifestation of my middle age -- I gave him a sunny smile and said, "Good thing Halloween is coming or I'd have to wonder why you were buying that mask."

He turned to me and without the slightest hint of a smile and in the most serious manner possible, answered, "I'm not using this for Halloween."

"Oh," Meddlesome Mary responded. "What are you planning to do with it?"

"I'm going to rob a bank."

Slight pause.

And then my brilliant response, "Please don't do that."
Jason masks,too, please...

I drove home and immediately locked myself in a closet. I haven't watched the news since this encounter so, if anyone has robbed a bank around here lately, I know nothing about it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Presidential Hair--Conclusion

Part Two: Michele, Newt, Ron and Jon.

Michele Bachmann:

It's more of a challenge to critique the hair of a female candidate and, in all fairness, it's more of a challenge for the female candiate to maintain a pleasing 'do.

Michele Bachmann is a perfect example.

While Mitt Romney never, ever so much as touches his hair, all Rick Perry with his out-of-date layers and Herman Cain with his baldie buzz need do is pass a hand over their heads to restore order. Michele needs a trip to the ladies room, a can of super-hold and, quite possibly, a whip and a chair.
The up-do.

She has good days and bad days.

Judging by her up-dos, which have --thankfully -- been the order of business for the past two debates, she obviously has a hairdresser on staff. But occasionally, she has fallen vicitm to the over-tease, over spray and, lately, the over-color.

Is her hair dresser a democrat? You'd think they would have checked that out.

The color is also somewhat erratic. She recently went quite red, but, also as of the most recent debate, had visible roots which is a huge no-no. How can you fix the econony if you can't cover your own roots?

The rule that women over 50 should crop their locks, thankfully has gone the way of no white shoes after Labor Day but be wary of the Wonder Woman look, Michele, and you'll be fine.

Bottom Line: Her hair is often wild and so are her eyes. Can she make it to the White House. Nah. While America is ready for a woman, it is not ready for this:

Newt Gingrich:

Newt has a big head. Not only does it contain lots of ideas and a great degree of vitriole, it also supports a luxuriant head of gray hair. While, in theory, the cut is not bad, it does not work.
Update needed

Unfortunately, it is a bit dated and Newt allows too much time to pass between cuts, making  him look like an old boy, framing his petulance and, causing many -- so I hear -- to attempt to slap him right through their TV screens.

He appears to go to same barber as Rod Blagojevich who, like Newt, actually has thick and healthy hair. It's also time to discard the bowl his aides carry around when he needs a quick trim while on the road.
Blago and his hair.

Bottom Line: America will never elect a large elf with bangs to be our president.

Ron Paul: 

The good old days for Ron's hair.
Give up now, Ron. You are a man of great integrity and and, while a bit radical, are truly a man of the people. What remains of your hair will never get you to the White House.

Bottom Line: Too little, too late.

John Huntsman:
Elect my hair, America.

John Huntsman doesn't have a chance in hell to get elected but, ironically, has the best hair of he bunch.

He is what is known as a "hair natural." Thick, easily styled, obedient and lush, his is a presidential head of hair.

The ratio of gray to dark is perfect. It indicates a serious nature and would go snow white during his tenure in the White House which would please the American public. After all, we want the president to be as stressed out and miserable as we are.

I suggest we elect his hair to the White House.

Bottom Line: His hair may have wowed them in China, but it won't be enough to do the trick here.

So, there you have it, America. I suggest that when it's time to vote, you make your choice wisely and may the best hair win!

My choices for best presidential hair: Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

2012 GOP Presidential Hopefuls Hair: An Analysis

Part One: Romney, Cain and Perry

While I've been paying close attention to the race to see who will face President Obama in the 2012 national election, I-- as, I'm sure, many of you -- have also been keeping a vigilant eye on their hair which, in any political contest, plays a very important role.

Subconsciously, the American people desire good hair in a president but it does not ensure victory in an election. 

Here is a run down on the hair of the GOP hopefuls. You're welcome.

Mitt Romney:  Governor Romney's hair while, apparently perfect, really defies description. Is it fabulous or is it awful?

There can be no neutrality where this particular blow-dried work of tonsorial art is concerned.

Where there finally appears to be some gray in Mitt's domed helmet, there is no gray where public opinion is concerned--you either love it or want to run at it with hedge clippers.

At first, I was very concerned that it was colored. I worried about the ability to maintain a dye job during a hectic schedule (see Michele Bachman tomorrow) not to mention that, if elected, the abrupt graying of the president -- which is a clear gauge of the president's stress levels and makes us think he's working hard --  would be cloaked. I have since decided, after considerable scrutiny, that there is no "Just For Men" on his campaign bus.

White strands are infiltrating his hairline in what appears to be a natural progression and, what used to be stark white temples are now beginning to blend into what originally appeared to be unnaturally dark hair.

Though gelled and sprayed, I have seen his hair tousled by the wind while campaigning outdoors but the general impenetrable perfection of his coif has attracted public attention. I suggest a few more layers and a closer cut.

No, no, no. Pay attention. First I gel, then I spray.
Bottom line: His hair is presidential. Is he? That remains to be seen.

Herman Cain: I like Herman's over-all appearance very much. His hairline is receding but is so closely cropped that the degree of  recession is immaterial.

It's length makes care minimal and gives him a neat and snappy appearance, causing him to appear very put-together as well as ready to get down to work.

It goes with the simplicity of his tax plan nicely--to the point, minimalist, all business.
This seems to be as big as it got

If this were the 70's, would Mr. Cain sport an afro? Despite tireless googling, I could not find any evidence that might help answer this question.

He is a conservative man with conservative hair and, apparently, always has been.

Bottom Line: His hair works. Will his tax plan?

Rick Perry: Where do I start? At first glance, he appears to possess a good head of hair but once you glance away, you realize that your stomach has become, ever so slightly, unsettled.

First, it's clearly dyed.

Upon inspection of photographs of a young Rick Perry, it is clear that his hair was very dark at one time. However, as we all age, the nature of our complexion changes, making the dense, natural shades of our youths appear harsh and unnatural.

This is what has happened to Governor Perry.

The shoe-polish black is garish against his aging skin but based on his appearance at the most recent debate, his hair was allowed to fade dramatically and was no longer a shade found on any color wheel.
Help my hair, Lord.

As for the cut, it's boyish 80's style simply does not work. The feathery layers, the side part, the one-sided forehead coverage add up to a far too youthful look for a man of his years. He needs a good stylist with strong Republican convictions and sharp scissors to bring him up to speed.

Still handsome, he would garner more respect with a head of well-cut white hair.

Bottom Line: His hair needs prayers. So does his campaign.

Don't miss tomorrow's conclusion for an in-depth look at the hair of the remaining Republican presidential hopefuls, including Michele "Crazy Eyes" Bachman and Newt "My Mama Still Uses a Bowl to Cut My Hair" Gingrich.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quiet Down! Or, Why I'm The Way I Am


Today's post is a little late.

I have been attempting to write but there's too much going on in here right now.

It's usually just me, Buzzy and the humming of the fridge but Seth is leaving late and is a whirlwind of preparation as he prepares to depart for the day.

I am easily distracted and require specific conditions for specific activities.

For example, I cannot write, read or study if there's music on. Or someone is prancing around me (like right now). Or, if the TV is on. Or, if the moon is full. Or, if I'm hungry. Or, if I've just eaten. get the idea.

When I was in school, I used to marvel at other students who could do homework in a crowded, noisy library...or tapping a foot to tunes.

Even as a tiny kid, I used to have to seal myself up in a tomb of silence to concentrate properly and tombs of silence in my house, at that time, were hard to come by.

There was lots of yelling. To be honest, all we did was yell. Maybe it was an ethnic characteristic...or maybe we were just totally nuts but the same volume was employed whether you were sitting next to someone at the kitchen table as when they were two floors away.

To add to the cacaphony, my grandfather was very hard of hearing, so when the TV was on, the volume was turned up high. My aunt was listening, and dancing, to salsa upstairs and my other aunt was always on the phone which, never having been relocated from the moment that phones were first installed in the ancient house, still could be found on an old-fashioned table in the hall.

As far as specific conditions, sleep was, and continues to be, a big issue.

As a small child, I shared a bedroom with my mother and grandmother. Before bedtime, I would settle in to enjoy a few shows on the clunky black and white TV that had been placed there for my benefit.

I would watch happily until my poor grandmother, who worked like a dog all day to the point of total exhaustion, would fall into bed and, immediately, start snoring. She snored on the out breath in a long rattle often accompanied by an unearthly wheeze. Erratically timed, you never knew when to expect the wheeze, so add the element of stressful suspense to the mix.

My mother was a night owl who stayed up late to read and worry but when she came to bed, she added to the sound effects. She, however, snored on the in breath in a kind of a loud, zooming hum.
They did not snore in unison so, in essence, my nights were just one blended snore. I developed a multitude of nervous habits as a result of this nocturnal symphony and contemplated running away from home to live in the forest many times.

Where I thought I'd find a forest in the middle of New York City remains a mystery but, as a little girl, it was always my imagined destination where silence ruled and I could slumber happily on a soft bed of moss, watched over tenderly by a family of bears who wore clothing.

As a result of all this mayhem, I was terrified of marrying a snorer.

But, of course, did.

Seth's snores are legendary. I now employ a white noise machine to help absorb what my son Tom once called a "gruesome symphony." 

There are some who say I snore but until they can provide proof with dated video, I say they are slandering villains trying to deflect attention from themselves.

Sometimes my boys snore but it just endears them to me further which is additional proof of a mother's love. Remember that when you're picking my nursing home, kids, and please, if you can, get me a private -- and quiet -- room!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Very Bad Hair Day

I told you ! You used too much gel!!
What are the chances you will have a bad hair day -- quite possibly, a very bad hair day -- on the day you must attend a wedding with your husband's co-workers? Allow me to clue you in...

100% absolutely certain.

It all began innocently enough. The day before the wedding was a typical Saturday: do laundry, have soup for lunch, languidly pay a few bills, gaze out the window and question the meaning of life through a mist of tears. As I said, a routine day.
I took my shower early--towel drying first, blow drying second and could tell, early in the process, that it was going to be one of those very rare, really good hair days.

I held my breath, round brush in hand, mousse at the ready.... 

The tonsorial forces of the universe were with me, the hair gods smiling in my direction because it was just right--full in the right places, facing in the proper direction, no frizz to be seen.

But who, besides Seth and the cats, were going to witness it??
It looks fine to me, Honey.

Thinking feverishly about what I could possibly insert into my day to maximize the occasion, I considered hosting a spur-of-the moment dinner party for 70, meeting Queen Elizabeth, being interviewed by Geraldo...

Realizing these things required a) more planning b) a special invitation reserved for visiting dignitaries or Elton John or c) killing someone, I settled for a trip to the supermarket.

So off I went, keeping the windows of the car hermetically sealed lest a hair be blown out of place but, upon arrival, bitterly observed that it was strangely empty for a Saturday. 
Leave me alone, you idiot. I'm not going anywhere!
Undeterred, I made pointed eye contact with everyone in my path, lingered in produce, stalked someone I vaguely knew in dairy but left without receiving the attention I felt my hair deserved.

A bit crestfallen but still cheerful -- after all, a good hair day is always a good day, I confronted the lurking knowledge that, statistically, the chance of having a good hair day twice in a row is virtually nil.

I could, of course, attempt to prolong the festivities by not washing it. This approach is typically a huge mistake--halfway through your day, your hair will suddenly become greasy and fall flat. I had no choice, I was going to a wedding. I took a shower.

Farewell magically good hair. Hello bad hair day.

Not only was it bad but it was so bad that I had to re-wet it and try again. Still no luck.

I contemplated starting a huge fight with Seth which would culminate in me bellowing "OH YEAH? WELL, I'M NOT GOING!!" but I had already used this technique quite recently. 

I considered an alternate scenario which involved throwing myself down a flight of stairs and going to the ER where everyone is having a bad hair day. This approach, however, included pain and possible complications based on whether I broke a bone or tore a ligament, so I nixed it as well.

My fate was sealed.

I was going to have to leave the house not only looking like a cat had licked my head into what might be described as a faux hawk meets the Bride of Frankenstein, but attend a wedding where other women always seem to know exactly how to coax a good day out of their hair and have much cuter shoes and evening bags than I do.

Defeated, I dressed and we left.

Oddly enough, no one appeared to notice but they're a very nice crowd and, I'm sure, thoughtfully contained their horror. We all chatted pleasantly, making wedding small talk (I only swore once and it was out of nerves) but there were disposable cameras on every table.

I am now going to start googling "crazy hair."

I bet I pop up. If I do, I'll post the picture tomorrow.
Somehow, a faux hawk look s better on him than on me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Never Lend Your Term Paper To a Sasquatch

Even I, Dinosaurus BabyBoomerus, have to admit there might actually be aspects of technology that are very helpful and enjoyable.

Yes, I rail about the fact that everyone in my childrens age groups always has his nose in a text or a tweet and I fear that imagination -- fostered by the artful wandering of an unoccupied mind -- will be negatively affected.

And, dare I add that the world doesn't need to know, via Twitter or Facebook, that you are currently kissing your dog on the lips.

But, I have seen my friend's face after she has skyped with her daughter in Italy. There is no denying the genuine happiness there.

I also remember how traumatic it was, upon two occasions, to lose papers I had written for school--something that would be an unlikely event today, thanks to technology.

The first was in Mr. O'Malley's high school history class.

Disliked by many for his apparent charmlessness (I found some charm there if only in the florid enthusiasm he had for his subject) and the ever present bubbling spittle in the corners of his mouth (admittedly hard to deal with), he allowed me to leave class and canvas the school when my term paper went missing.
A relic

I'd worked very hard on it. I had no typewriter and it was carefully handwritten. When the time came to hand it in and I couldn't find it, that awful feeling we've all had at one time or another crept hotly from my stomach into my throat.

I knew I'd packed it. It wasn't languishing on the kitchen table over which I'd hunched with shoulders drawn up around my ears as I copied, in blue ballpoint, from my rough draft.

It had made it to school because, since it would greatly affect our final grade, I'd confirmed its presence -- tucked into my notebook -- several times.

Retracing my steps, I hit the gym, the library and the only bathroom I used in the building--because it was so close to the office, the scary girls stayed away. 

No paper.

In the Brooklyn classroom, far-fetched excuses flowed like water and teachers were pretty skeptical but my reputation was solid and Mr. O'Malley took my word that I had actually done it.

I was given an extra day to recreate the paper and hand it in with no penalty.

In college, I wrote the single funniest thing I have ever written. It was for a class on ancient Rome. 

As was my tradition, my desk was in the very last row. I never raised my hand or uttered a peep and sat behind a bunch of boys who used to talk constantly about how badly they wanted to hit the professor in the head with a 2 by 4. They'd laugh like silent hyenas throughout the entire hour and I could barely hear what the teacher was saying.

The grade in that class was based entirely on one very long research paper. For some insane reason, I'd gone on at great length -- among other wacked-out tangents -- about what I conjectured to have been the birth of the confetti industry.

Apparently, I was already pretty bizarre.

But I wasn't the only one who thought it was funny. The teacher sought me out to tell me that he'd laughed his head off while reading it and gave me an A. He also asked me to lend it to another student who'd done poorly so she'd see what a good paper was like.

I knew this girl. There was class wide suspicion that she was really a sasquatch who'd wandered in from the wild and I was afraid she'd lose my paper. And, of course, she did.

Gone forever.

Today, we'd just print out another copy. And this, my tweeting friends, is a distinct advantage of the computer age.

Moral of the story: If there is a sasquatch in your class, set her free for she belongs to the outdoors...but do not lend her anything of importance because, chances are, you will never see it again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Domestic Jeopardy

If this were Jeopardy, the answer would be: Toilet Paper, Hysterics in the Car and the Exercise Bike.

And the question would be: What are three recent events that might make Susan Says's husband question his marriage vows. Allow me to explain.

First Episode:

Very recently, the toilet paper ran out in the hall bathroom. Not having been the one to use the last square, I secretly bypassed the bathroom for a while and waited for Seth to replace it. He did not. This eventually caused me to attack like a crazed mongoose asking "What are you, a caveman?"
A crazed mongoose

A day or so later, the toilet paper was dwindling in the other bathroom. Before it was completely gone and I had the chance to change the roll, it was thoughtfully replaced. Feeling that my job had been usurped specifically to make me look bad, the crazed mongoose struck again with "Who do you think you are? Mother Teresa?"

Second case in point:

It was a gorgeous fall day last Sunday. The sky was a brilliant blue. The leaves were starting to adopt their autumn palette of  gold and crimson and the breeze was a perfect tickle on the backs of our necks.

Deciding to go for a drive in all this beauty, about halfway through, a beam of sunshine poked through the bower of leaves illuminating something totally random but, somehow, awakening -- within my hormone wracked psyche -- a torrent of nostalgia and poignant memories of autumns past.

With absolutely no warning whatsoever, I burst into tears. 

I cried hard and long, looking out at passengers in other cars with mascara ringed clown eyes and an open mouth. In a nutshell, I ruined Seth's day.

Why he couldn't just see that I was enjoying what is commonly referred to as a "good cry," I will never understand.

Third and final:

Me: "You know, if the exercise bike were in front of the TV, I would use it more often...."
Victim: "Okay." (sounds of wrestling bike down a flight of stairs)
Me:  "You know, that exercise bike is making the room too crowded, I think it would be better upstairs..."
Victim: "Okay."  (sounds of wrestling bike up a flight of stairs)
Me: "On the other hand..."

A perfect world.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And Now, A Word From Your Mother

As a deranged, neurotic harbinger of doom parent, every once in a rare while you receive concrete proof that something you've been bleating about like a sheep for years, is correct.

Not that you, as an overwrought high strung headcase a mother, needed proof because you knew it all along. But it is a triumph to be able to say to your children, who fought you tooth and nail, "SEE, I TOLD YOU SO, YOU  UNGRATEFUL LITTLE BASTARDS!!!"

The below video is just such proof.

Proof, specifically, that cyclists should wear helmets while peddling...especially when traversing the African plains.

If the sound of dazed human groaning upsets you, turn off your volume but be sure to watch the entire video so you can see that the rider has survived without injury thanks to his bicycle helmet which was shattered...instead of his head.

Okay, did you see that?

I hope that you didn't turn off the sound because if you did, you missed the hilarious part of the video: when the companion of the rider who gets hammered by the antelope, screams "Holy cow!"

Oh my God.

It wasn't a cow. It was an antelope.

In any case, Tom and Charlie and everyone else, this is why you must always wear a helmet.

Just be sure to wear it correctly.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Ever Contest Sponsored By Susan Says...!

Seth gave me a nice little blank book to keep by my bedside since I frequently wake in the middle of the night with an idea or a sentence that will eventually become a blog post.

I did just that in the wee hours the other day and was very grateful as I fumbled for the book and accompanying pen because what I had to write made me laugh out loud.

Despite the fact that I frequently laugh in my sleep (a documented indication of insanity), Seth has never been able to get used to it and is terrified whenever I burst out in the pitch darkness. Of course, I find this hilarious as well.

The other night, I specifically remember being very pleased with both myself and my subconscious but come the morning -- as usual -- had no memory of what I had scribbled down. 

Typically, once I've returned to what I've written, in barely legible nocturnal scrawl, the idea floods back to me and a blog post is born.

I went back to the book this morning, eager to put my new idea to use, but upon reading the words written across the lines instead of within them, I had absolutely no idea what they meant or how I'd intended to use them.

This is exactly what was on the page: "What if more than one Kardashian tried to walk into a room at the same time?"

What had I meant?

What insane dream could have prompted me not only to come up with this madness but to laugh at it in the dark of night?

Was it the jalapeno in my egg whites? Those weird new bean chips from Costco? What??

It almost sounds like the beginning of a terrible Borscht Belt comedy routine....along the lines of the "Take my wife...please" school of humor so I tried to work it into something.

But nothing came.

For a brief moment, I had a little routine going in my head in which the Kardashian girls went fly fishing but it never got beyond their mutual refusal to wear anything other than designer waders...

In other words, my mysterious idea was going nowhere.

I have often railed against the Kardashians in this blog and suspect that, some months ago, it was this ranting spree that got me "disciplined" by the long and clearly power mad arm of Facebook (Really, Mark Zuckerberg? If you and I met in an alley, I could wipe the floor with you. Put that on your timeline, punk), but have since changed my opinion of them.

No, of course I don't like them.

Do not look directly into their eyes.
And, no, I don't think any of the girls are pretty. Seriously, does anyone?

But they made so much money last year with their fashions, perfume and celebrity appearances with no discernible shred of talent that I have little choice but to sincerely applaud their entrepeneurial vision.

My ass is a lot bigger than Kim's and I, most certainly, don't have any money. Explain that.

But I digress...

Why I thought the concept of more than one Kardashian entering a room at the same time was so uproariously funny in the middle of the night will remain a mystery and, while the question is slowly starting to regain funny momentum in my head, I have decided to turn to you, my beloved readers, for help.

If anyone can give me a genuine laugh with an answer to that question, you will win a yet undetermined but totally awesome prize from "Susan Says..."

Please direct your answers to the comments section here or to I await your answers and will publish the best ones here in a day or too.

P.S.  And whatever you do, do not buy the new bean chips from Costco.
You've been warned.