Total Pageviews

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How Dumb…do they think I am?

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for tests for signs of intelligence in commercials

Is it just me or are there some really dumb commercials out there; commercials that you see and think "What were they thinking" but lately the dumb commercials must think I'm dumb also.

Take for instance the Lysol hands free soap dispenser. "You never have to touch a germy soap dispenser again." Ok, now the general sequence of events is 1) your hands get dirty 2) you turn on the faucet to get your hands wet 3) your germy hands push the soap pump 4) AND THEN YOU WASH YOUR HANDS, the same germy hands that touched the soap pump that are now being washed clean. So the Lysol soap can't remove the few extra germs you picked up on the soap dispenser? I'm more concerned about touching the faucet again, after you've washed your hands. What am I missing here?

The Snickers Squares with the sharks is not only dumb, but in bad taste (oh, no pun). Maybe Steve should have just stayed out of the water. Or maybe I object because the commercial for the" Soul Surfer" movie (the one where the girl loses her arm to a shark and then comes back to win some surfing contest) played within the same couple of hours. Sharks eating people because the people ate Snicker's Squares doesn't make me want to rush out in my bathing suit at the beach and buy Snickers Squares! Aren't ads supposed to make you want to buy their product?

The other commercial that has me thinking "Whaaat?" is the Bissel Spot Remover. Now the poor doggie has obviously made a "mistake" on the carpet. This dog must have had some major digestive issues because most of us would grab some paper towels, stomp on it with our shoe, throw the towels in the trash, and then follow up with a quick spritz of disinfecting soap and it's a done deal. I speak from recent experience having just gotten a shih tsu who is making her mark. But this doggie mess requires you to haul out a 24 inch by 24 inch huge machine that has to be filled with cleanser and water. Then you have to haul it to the spot, find a plug to plug it in, wait for it to clean up the job, empty the dirty water, coil up the electrical cord, and return it to the closet.

Northern Tissue was introducing their "quilted" version of their toilet tissue. Several cartoon characters were sitting around the tissue quilting…with knitting needles! Even I know you don't use knitting needles to quilt! I can't imagine an ad campaign going through all the levels it takes to get a commercial on national tv and nobody picked up on that. They pulled the ad after only a couple of weeks.

I don't think it's just me. Maybe the ad people have just watched too much television. They need to take up some activities, like digging in the dirt, swimming in the ocean…with sharks, walking the dog instead of wiping up after the dog, and quilting…with needle and thread.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Thought It Would be Different This Time!

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved to sue Betty Crocker

I don't know why I thought it would be different this time. Maybe because it's spring, hope eternal and all that. Maybe because I didn't have anything to post and cooking puts a sure fire end to writer's block. Maybe because the children were putting on those extra McDonald's pounds. Whatever the reason, I was really making a concerted effort to get it right this time.

I began last night by pulling out all my cookbooks, all three of them. The children and I sat at the kitchen table and leafed through the books marking things that looked good but most importantly easy. After they went to bed, I went back through "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. She had recipes for sneaking vegetables into foods without the children being the wiser. I needed this since the five-year-old who once ate every gourmet dish offered on the cruise ship has suddenly turned into a carnivore and the nine-year-old who once was a carnivore is now close to becoming a vegetarian.

I made a list of all the recipes we would try, noted the page number and the cookbook where it could be found. From that one page, I made a list of all the ingredients that I did not currently have in the house. That took up two and a half pages. This morning after dropping the kids at school, I headed for Wal-Mart, lists in hand.

The "Deceptively Delicious" required pureed sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, and cauliflower. Since my cooking utensils consist of a couple of skillets, a knife, and a mini food chopper, and no food processor within the thirty-five acres, I had a brilliant idea. Baby food is pureed. I'd get that. I chased all over Wal-Mart with my list. I found a pork loin, ground turkey, wheat elbow macaroni, baby food carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, unsweetened applesauce and the other 5,000 things that were supposed to be healthy if you would only eat them. The spice aisle took me awhile, since all I had was salt and pepper. Who knew spices were so expensive!

Back at home I tackled the pork loin first. The recipe said to salt and pepper the pork loin, crush the garlic and rub all sides with rosemary. It seemed more efficient to just throw all the spices in the backing dish and just flip the pork loin around and roll it over and over. Off to the oven for thirty minutes at 425 degrees. After 30 minutes, it still looked raw. I couldn't find my husband's smoker meat thermometer so I just cooked it ten more minutes. It still didn't look brown so I cooked it ten more minutes while I searched for the thermometer. I found it and sure enough the pork loin was done, well done, very well done. I didn't know there were that many degrees of "done-ness" for pork.

Next I tackled the applesauce-rolled-oats-pureed-carrot-muffins. I guess I should have read the right side of the recipe and not just the list of ingredients on the left. I just dumped everything together at the same time. What is the point in messing up two bowls, one for dry and one for wet, when you were going to put everything together anyway. Fortunately after I measured the 1 ½ cups of flour into the first bowl, I was a bit suspicious of the "flour" which turned out to be not flour but powdered sugar. I wisely got a magic marker and labeled that clear container "powdered sugar" so I wouldn't make that mistake again. Of course pouring the bowl of sugar back into the narrow container resulted in a few spills. I found the flour, labeled it and proceeded. By now my counter top is strewn with assorted measuring spoons, every bowl I own, vegetable oil, foil cupcake cups, oats, applesauce, sixteen spoons, and assorted piles of sugar, flour, so when I knocked over the quart of vegetable oil, it didn't seem to matter. Luckily my black counter tops are supposed to be lightly oiled every two weeks. I won't have to worry about my countertops for at least two months. I never said I was neat.

I had the cupcakes neatly placed evenly around the cookie sheet for even browning and they would have stayed that way if I hadn't hit the edge of the cookie sheet on the oven door as I was preparing to put the cupcakes in the oven. Now they resemble an applesauce sheet cake with little foil dividers. I tasted one after they were done and while they aren't much to look at, they are quite tasty.

Next I tackled the "healthy meatloaf". I must have run out of paper when I was listing all the ingredients I needed because I somehow missed the Italian flavored bread crumbs and the parmesan cheese. Not to worry, I had cornbread stuffing mix so I just threw in some Italian seasonings I had bought for another recipe. This time I read the order in which to mix the ingredients on the right side. See, this was going to be better… edible! I called my hubby in town to bring home the cheese. I wasn't sure my family would eat the ground turkey so I mixed it with some regular ground beef. The secret hidden ingredient this time was…carrots. I must have changed my mind about whatever recipe required the squash and cauliflower. So far carrots are in everything. Can you eat too many carrots?

I got the meatloaf safely into the oven and it would have been just fine except, well now I had something to write about so I sat down to my computer and started to write. After the second draft, I became aware of some irritating beeping sound coming from the kitchen. I don't know how long the timer had been going off, but from the looks of the meatloaf, quite some time.

I have loaded the dishwasher twice trying to get the kitchen back to semi-normal. I fear the new puppy may O.D. on spilled sugar, flour, turkey, catsup, and applesauce from the floor. It has taken me four hours and $150 in spices and groceries to produce an over-dried pork loin, thirteen applesauce cupcakes, and a crispy meatloaf. And that's just lunch and supper today. Tomorrow I will have to do it again.

Some people are just helplessly and permanently cookingly challenged. I don't even think "America's Worst Cooks" would take me.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

All in the Course of a Day

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for dog auditions

For whatever reason, our nine-year-old has decided she wants a small dog for a pet. She has been wagging around a tiny rat dog (I don't care if his breed makes Taco Bell commercials or has two Beverly Hills movies, they look like rats). Recently a more acceptable type dog, a Shih Tsu has taken up residence at our house but it is just a matter of time until the owner comes to claim him, I'm sure, then the crying will begin. However, it was beginning to look like we could be taking care of this lost dog for a while. He's been here off and on for over two weeks.

For us this was all in the course of a day. Of course my day went something like this:

6:00 a.m. Lost dog is sitting on top of 9 foot sand pile waiting for the children to wake up.

6:01 a.m. Half naked children are running around on the sand pile playing with lost dog.

7:00 a.m. I manage to get sand off children and dog.

7:30a.m. We leave for school with hubby holding crying dog.

8:00 a.m. Am at Wal-Mart buying dog shampoo, dog food, flea stuff, dog brush, leash, chew sticks for the lost dog

9:00 a.m. Home to shampoo lost dog, scrub bathtub, dry off lost dog, blow dry lost dog with hair dryer.

9:30 a.m. Print FOUND DOG signs on computer for neighborhood

9:35 a.m. Post FOUND DOG online with local newspaper

9:45 a.m. Ok, still mastering the online thing and now scanning local paper for dogs. Find two promising ones.

10:00 a.m. Call first number, nobody home, call second number, yes she has a year old dog but now the pine trees are interfering with phone reception. Remember, I'm buried behind the Pine Cone Curtain. Promise to call back on land line.

10:04 a.m. Puppy needs to go outside so we walk out the side pasture next to the road to tell Hubby about the possible dog

10:05a.m. Pick up truck goes by, stops, backs up, man climbs the fence and asks if our lost dog has a black collar.

10:06 Lost dog recovered, I am now in a panic because school will be out in 4 hours and the crying will begin.

10:15 Call lady back on land line. She's an hour and a half away, could meet me maybe Thursday or Friday yadda yadda yadda. She has a 12 year old granddaughter with puppy that doesn't get along with her dog; I have a 9 yr. old who will cry a river of tears when she learns lost dog has been found. Bottom line I need a dog by the time violin practice is over. She will bring me the dog at 6:00 Hooray!

10:15 and a nano second What is so bad about this registered Shih Tsu that she's willing to leave work, drive an hour and a half to bring me this dog?

10:16 Me: What does dog look like?

Lady: I'd send you a picture with my phone if I knew how.

Me: That's ok, my phone doesn't have e photos. It does, but I don't know how to connect it. Send a picture to my computer.

Lady: I would except my granddaughter is in school and she's the only one who can do that.

Me: I understand. That's ok. Mine is in school and I can't open a picture without her.

Lady: I'll just bring the dog.

Me: Ok.

10:16-3:30 Dog ready the house!

3:30 p.m. Give hubby instructions. Drop five-year-old at ballet at 4:30, take nine-year-old to Girl Scouts and drop her off at 4:45. Then pick up five-year-old from ballet at 5:15, then pick up nine-year-old from Girl Scouts at 5:50 and take her to violin lesson at 6:00 while I wait for dog delivery.

6:05 Lady calls and we agree to meet to the right of Wal-mart in the grassy area.

6:06 She hangs up but I don't know if it is the right of Wal-Mart as you face it or the right as you are coming out of Wal-Mart.

6:07 Calling her back, get voice mail as my phone is beeping telling me she is trying to call me again.

6:08 Finally get her, tell her I'm driving the Medicare Mom mobile, wearing blue pants, white shirt and I'm standing in the middle of the street…dodging cars. I see a lady on the grassy knoll at the back of Wal-Mart parking lot walking a small dog and she's talking on the phone and waving at me. I think it's her. How do those online dating services ever get anybody together?

6:09 Hubby drives by Wal-Mart sees the Medicare Mom mobile, a pair of blue pants dodging cars, lady with a dog and stops.

6: 15 Dog, dog bed, dog leash, dog crate, dog clothes (she has 4 outfits) dog bowls, dog papers and money exchanged.

6:20 Load up everything, hubby hands over five-year-old who is all smiles holding Miss Tia and heads for poker game.

6:25 Arrive at violin lessons. Five-year-old is walking Miss Tia. She poops on the grass. Five-year-old is ecstatic! "Look, she pooped. Ahhh, it's so small." "Don't touch it", I yelled. He's going to be such a good little daddy.

6:30 Violin practice is over.

6:31 "Why are you smiling so much? What's going on?" Ok, I could never play poker.

6:32 Sees five-year-old with Miss Tia. "Is that my dog? You got me a dog? This is just the best day of my whole life. I can't believe you got me a dog. This is just the best day ever."

And it was. Sometimes things just seem to work out!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How Much is the Free Doggie in the Window?

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Dogs-R-Not-Us

Why is it when you are trying to get rid of an animal or sell an animal, four horses come to mind, you can never find a taker or buyer; yet when you are trying to find one, there aren't any available, at least within your price range?

I thought when the last adult child left the nest, she would take her animal with her. Not so. We inherited a part yellow lab which isn't too bad. She's been spayed and she stays outside, the dog not the daughter. Her only purpose in life it seems is to race frantically across the yard in pretext of chasing squirrels or deer when we drive up. Otherwise, she is inclined to recline in front of the door. Still talking about the dog.

I even brought home a stray dog from school several years ago. I named her Lizzy B. I should have named her Lazy B because along with the lab mix she pretends to chase squirrels and deer when we drive up and then sleeps the rest of the time. Neither dog barks at strangers. In fact, they lead the UPS man and any other stranger right up to our door. If it wasn't for our advanced early warning system (a yard booby trapped with bicycles, tricycles, broken chairs, assorted metal tables, a precariously leaning basketball goal, assorted dolls, broken wagons, rakes, shovels, and other assorted farm equipment) plus the fact that there is obviously nothing worth stealing from this house, we might not be safe at all.

Still when you are a parent/grandparent and your grandchild/child pleads for a puppy and looks up at you with those big blue eyes, the parent/grandparent gets all combobelated, reason exits the door, and you start looking for a puppy. The nine-year-old wants a small lap dog she can carry around and dress up. This might have an upside. If she has a puppy to dress, maybe she will stop dressing her brother up in tutus and wanting to paint his fingernails. The vet bills and puppy supplies will cost less than therapy for the five-year-old when he turns twenty.

I agreed to puppy hunt provided we were looking for a "small dog". By that I mean a dog that weighs less than ten pounds fully grown and one that actually looks like a dog: not a mop, a rat, or some kind of wire scrub brush.

Normally in the spring the parking lot at Wal-Mart is full of pick-up trucks with "Free Puppies" painted on a piece of cardboard and a truck bed full of yapping puppies. Not so these days. I tried the animal shelters and those offering free adoptions which turned out to not be so free after all. Also the so called "free adoptions" require more home visits and paperwork than I had to fill out when adopting eight children and two government owned donkeys.

I even tried the classified ads in the Houston Chronicle. You'd think a big city newspaper would have lots of small dog ads and they do. The only trouble is that now with the internet I found myself inquiring about "free-to-a-good- home" small dogs that were in Canada, Ohio, and even Hawaii. I just had to pay shipping. Other dogs for sale were sporting champion bloodlines and price tags to match. I didn't pay that much for my first truck!

In frustration, I bought one of those virtual pet games for her. I pointed out that you had the same responsibilities for the virtual pet as you would a real dog except you didn't have to actually pick up poo. You could name your Vpet, toss the Frisbee, walk him, brush him, pet him, feed him, and then when you were through, unplug the sucker and go on to something else. She was not impressed.

Tomorrow Pet Smart is offering Saturday Adoptions. I will be at the store at 10 a.m., first one in line to look over the adoption hopefuls. You may think it mean that I do not take her with me to look over the animals but I know what would happen. She would want to adopt all of them and I, knowing what their fate will be if no one adopts them, couldn't look at them and then at her and say no. There is strength in one, total capitulation if you add a blue-eyed-nine-year-old and sad eyed homeless dogs to the mix.

With any luck, maybe tomorrow I will find a doggie in the window that will not require a second mortgage. At least she didn't want a monkey!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Milk God!

By Jody Worsham March 2011 406 word count

All rights reserved for lactose intolerant children

"Who left the empty milk jug in the refrigerator?" I yell.

"Not me. Besides, it's not empty."

"It's empty."

"No, there's some in the bottom!"

"Enough for a gerble maybe."

"It's not empty. There are starving children in China..." as the oldest throws my Mother's favorite admonition for wasted food, half full glasses of milk, back at me.

"They aren't starving for two drops of milk!" I countered.

There seems to be some kind of universal unwritten law that says a gallon of milk should always have a minimum of two drops of milk in it, otherwise, it will have to be thrown in the trash. Ah ha! Whoever empties the gallon of milk must be the one to dispose of the container in the trash. You never leave an empty jug in the refrigerator. It's not a monumental task requiring extreme balance and coordination to accomplish this. You grasp it by the handle, you walk to the trash bin, and you drop it in. Simple! But for a household with multiple teenagers, you'd think it was a task equal to climbing Mt. Everest.

I can trash an empty gallon jug. My balance and coordination are still intact enough to do that. Teenagers, on the other hand, feel it is a challenge to see how many times they can pour milk from the same container without emptying it. I have seen them pour the next to the last drop of milk from one gallon, then reach for the full gallon next to it to finish filling their glass with milk. Many times I have seen a gallon of milk with only a single drop of milk left in the bottom to be finished off by whom? a fairy? I have come to accept this as their miniscule tribute to the Milk gods. And while they may balk at going to Sunday School, or giving up something for Lent, they always honor the Milk god. "Thou shalt not leave a milk jug empty."

Now that we are between teenagers, you would think this problem would disappear for a while. Not so. They have trained my husband well. Maybe it's a "male" thing.

"Who left an empty milk jug in the refrigerator?"

"It's not empty," responds my husband and then "it's a tribute to the Milk Gods."

Well, who can argue with religion!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Cowboy M.D.

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Western Channel

I have never suffered from morning sickness, mainly because I've never been pregnant but if what I experienced yesterday was anything like morning sickness, it's a wonder the world ever got populated.

I'm not sure if it was a virus, food poisoning, or the combination of hot mocha coffee and the cookies that had been stashed in the back of the suburban for a couple of months, but whatever it was, it was not pleasant.

I was finishing up my day of subbing and transporting kids to ballet, Girl Scouts, violin lessons and was headed home. Since our car is truly a "mobile" home, we long ago gave up on those cute little litter bags for the front seat and opted for a basket lined with a Wal-Mart plastic bag. A good choice considering what was about to transpire.

On the way home, I managed to make it to the first stop sign. That's when I made my first "deposit" into the plastic bag lined basket. The kids, in true Mama-can-handle-anything manner, began yelling.

"Call Daddy."

"Pull over"

"Call Daddy!"

"Pull over!"

I could do neither because a) hubby was playing poker with friends and I had forgotten to charge my cell phone and b) we were in traffic so there was no place to pull over. Fortunately the stop signs and the stop lights were coordinating with my need to deposit. With only three miles from home, I yelled for the nine-year-old to strip the beach towel cover from the backseat and pass it to me. She did, sending all the accumulated snack wrappers, empty cups, straws, and partially eaten cookies on to the seat the towel was there to protect. That was ok; throw-up took precedence over crumbs. Two miles to go. I can make it.

To their credit, as soon as they stopped gagging, they went into emergency rescue mode. "I'll get a cold wash cloth as soon as we get home" strategized the nine-year-old. "I'll get a bucket" from the practical five-year-old. I was so proud of them, green, but proud. We made it to the house without any further incidents.

As I was stripping and heading for the shower I yelled to the nine-year-old. "You have got to take over. Help your brother with his homework, then get him into the shower, see that he brushes his teeth. Turn off the TV at 8:30 and put him to bed." As soon as I hit the bed, she hit me with the cold wet washcloth and the five-year-old, true to his word, brought me a plastic bucket and placed it beside the bed.

I must say I was very proud of the nine-year-old. She rose to the occasion. Homework was finished. She tested the temperature of the shower amidst cries of "Don't look at me" from the five-year-old who, until a few months ago, thought all clothing was optional in the country. Her responsibilities to her brother accomplished, she proceeded to her room to do her homework, shower, and get ready for bed.

A few minutes later from the living room I heard "Cowboys to the rescue." The five-year-old appeared at the bedroom door in his black ballet t-shirt and ballet pants, wearing his black cowboy hat, his cap pistol buckled around his waist, a red bandana tied around his neck and a towel neatly folded over his arm. In his best imitation of a combined Paladin, The Virginian, and Cheyenne, he ambled over to my bed. He tucked he towel under my chin like a giant bib. As he turned to leave he said "Now you holler if you need anything, Ma'am."

Here I should tell you that the muscles you use to throw-up are the same muscles you use when you laugh. The last thing I wanted to do was "activate" those muscles again. No amount of visual imaging of cold icy wind on my face or snowflakes resting on my forehead could erase the picture of my cowboy-ballet-pistol-packing-waiter/doctor or his admonition to "Holler if you need me, ma'am." As soon as the door closed, I headed for the bathroom.

While there may not be any scientific evidence to substantiate this, I can offer my undisputed testimony that you can laugh and throw-up at the same time!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Race to Finish…Something…Anything!

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved to finish.

This was to have been my entry in a blog contest. I started it several days ago but, uh, I got distracted and didn't finish until now, sort of. Let me explain by telling you about a typical day in my life.

We've lived in our house thirty-two years and it isn't finished yet, mainly because we built it ourselves. There's still paneling "temporarily" tacked to the wall in the breakfast room. The baseboards for the living room have been stored in the barn now for six years. Shingles for the new roof are stacked on the patio waiting for the second half of the roofing project to be completed. This isn't a major concern since the shingles are warrantied for twenty years and there's still eight years left. The vacuum cleaner is in the middle of the hall where I stopped vacuuming four days ago.

My plan yesterday was to do a load of laundry, but first I had to move the wet laundry to the dryer and since I needed a full load, pick up the clothes in the other rooms. On the way to doing that I remembered to wake the kids up again for school. While I was in their bedrooms waking them up, I might as well change the bed linens since I was doing laundry and needed a full load.

By then it was time to take the kids to school. On the way to the car, the bug man called and said he was coming to spray the house. I turned transportation over to hubby so I could sweep the floors before the arrival of the Bug Man. If I'm going to sweep, I may as well mop.

I rested the mop on the desk with the computer and thought about the fourth grade math I couldn't do last night; so just one quick e-mail to my friend who had written a book about ADDH. Then I saw an e-mail from Tracy-no-e and thought I might have to butt her rebuttal about names on Facebook, but she was just talking about Blogher 11 which I didn't know there was a Blogher 9 or a 10, so I had to check that out.

Then the school called to tell me to pick up the near-to-throwing-up five-year-old old which I did. I got him home and I was on the way out the door to buy 7-up when I spotted the mop leaning against the desk with the computer. I started to move the mop when I decided to take a quick peek to see if my ADHD author had responded since I was also going to try and buy ADDH inhibiting foods. That's when I saw e-mails from Rose, Wanda, Sharon, Gilda, and the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I had to respond; it might be life changing.

The mop is still leaning against computer desk, the laundry never made it to the laundry room, the dryer never got turned on, the five-year- old miraculously recovered, the bug men sprayed and left. The race is still on, I just don't know where I'm going.

Can you say SQUIRREL?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sing…Sing a Song…Sing Out Loud…Sing Out Strong!

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for a GPS instead.

Along the way on this second adventure into Parenting by Seniors, I discovered the value of song. Not the value in songs I sing, I can't sing, but the value of having the children sing. In an attempt to get a jump start on kindergarden, I first tried the alphabet song with the then three-year-old. "A B C R Q S Teeeee, H L G V O N Peeeee". This should have been a clear signal as to the forth coming diagnosis of dyslexia.

When the youngest was old enough to get in the bathtub with two inches of water, I would tell him to make some noise if I had to race to another room for pajamas or shampoo or whatever was needed AFTER he was in the tub. Screaming at the top of his lungs was his idea of noise and caused near fibrillation on my part as I catapulted back to the bathroom to rescue him. "Sing, baby. Let's try singing", I said between gasps of air. "Ok". He began singing as I began gathering pajamas. "Maywee had a wittle… sputter blub" as the wash cloth passed over his mouth. "Wittle lamb, wittle wah ahmb" That would be the ears. Why can't you clean your ears without your mouth gaping wide open? "Maywee had a wittle lamb it's fleas was white has sno ho ho ho hee hee" as…other parts were washed. He would continue singing and I would know all was well.

I did not think of my new found sonar location device again until I took his five year old sister to Disney World. On our return trip a college athletic team was ahead of us in line at the airport and taking an exceptional amount of time going through security, probably due to all the baseballs and bats they were carrying. The tour leader told us to break off into smaller groups to expedite security.

It was seventeen minutes before take-off. I ran to the security check point stripping off shoes, belts, watch, cell phone, flopping passports in one hand as I yelled for the five-year-old to do the same. We piled everything into their wonderful dishpans only to have the line stop because an alarm was going off three persons ahead of me. Fourteen minutes till take off. I picked up my bucket, headed for the next line, told the five-year-old to grab my belt loops and we got through without setting off any alarms. Eleven minutes till take off. No time to redress. I ran through the airport barefooted with two blankets, two pillows, my shoes, the five-year-old's shoes, a doll, passports, money belt, and purse piled above my head. I looked like the Michelin tire cartoon. I yelled "Run baby, run," to the five-year-old. She replied "My pants are falling down." I gasped "Keep running". Four minutes till take-off. I couldn't tell how far behind me she was. As my life, or other travelers, passed by, my oxygen deprived brain remembered the bathtub early warning signal. "Sing, sing…"! "Twinkle Twinkle Little Staaaaaar……." came from behind.

Three minutes till take-off. The barefooted Michelin Tire Woman and a barefooted, droopy pants little girl singing "Twinkle Twinkle Staaaar "at the top of her lungs arrived at the gate with sixty seconds to spare. We boarded and then waited… and waited… and waited… Thirty minutes later the five-year-old had to go to the restroom. Down the aisle and from behind the folding door I heard "Twinkle twinkle little staaaaar…..".

Maybe I'll just strap a GPS on their wrists.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why We Have Dumb Rules

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved to purchase Dumb-o-Meter

"Do not operate equipment while asleep." "Too much caffeine can cause sleeplessness." Ever wonder the I.Q. level of people who write these warnings? More importantly, ever wonder about the I.Q. level of people who would need such a warning? I was wondering about this as I waited in the pick-up line for the five-year-old today. No need to wonder any longer.

"Hi, little man, how was your day?"

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Uh, oh, what color did you get?" Kindergarten behavior is color coded on clothes pins that are moved up and down a flower at the discretion of the teacher according to actions observed during the day. Blue is Super Student, Green Good Boy, Yellow Beware, Red your BUTT IS DEAD!

"Yellow, have you got anything for me to eat?"

"YELLOW???!!!!!" I said quietly. "WHAT DID YOU DO THIS TIME?"

"I don't know. Do I have a snack?"


"OK, maybe I stood in the sink in the boy's bathroom. But I was good except for that."

"You stood in the sink in the boy's bathroom. You got yellow because you stood in the boy's bathroom sink?" I took a few minutes to process that and decelerate the car down to the speed of light. Possible scenarios were playing in my head:

  1. He was being threatened and he had to be taller than the bully so he stood in the sink.
  2. He was barefooted and stepped on jalapenos in the cafeteria and had to cool his toes in the sink.
  3. A commode was overflowing and that was the only dry spot.
  4. Somebody dared him to stick his foot in the drain.
  5. I never told him not to. YIKES!

"Explain, please. I don't understand and here's some cheese crackers." Food always gets him distracted from any pre-planned tales he may have engineered.

"Well, uh, I didn't want to jump. My knees have been killing me for the last five minutes." I suppose having older parents, he's heard that phrase many times.

"Why did you want to jump in the first place?"

"To see in the mirror. I wanted to know if I had a milk mustache. Emily might see me at recess."

For the next ten miles I rattled off all the possible rules for things I may have neglected to tell him not to do starting with "Don't stand in the sink in the boys or girls bathroom anywhere. Don't put your head in the commode. Don't eat grass. Don't stick your tongue to the flag pole in winter. Don't drive a car, tractor, dune buggy, four wheeler or anything with wheels until I say so. Put your socks on first, then your shoes" and ending with "Ask a friend you trust if you have a milk moustache."

Emotionally exhausted, I made a quick stop at McDonalds for some C and C (coffee and caffeine). On the cup? "Caution. Handle with care. I'm hot." I wonder if the writer once had a five-year-old who stood in the school's bathroom sink? Now I understand!