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Saturday, October 26, 2013

The BS on Camping

Part One

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for camp repellant

I am determined that my eight-year-old will miss as little as possible because he was blessed with senior parents and that included the Boy Scout Mommy and Me campout. 

I think I have always viewed the Boy Scouts like one of those Norman Rockwell paintings of Americana.  In my mind I could see Norman painting my little Cub Scout in our backyard, pitching his tent, cooking on an open fire, and proudly saluting the flag with me watching from my porch wearing a 1940’s type hairstyle and house dress.  I’m not sure Norman ever went camping with his mother much less his grandmother and more than hairstyles and fashion have changed since the Boy Scouts of the l940’s.

First there was the paper work that had to be filled out before we could attend this 24 hour Mommy and Me campout.  That equates to about one page for every hour spent camping.  Files had to be downloaded.  Ok, there are some definite disadvantages to having parents born in the 40’s but once I figured out which button to click, we were fine; well except I had to phone my 93 year old mother to ask if she remembered when I had gotten my last tetanus shot.  I whipped out the old credit card, paid our fees, and printed three sets of documents to take with us to the camp. 

Next, it was off to Wal-Mart for a two person tent light enough for me to carry, simple enough to erect, and cheap enough to afford.  We found…  I grabbed it just before the mommy stampede started.  “Remember the Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared! You should have come earlier” and I raced for the closest check-out stand.

Then there was the all-important list of other suggested “necessities” for this camping trip: flashlight, change of clothes, extra shoes, sleeping bags, rain gear, ground cover, first-aid kit, snacks, water, Boy Scout uniform, jackets, lawn chairs, insect repellent, and a means to haul all of this to the campsite which could be as much as a mile away from the parking lot on a gravel trail. “Be Prepared!” kept racing through my brain so I added Advil, Icy Hot, Thermal Wrap, aspirin and doubled my hormone replacement meds.  To get all of this gear to camp, which now filled the back of my suburban, it was suggested that we also pack a little red wagon, luggage carrier, or a rolling garbage can.  I noticed U-Haul was not listed.

The day of the camp out we arrived early, or what I thought was early.  The parking lot was already filled with what looked like 400 refugees fleeing an impending hurricane and with all their worldly goods that they could carry. A mad house of shopping carts,  grocery carts, rolling garbage cans, rolling suitcases, garden wagons, little red wagons,  all rolling, bumping, and tipping over were swirling around me.  Women and children were running all over the place while dark thundering clouds gathered on the horizon. “Be Prepared”.  I parked next to the road facing the exit and unloaded.  As we headed to registration I saw a small flash of lightning.  I clutched my child, cell phone, and garbage can handle as we rolled, bumped, and tipped over our overloaded trash can.  Echoing with the distant thunder was “Be Prepared.  Be Prepared.  Be Prepared”.   But I wasn’t at all prepared for what was to come.

                                                (Continued in next week’s blog)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I-Robot, Not

by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for midget Swiffer

Is anyone else as annoyed as I am with all the "prove you aren't a robot" messages that come across your computer screen when you are ordering ...oh...say diapers?, vineyards?, burial plots?

Even when I am reading a friend's blog and I want to write words of encouragement or sympathy or just give a compliment, I have to prove I am not a robot, like a robot could give a flip about raising grapes or any empathetic words.

Before I can hit "publish" I must retype teeny tiny fuzzy numbers that appear on my screen.  Enlarging the print only makes the fuzzy numbers  wider and fuzzier, not clearer.  The squiggly lines all run together.  Making them larger simply makes the lines look like a big map of the  Mississippi River drawn by a drunk captain of a steam ship missing its paddle wheel.

If I cannot prove that I am human, does that mean I am morphing into a robot?

To reassure the humanoid population of over 65-ers, I have outsmarted the "prove you are not a robot" security check.  I just type anything in the space.  Sometimes I type the eye chart from my optometrist's office. Whatever I type, it will be rejected for not matching the security code, but I just keep doing it.  By the fourth or fifth time you will see in very VERY large type:


  i B  65+

Works every time.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Craig's List of Trick or Treat

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for therapy for Craig’s Mom


Halloween is in the air and in the aisles of every Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and grocery store.  Plastic pumpkins, Halloween costumes, and blood and guts sealed in plastic are on every end cap at every corner.  Most of the displays on the candy shelves offer sugar ladened, calorie loaded, thigh broadening treats in larger and super large packages.  But what if you were more inclined to offer up a trick instead of a treat?   You might start with Craig’s List.

If you want to sell it or buy it, Craig’s List will post it. Up until recently most of the listings were what you would expect on such a site: cars, washers, dryers, furniture, sports equipment etc. Free enterprise prevails. “If you want it, I got it. Let’s make a deal.”  According to WFAA News in Dallas  the newest trend on Craig’s List, and just in time for Trick or Treat, is a bit unusual.  Women are selling positive pregnancy tests on Craig’s List. 

I suppose if you found yourself “in the family way”, you might be looking for ways to keep the future little tyke in diapers.  Given the procedure for taking such a test, a pregnant mom could continue to supply a steady stream (sorry about that) of positive tests for nine months. The return on your investment is better than buying gold, especially if you are a Texas gal.  For some reason, positive pregnancy tests go for around $5 more if from a Texas supplier.

Now the question is who would want such a thing?  I mean you could flash it around, maybe get a few early baby showers out of it, possibly a proposal from a reluctant boyfriend, maybe some extra cash on your Lone Star Card (equilevant to food stamps) but eventually your secret will be found out.

And how would you market such a thing?  “In need of some ‘Positive Reinforcement?’  Get your Clearblue First Response positive test results for the low price of $35.99.  But wait, call now and we will give you a second EPT test at no additional cost.  Just pay shipping and we will do the handling.  If you specify Texas, add an addition $4.99.  Call today.  Available for a limited time only.”

Since these tests are crossing state lines, will the Federal Interstate Commerce become involved?  Will they require a stamped date of freshness?  An expiration date?  Is there an expiration date?  Will they require the location of the collection site as they do for bottled water?

Is this another frivolous lawsuit in the making?  Will the positive results be used as a basis to sue Clearblue for “false/positives” or Craig’s list for fall advertising causing emotional suffering, damage, and in some cases heart attacks? This could be some trick!

Craig, does your mother know what you are listing? All I can say to the women supplying these tests, you better make hay while the sun shines because in nine months the gravy train will come to a stop.

Hey, Craig, Trick or Treat? 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fall Football...but One Man Football?

One Man Football
by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for a one man band

Football reigns supreme in Texas.  Not only do we play Pop Warner football starting at age six, we play regular 11 man football in junior high, high school, and college.  Texas A&M proudly sports the 12th man team.  And if you only have nine boys in your high school, you can still play football...six man football.

But if you happen to be an eight year old little boy with senior citizens for parents, living in a mostly retired community with no children, and you have an older sister who has just been given her own phone with unlimited text, you learn to play one man football.

How does he do that?  The question deserves an answer and here it is.

I video taped him playing one man football the other evening. First he is the center, calling the signals and hiking the ball high in the air.  Then he turns and runs to catch the ball as the quarterback.  

I think there was a blitz on that time because he stuck his right arm far out to the right, pivoted, and quickly switched the ball to his left hand.  He was now the running back.

 He did a quick reversal and spiraled the ball high and long downfield just to the side of the sand pile giving himself enough time to become the wide end receiver and score the touchdown.

But the most ingenious play was the kick for extra points. He threw the ball up in the air, caught it, placed it on the ground and held it with one finger, then spun around and picked it up and kicked it for the field goal.  Sometimes he made the extra point and sometimes he didn't.  He explained for the benefit of his single fan.

"I have to read the other team and decide if I want to go for two points or try for the field goal. I'm the quarterback so I can do that."

And with that he ran back to huddle up with his "teammates" before the next play. On the snap he ran wide to the left, then suddenly threw himself onto the sandpile.

"What happened?" I asked, fearing he had hurt himself.
"Got tackled."

He played like that for quite awhile and then he stopped.

"Is the game over?" I asked.

"No, it's half-time.  I'll be back in a minute.  Got to get some water."

When he came back he said "Can I see the instant replay of that last touchdown?"

"Sure," and I clicked the correct button on the i-pad and played it for him.

I could not help but admire his creativity and spirit. He was making the most of his situation and creating a fun filled evening for both of us.

There's a lesson in there somewhere.

For my husband, I think he was just glad the boy left the cheerleaders on the sidelines.