Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Granny get your broom

The thing I like most about older people is that they will tell you exactly what is on their mind with little regard to feelings or appropriateness.

Growing up I lived very close to my great-grandparents so I spent a lot of time around them, especially my grandmother. She was a very sweet woman who was at church every time the doors were open. Sure she was there to read the Bible and praise the Lord, but she was also there to catch up on the latest gossip and swap stories with the other ol' biddies sweet Christian ladies. One of the things I remember most is the way she would slap her knees and say, Theeeeey Looooord, you don't mean it, with her thick southern drawl every time she heard the latest rumor going around the neighborhood.

Now my grandfather, Curt, was a different story. By the time I came along he was half-deaf, could barely see and spent most of his time sitting on the front porch chewing tobacco. Whenever I would walk up on the porch he would always call me by my mother's name and say, Terrie, is that you? Which would inevitably send my grandmother into a fussing fit that ended with her calling him a crazy old bat and slamming the screen door. The amazing thing about his hearing is he didn't have your typical case of elderly hard-hearing, oh no, he had selective hearing. He could hear a whisper a mile away if it was about him, but couldn't have a decent conversation if you were standing right in his face.

So one day, when I was around 10 years old, I walked down to the grandparent's house with the intention of sneaking one of Grandma's lemon juice packets out the of the fridge. For the most part I was usually unsuccessful because as soon as I would get in the kitchen and open the refrigerator door she would always yell, Girl, you better not be getting my lemon for my tea or I'll get a hickory and whip your ass. So I always had to settle for some Diet Rite cola and a Fudge Round.

On this particular day Grandma decided she was going to vent about the crazy old bat sitting on the front porch and my poor unsuspecting little old self was just going to have to sit and listen. So, she started fussing and he started hollering, Virgina, I hear you in there, don't make me get up woman, and she looked at me and we laughed because we both knew the man couldn't move fast enough to catch a snail even if his pants were on fire.

So dear sweet Grandma, with her Bible sitting on the bedside table probably with freshly turned pages from her morning devotion, decided she was going to tell me about the time she came home and caught ol' Curt in bed with another woman.

I came home one afternoon and there he was with some hussy right there in my bedroom. I was madder than old wet hen.

Me, having no idea what they would have been doing in the bedroom and thinking she probably just didn't want company in her room because that is where she threw all of the clutter and shut the door like my mom did when we had company, asked her what did she say to the lady.

I grabbed my broom and I started beating the hell out of that girl and she took off running out of the front door and she was whooping and hollering and didn't even have her brassiere on when she went running down the road.

Of course, I was sitting there wide-eyed and thinking she was trying on Grandma's clothes, no wonder she was so upset. My God, he was giving her clothes away.

She went on to say that she came back in the house and took her broom and beat the hell out that drunk old fool she was married to and made him get up and wash her sheets because back then they didn't have a washer and dryer and she wasn't about to break her back cleaning up after his mess. All of which went right over my head and I wasn't sure if she was trying to tell me to be sure to get a washer and dryer when I got older or to make sure my husband knew how to make up the bed.

Although I am still not sure why she felt the need to share that wonderful and inappropriate story with her young, innocent, and naive granddaughter that day, but I am glad she did. I just love it every time my husband asks me why I keep a broom in the bedroom closet and I tell him just in case he ever decides to give my clothes away.

Thanks, Grandma.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More like crazy crazy

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the Pop Tart commercials lately? First, let me say I love me some Pop Tarts. In fact I would even go so far as to say that I could qualify as a Pop Tart connoisseur. Yes, I start many mornings by popping these yummy pastries in the toaster and then spritzing them down with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray.

Clearly, I am a health nut.

Considering my long standing love affair with the Pop Tart you can imagine my horror at their latest ad campaign. You know, the one with the talking Pop Tarts. It is not the talking part that really bothers me. Aunt Jemima has been talking for years and I have no problem smothering my pancakes with her sweet goodness, so the talking isn't the problem.

It is the fact that there are people there, who are the same size as the Pop Tart, trying to befriend the Pop Tart and trick it into getting into the toaster so they can then EAT IT. Then you see poor Pop Tart scared and running or whatever when it realizes it is about to be killed and eaten. This is all wrapped up by a voice-over saying crazy good.

Um, no. It is not crazy good, it is just crazy, crazy. I don't know what kind of meth-laced Pop Tarts the Kellogg's folks are eating but I am hating the commercials. So thanks, Kellogg's, I now feel like a murderer every time I throw my Pop Tart in the toaster.

What's next, Ronald McDonald beheading chickens to advertise the next Mcnugget Happy Meal. Better yet, just have him chase down Big Bird. Hopefully he doesn't know how to get to Sesame Street.

You're welcome for getting that song stuck in your head.

Since I have talked about hamburger places, let me just go ahead and say obviously the folks down at Burger King are smoking some rocks too. The King is creepy. I mean, like the It clown creepy. If I woke up and he was standing at my window I don't think I would rush right out and get a crossianwich and coffee. Clean sheets maybe, but not breakfast.

Okay, so maybe it is just me, or maybe the Pop Tart from this morning is already wearing off. Is it lunch time yet?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Need a ride?

When I first got my driver's license I drove about an hour to get to school each day so my dad offered me lots of pointers to keep his daughter safe. Like the time when I still just had a permit and he decided that I should drive to school in the pouring rain because the sun wasn't always going to shine just because I was driving. That was a wonderful experience that lasted about 15 minutes and ended with him telling me I drove like an old lady and we didn't have all damn day to get there.

Way to build the new driver confidence, thanks Dad.

Also, there was the time when I went to actually take the driver test and as we were practicing driving in the neighborhood near the exam center, my dad actually told me to run a school bus stop sign because the bus was on the corner of the next street. It just so happened that there was a police officer behind the bus and he pulled us over and told my dad he was a moron for telling me to go and that he would get the ticket because he was the licensed driver (and did not have boobs).

Needless to say I failed the test later that day.

The best driving advice he ever offered was that he didn't want me driving on the intestate too long. Since a large portion of the trip to my school was spent on the interstate my dear old dad devised a different path that had me take the back roads and required I drive right by the local STATE PENITENTIARY. He told me traffic was not so bad this way.

Really, you think? Perhaps that is because the scenery is barbwire and guard shacks and in case we forget, home to lots of murders and rapists.

Good thinking, send you poor 16 year-old daughter down that road. I am sure that I looked really cute flying by every day with the windows down, radio blaring, staring at all of the inmates getting their sunshine time for the day. It was probably a lot like the rabbit on the fence at the dog track.

One afternoon I was heading home and had just exited off of death row onto the highway when I saw a van, otherwise known as a serial killer's trademark, on the side of the road with three men standing there and another one coming on to the road waving his arms. At first I wasn't sure what to do and then I remembered I had a secret weapon that would protect me.

I had a cell phone. Not just any cell phone either. Mine was a flip phone and was very high-tech. It was about the size of a small cooler and had a mouth piece that flipped open at the end. I am sure my service wasn't worth a grain of salt, but I probably could have beat someone in the head with it if the 911 call didn't go through.

So seeing that I clearly thought the situation through, I put the car in reverse and stopped to see if I could help these large and scary men with their situation. I placed my smoking gun, aka cell phone, on my lap so they would be sure to see I was armed and dangerous and I rolled down the window. The man explained to me that their van was broken down and they needed to get the nearest store to meet their friend who could help and asked if I would give him a ride.

Now remember these are called the back roads for a reason, NO ONE lives there and the nearest store was at least 5 miles. Being the smart and sophisticated teenager I was, I gladly agreed to help this poor man especially since he said his other friends would wait at the van so I didn't have to let all of them go.

See, that sounded reasonable, I just let one in the car, what could he possibly do?

Off we went, me and jack the ripper, heading to the nearest gas station when suddenly as a car approached, he started waving his arms like crazy and said, that's my friend, there he is. I honked to get the driver's attention and pulled over like he told me to do.

Really, I might as well have just tied my hands together and gotten in the truck and saved them all the trouble at this point.

He got out and started talking to crazy friend number two and explained that the rest of the crazy bunch was back at the van about a mile back. I really don't know what else was said because smart little me wasn't really paying attention. Obviously, I didn't fit the bill for the catch of the day because he walked over and thanked me for the help and told me to have a good day. So I drove away and didn't even give a second thought to how lucky and how incredibly stupid I was.

Now looking back, I think maybe I should have spent a little more time on the interstate. Who knows, I probably would have helped a trucker to two.