Slowly Becoming…..Bleached Bones (#24)

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The other day, I complained to a friend about the extreme cold, which had turned the northeastern United States into a bleak and desolate landscape of snow, ice, blustery winds, and frigid temperatures. His response was,

“What’s this with cold? Just six months ago, you were whining to me about how hot it was. You said you were miserable, and couldn’t wait for winter.”

“He’s right,” I thought to myself. I do hate hot weather. I guess the question is, which one do I hate more? That’s a tough one. Do I dislike dressing in five layers of clothing, shivering uncontrollably, and fighting off polar bears with an ice scraper, or sweating profusely, removing drifting sand from my driveway, and getting trampled by nasty camels? I asked my wife for help deciding, since she knows how much I hate both cold and hot weather. She said,

“What would be worse; dying from exposure to freezing temperatures, or expiring from excessive heat?”

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Frozen….. Coming to a Household Near You (#23)

Is it just me, or does cold really suck? I live in the northeastern U.S., and the temperature this morning was hovering around fifteen degrees, with a wind chill close to zero. I took my dog, Chase for a long walk, and I swear, when I got home, my head was frozen solid. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little…… But it was close. After I gave the penguins who had followed me to my front door, warm blankets, and some steaming mugs of hot chocolate, I wrapped my head in a heating pad.

Right now, my house feels like I’m in that Disney movie, Frozen. It’s been worse since I installed one of those programmable thermostats to save money. It has six basic settings. They include: 72 degrees, 68 degrees, a little chilly in here, brrrrrrrr, I think I have frostbite, and my favorite; off.  The good news is, if I ever have a heart attack, I might just survive. When the paramedics arrive, I’ll be frozen solid, they won’t need a stretcher to haul me to the ambulance, and I can be thawed out at the hospital, and hopefully revived.

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Storm of the Century! (#22)

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I guess the weather people did it to us again. I live in the northeastern United States, and prepared for what the experts at the Weather Channel were calling, “The Storm of the Century.” They had predicted a massive blizzard with the possibility of up to 3 feet of snow, hurricane force winds of 80 miles per hour, drifting snow, frigid temperatures, white-out conditions, and the possible extinction of all life in a 250 mile swath of heavily populated areas from Philly to Boston.

Major cities like Philadelphia and New York became ghost towns as airports canceled flights, businesses closed down, transit systems stopped running, and authorities ordered all non-essential vehicles off the streets. Thousands of snow plows loaded with salt, parked and waited, as eager operators prepared for what could only be described as Armageddon. I heard it was so crazy, homeless people were attaching plows to the front of their shopping carts!

I spent a day preparing for the impending blizzard. I fought my way through supermarkets devoid of bread, milk and eggs, gassed up my generator, unloaded 200 pounds of ice melt from my truck, placed a cord of wood by my fireplace, and made sure I loaded my hunting rifle, in case packs of hungry wolves attacked in a desperate search for food.

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Hey, Where’s My Smiley Sticker? (#21)

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I stopped at Walmart yesterday to buy a new iron. I figured it would most likely be made in China, be small and inefficient, and stop working before the month was out. But hey, it was only $8.99, and you can’t beat that price.

I normally don’t shop at Walmart because………… Let’s see; oh yeah. Now I remember. There’s usually not enough crack cocaine available in the entire world, to allow me to futilely look for help, search for the item on my own, make my way through the one open checkout line, and survive a race to my car through hundreds of circling drivers, looking for parking spots within a quarter-mile of the store.

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Free Range and…..Loving It! (#20)

I was at the supermarket this past weekend when I saw a package of chicken with a label that said, “Free Range” on it. At first, I thought it was some type of promotion. Maybe, you buy a certain quantity of chicken, send in a special coupon, and a few weeks later a truck pulls up to your house, and unloads a new kitchen appliance.

When I got home I looked up “Free Range” on the internet. I guess I’ll have to make due with my ancient, twenty-five year old stove. I learned that free range denotes a method of raising animals for food, which entails allowing the animals to roam freely outside. Instead of living their short lives, crammed into tiny pens, they know the joy of roaming unhindered through lush,  grassy fields, and under sunny skies. When I read this, my first thought was,

“This is great. The next time I’m on my fourth or fifth piece of fried chicken, covered in grease, and furiously gnawing on a leg bone, I won’t feel so guilty. I’ll just think about what a good life those chickens had.”

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Bend Over and Cough (#19)

 Is there anything in the world worse than getting a complete physical? When I say complete, I mean one in which the doctor looks at parts of your body, even you, haven’t seen in at least twenty years! I think the worst part of a physical is the waiting. You not only have to sit in the waiting room for an eternity, but they make you wait in a tiny examination room.

You may have also noticed, the walls of this room are always plastered with pictures of hideous and debilitating diseases, disfiguring skin conditions, and skinless people with exposed red muscles. Kind of puts your mind at ease, doesn’t it?

I have a few questions about visits to the doctor. How come scales at doctor’s offices always weigh you at least ten pounds heavier than your scales at home? Are they calibrated by Weight Watcher’s? Is it a simple, yet diabolical way to motivate you to lose weight?

Did any of you arrive for a physical, and when told to undress, realized you forgot to put on underwear? What’s with the table covered in a giant roll of toilet paper? When you undressed, did your butt stick to it? Is there anything more pitiful than a slightly overweight, middle-aged man, sitting alone in nothing but a tight pair of fruit of the loom underwear, on an examination table? No? I didn’t think so.

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Could I Have a Little Space….. Please? (#18)

Is it just me, or is the concept of “Personal Space,” disappearing from society? What is personal space? Some people say it’s an invisible bubble that surrounds us. An imaginary barrier, extending two to three feet in every direction. A person’s personal space is supposed to be a safe haven from physical intrusions by others.

Wikipedia says personal space is the region surrounding a person which they regard as psychologically theirs. Most people value their personal space and feel discomfort, anger, or anxiety when their personal space is encroached upon. I think part of the problem is that there are just too many people. Wherever we go we seem to either be waiting in long lines or packed into enclosed spaces like waiting rooms, buses, subways and elevators.

I also think a lot of the problem is, people are just too impatient. I was in the supermarket yesterday, and was placing my groceries on the conveyor when the person behind me pushed their cart up against me as if to gently, but steadily force me forward. We’ve all had this happen to us. I’ll usually say excuse me, and then force their cart back a foot or two with my leg. Yesterday, the person behind me wouldn’t let up, and the cart kept bumping into the back of my legs. I finally had enough of the rudeness, glanced back with a disapproving scowl, and said,

“Sister, I know you’re probably late for morning prayers, but come on; back off a little.”

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Facing a Cat-astrophe(#17)

 

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I just read a story about what’s called a “Cat Café.” The article said, four of them have already opened in the United States, and dozens more are planned. The first one opened in Taiwan in 1998, and they quickly gained popularity in Japan, with Tokyo having thirty-nine of them. They have also spread to Australia, England and France. At the Le Café Des Chats in Paris, reservations must be made in advance, and there’s a two-month waiting list. It’s rumored a cat café was going to open in Beijing, China, but it fell through when they couldn’t find any cats.

The Cat Café is basically a coffee and pastry shop with a separate area containing cats. Customers pay an hourly fee to relax with food and drinks, while either watching or playing with our wonderful feline friends. From what I understand; the cats basically do whatever they want. They eat, sleep for hours, lounge around on soft cushions, groom themselves constantly, and ignore you if you talk to them. They also lay in the warmest spots, hack up prodigious amounts of hair balls, foul the litter boxes, and have people fulfill their every desire. I was thinking to myself,

“I guess I don’t have to visit a Cat Café. I can experience all that, just by walking in my front door, and observing my own cats!”

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All You Can Eat. Are You Sure? (#16)

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 Have any of you, ever left a Chinese Buffet after a long and satisfying meal, and thought to yourself,

“You know, that was pretty good, but something just wasn’t right.”

There’s a few questions, I have about Chinese Buffets. How come Chinese people never eat at them? Do they know something we don’t? How come when I get home from the buffet, my cat hisses at me and runs under the bed? Why are the trays with meat always empty, but the vegetables and Lo Mein are overflowing? When a big person like me enters the establishment, why do all the workers, including servers, cooks, and the owner stop what they’re doing? Why do they then proceed to point, stare, run around in circles, and talk really fast in Chinese or some other Asian language? Is it true that “Buffet” in Chinese means,

“We love skinny people?”

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Do Not Move, and Remain Perfectly Still (#15)

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Have any of you seen some of those “Cops” episodes on TV, where they bring in a K-9 unit to help with the apprehension of a suspect? Usually, some low-level drug dealer, or an armed robber of a local grocery store has eluded police, is hiding nearby, and the cops need him flushed out. You may have also noticed, the dogs are always huge and powerful German Shepherds, can only be handled by one specific officer, seem to love their job, and for some reason, hate guys wearing baggy pants.

I would think that dogs who are members of K-9 units are at the top of the police dog hierarchy. Do you think police dogs hang out after their shift is over, and talk about how their day went? A conversation might sound something like this.

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