WE’RE OFF TO FIND THE BUTTER.
Recently, I stopped at a b-rated supermarket where the food and aisles have been downsized to accommodate a few average-sized shoppers and carts at a time, in addition to a menagerie of Munchkins. You know, snotty-nosed knee-knockers wielding mini-shopping carts like weapons.
Passing through the automatic doors is like stepping into Oz. Although in this version of the Wizard of Oz, the world changes from color to black and white, not vice-versa, and and I’m almost run down by shrieking Munchkins racing up and down the bypass lane adjacent to the registers, as shoppers dive into their carts for cover.
Once I make it past the Munchkin hazard, it’s time to meet the cast of characters who will accompany me in my search to find the butter, which will eventually take me back home. Although, as we discovered at the end of the original version of Oz, returning home could have been accomplished at the beginning. Yes, Dorothy was screwed.
The same is true in the supermarket version, however as you know, real life sucks and you don’t eat unless you buy food, and your name isn’t featured in the credits at the end, only on the credit cards, and clicking your heels together would only garner horrified looks from the cart pushers and a likely admonishment from the produce clerk.
I zipped down the veggie aisle and heard a faint cry of, “Help me. Help me,” emanating from the corn husks. No, it wasn’t a fly with a human head. It was Corny, who I found buried beneath a pile of husks. After I freed Corny, he stumbled off the shelf singing and dancing about faux butter or margarine as it is called in Dairyland.
“I need to find the butter,” I said.
“Me, too,” Corny gasped, as I placed a hand on his uh, er, husk, he inched by my side one kernel at a time. Then we hung a right past lobster death row and headed down the poultry aisle – duck, duck, goose – where we began singing, “We’re off to find the butter, the wonderful wizard of glob.”
To be continued . . .
A recycled and revised post from May 2009
Warning: For those with short attention spans, listen to the fake person reading the post (by clicking on the “listen now” icon) while doing something else, like having a life.
Secretaria stared at her “to-do” list until the words grew hazy. Unfortunately, for Secretaria, “to dos” often turned into “to don’ts,” a much longer list.
If success were predicated on whoever had the longest “to-don’t” list, Secretaria would surely have been the Guinness Book winner in the category. That’s why she grew her hair long. She dreamed of holding that title one day, too. Her nails were another story since they always broke and never grew back fast enough after filing, despite the rarity of such an occurrence.
Flipping through the left-tabbed, right-tabbed, center-tabbed manila folders to find a missing file was a tormenting task. Hearing the click, click, click of hanging folders, as she flipped through each one, made her head hurt.
Secretaria’s head hurt a lot, especially when it came to dictation. She could barely read her regular handwriting. The squiggly words she had learned in secretarial school became lost in translation and looked more like doodles on her steno pad. She now regretted texting during dictational studies and graduating at the bottom of her class. Since the future was now, Secretaria ignored what she didn’t learn in secretarial school and surreptitiously taped her boss’s dictation sessions with a tiny tape recorder she often couldn’t find.
Because of Secretaria’s many blunders, her boss, Mr. Grouchy, always lectured her on her bad work habits and was usually upset with her. If Secretaria’s father weren’t the CEO of Blah, Blah, Blah Marketing, Inc., Mr. Grouchy would have fired her the first time she put his Blackberry in the fridge. “I didn’t want it to spoil,” she had argued.
Mr. Grouchy’s face turned red, as the vein in his forehead throbbed to the beat of the Alice Cooper song that played on his IPod. He just dismissed Secretaria with a wave of his hand and went out for a Martini lunch even though it was barely 10 a.m.
Secretaria went back to her desk and stared at the dark computer screen that was a whole lot of nothing to look at. She thought the monitor was a paperweight until the gal who sat at the desk next to her, Wilma the Wonderful, told her otherwise.
“You’ve got to turn it on,” Wilma barked. “The button. Press the button on the hard drive.”
Secretaria blushed and looked away. She’d read about hard drives before in x-rated magazines. She accidentally read such a magazine at a bookstore while looking for the winning bookmark in the “You find it. You keep it” book giveaway promo.
Poor Secretaria just stared at Wilma blankly and said, “I’m not that kind of girl.”
A frustrated Wilma jumped up and pressed the button on Secretaria’s hard drive. “Got a cigarette?” she snapped and went back to her desk.
Secretaria’s face lit up with the computer screen. “Wow a computer and a paperweight, too.” It made her day. She even stuck her head into Mr. Grouchy’s office, before she left work, to say good-bye.
He popped an olive into his mouth and said, “You’re still here?” Unbeknown to Secretaria, Mr. Grouchy had been holding secret dictation sessions with Letta the secretary on the first floor. After Secretaria left for the day at 5 p.m., Letta from the first floor would climb the stairs to Mr. Grouchy’s office on the third floor. In secretarial school, Letta got an “A” in dictation and graduated at the top of her class.
The next day Mr. Grouchy called Secretaria from the road to have her bring department stationery down to Letta, so she could send out his letters. Secretaria left Mr. Grouchy on hold while she tried to figure out the correct usage of the word stationary, as she sat motionless at her desk.
Secretaria became more confused when Wilma simultaneously asked her for a piece of stationery, to which Secretaria replied, “I can’t move. I accidentally put myself on hold while I was on the phone with Mr. Grouchy. What’s his real name, anyway?”
“It’s Grouchee. He’s French,” said Wilma. “He’s only been Grouchy since you started.”
Secretaria ignored Wilma the Wonderful and stuck another pink message slip beneath the paperweight monitor on her desk. Then, Secretaria did what she always did best. She lost all track of time while gazing mindlessly at the clock on the wall. When her eyes finally focused on the numbers, she realized that it was the next morning, which oddly made her quite happy. At least she would be on time to work today.
I’d like to help promote indie artists by “adopting” them or promoting them on my blog by posting a video, mentioning an upcoming event, and then placing their picture with a link in the sidebar for a week. To start things rolling, this week I’m adopting Elza, an award-winning songwriter, who performs a spicy blend of blues, jazz, and folk-rock a.k.a. “Acoustic Soul.”
Elza will be performing Fri, Apr. 9 – 6:30-9:00 PM in Ridgefield, CT at the Cutting Board Cafe in the dingy dark outer world that can only be found with night vision goggles or artificial intelligent back seat drivers. I hope all of you tri-state music and endorphin junkies will head for the hills into the CT boonies, or the Ozark of the east, where streetlights and sewers are a rare commodity and deer are regarded as vermin instead of Disney characters, and stop by the Cutting Board Cafe to see Elza perform. She has toured extensively and has shared the stage with such icons as Grammy Award Winner, Charlie Colin of Train, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Martin Sexton, and Catie Curtis.
If you can’t make it to Ridgefield, CT from, let’s say, Long Beach, CA or Venice, Italy, enjoy the video of Elza’s gritty hard-core club performance. No Blue Ray or HD quality technological perfection here. This is off the rack and heart-on-the-sleeve stuff. No martinis or champagne. Only beer and wine and an occasional scotch or Margarita with salt.
If you’d like to join me in promoting or adopting an indie artist every Tuesday, please copy the below picture with link and place it in your sidebar for a week to help get the word out and then recommend an artist that you’d like to help promote, and I’ll place the picture and link in my sidebar for a week and also post the video.
Let me know what you think of my “Adopt an Indie Artist” idea, as long as it doesn’t involve going to hell before my planned departure date or the use of really, really bad language. And please, don’t throw eggs. I bruise easily.
Want to Exercise? Pick Your Poison.
Sweat by Jog, Gym, or Treadmill?
(previously posted in 2007; revised and repackaged)
JOGGING THE WALLET
There is something glamorous about jogging in a Moxie Skirt and Fizz Tank Top until you run for sixty-seconds, then stumble into your neighbor’s yard gasping for breath, falling onto their newly-paved driveway, leaving a CSI body outline there after EMS certified masons extract you from the tar. An unsightly stain of sweat and tar now indelibly marks your tank top and pride with a Rorschach like blotch that signifies “failure.”
For me, jogging is too damn hard and undependable, as it is intrinsically affected by whether the weather is perfect or not. I’m a perfectionist. Perfection is a myth. Jogging is a mythstake.
EAU DE GYM
Gyms are self-contained rubber rooms impervious to outside weather conditions and stimulating conversation. I love human contact as much as the next person but would rather not pay for the sadistic spewing of empty words, while under the influence of endorphins, when my heart is about to explode.
In addition to the expense of joining a gym (or la de dah health club), I refuse to get in shape next to people with toned hard bodies, who, I’m convinced, work out in a secret gym in a bunker somewhere in Wyoming, to get in shape before joining a gym . . . to get in shape.
While those hard-bodied people can wear stylish form-fitting workout clothes, I have to wear flabby gal clothes with fancy flap traps to hide a sagging stomach and drooping butt. I worry every time I lift my arms that the fat folds hidden inside the trap will unravel and deck the gal next to me doing 195 mph on her stationary bike.
And why, may I ask, isn’t there a gym cop handing out speeding tickets to overachievers?
No. Gyms are too stressful. Besides, I’d rather not have to smell other people’s sweat.
TREADING THE TREADMILL LIGHTLY
I already have enough stress from the treadmill that glares at me from the family room, a technological marvel that is accessible, as well as evil, since it eliminates the need for any human contact at all. It glares at me because lately I’ve been avoiding it. After only exercising for a month or two, I started skipping days, then weeks, and finally skipping past the treadmill completely and heading straight for the couch where I routinely exercise my thumb on the remote.
I’m officially on an exercise hiatus while I reevaluate my pudgy doctor’s advice to “shape up or die! ”
Frankly, both my doctor and working out scares me. Stretching and straining muscles is masochistic. In fact, I believe that exercising is more like exorcising and that its only purpose is to keep the mind in shape by working out limitless creative ways in order to avoid the harmful effects of exercising.
How do you tread on the mill – on foot or on wheel?