I Got Snaked by a Plumber.

Barker at the grounds at the Vermont state fai...Image via Wikipedia

A Real Story w/ Real People.  Really!

In a community far, far away, a streaming thought video broadcasts from my brain.

A water pipe breaks. The drips are less than a second apart. 

Water leaks beneath the kitchen sink and seeps below to the garage. 
I call a plumber while worrying about my dog’s 8:30 a.m. appointment with a canine orthopedist to assess her knee. 
The plumber says, “I can be there by 10:00.” 
All brainwave function ceases. I forget about asking questions and about the importance of quotes – an estimated cost, not a favorite phrase.
I respond with unoxygenated words, “Great! See you then.” I continue obsessing on my dog’s ligament health. A knee-jerk reaction.
The appointment with the mutt orthopedist goes well. The dog doc says, “Her knee is strong.”  
My dog bounds left then right, sniffing a package on the shelf, a cat in a carrier, a dog’s butt on the way out. “The knee is strong.”
Back to the house to check its plumbing.
9:35. Drip, drip, drip. Did I hear a gush? No. Just an extended trickle.
I start cleaning the house for the plumber.
Drip, drip, drip.
Ten o’clock goes out like a surge through a downspout. 
No plumber or plumber phone call. No brain activity or quantitative thought on a possible drain to our bank account.
Onto 10:30 then 11:00 and the big 11:30. The dogs bark. A truck idles in the driveway; the motor speaks its last words and then dies. 
A man stands at the door. He puts on waterproof booties before trudging through the hall.  
He doesn’t want to get his shoes dirty.
He opens two cabinet doors beneath the kitchen sink. “You’ve got a bad leak here.”
Wow! He’s good.
“Do you have a well?”
Well … partial brain activity. “Yes, we do.”
“I’m going to shut it down.” 
Like Chef Ramsey! 
I lead him down the basement steps to the utility room, the engine room of a house. 
“She can’t take much more of this captain.” – Scotty, Star Trek. 
He turns off the water. 
I think I have to pee. Just a passing thought.
“Where’s the garage?” 
Dude, this is the basement. One plus one equals two. 
“This way.”  I show him through the door that opens to the garage.
Drip, drip, drip.
“Where’s the leak?” 
Dude, can’t you hear that sound or is it just in my head? 
“Over here.” We swing through a wooden gate to a dog ramp soaked with H20.
He gauges the problem.
“It’s a bad leak.”
I know that, Dude.
We walk toward the back of his truck. 
Is this going to be a hostage situation?
“You need a new faucet,” he says, then jumps into the truck and picks up two boxes. “Which one do you want – Box #1 or Box #2? They’re Moen” – Not Moët.
The one without the goose neck.
“I’ll take Box #1.” I hope I made the right choice.
Still no brain function.
He installs the new faucet and hands me the bill. “This is my quote.” 
Synapses activity detected – Shouldn’t quotes be given over the phone?
I read the bill. My heart takes a breather and then skips a beat. “$515?”
“That’s the total cost which includes parts and labor.” 
Dude, I know about labor and this is way worse than that.
A hostage situation unfolds. I pay the ransom with a check. A credit card costs an extra 40%. 
Maybe the check will bounce. 
He hands me his card. “We also take care of boilers and water tanks.” 
I bet you do. 
He cleans up the mess and leaves, which jump starts my brain.
$515? That’s several weeks of groceries or a couple nights at an inn.
He wasn’t a plumber. He was a sideshow barker selling snake oil and I got snaked.

Do you have a plumbing horror story?

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P&G Swiffer Picks up Playboy Dust Bunny at Seedy Hollywood Bar.

A Sordid Affair.

Earlier today, news of an alleged tryst between P&G Swiffer and a Playboy Dust Bunny shook the household cleaning category.

One pair of rubber gloves and some dusters.Image via Wikipedia

Right wing activist, Mr. Clean, broke the story following several eyewitness accounts alleging that P&G Swiffer and Dust Bunny were seen clinging to each other in the back of a Hollywood bar while hanging out with a group of retro mop-top hipsters. Neither Swiffer nor Dust Bunny could be reached for comment.

The two eyewitnesses who asked to remain anonymous, are known only by the pseudonym Gail and Frank WTF Are They, said they spotted the torrid twosome at the Downtown Muck Club swapping allergen deposits while polishing off Lysol cocktails.

According to several unnamed sources in highbrow janitorial circles, the sordid affair began last fall shortly after Dust Bunny was seen fleeing the Playboy Mansion following a brush with Hefner’s broom.

The nature of the argument is not known. However, a reporter from the Los Angeles Spectacle confirmed that the broom was picked up for questioning and then later released because of a lack of dirt on him.

Lynn Lint, a Dust Bunny friend and confidante, told Mr. Clean that “Dusty” met Swiffer at the Downtown Muck Club on Hollywood Boulevard the night of the skirmish with Hefner’s broom after hitching a ride on a Prada shoe.

Ms Lint acknowledged speculations that despite their inherent differences, Dusty and Swiffer have been inseparable since first meeting at the Hollywood Club.

Swiffer’s publicist Loose Lips Leta refused to comment because her lips were stapled together by a disgruntled employee who assaulted her with a Swingline Stapler. Since the altercation, Leta has been tight-lipped about the incident, as well as the Swiffer/Dust Bunny affair.

When Hugh Hefner was asked about the scandal while leaving a Beverly Hills cryogenic lab, his head suddenly melted and was replaced by a marital aid that vibrated whenever he talked. Hefner’s comments could not be recorded since there were no English-Vibrator interpreters on hand at the time.

Lynn Lint recently confirmed rumors that Swiffer and Dust Bunny had rented a bungalow in Costa Rica to “clear things up between them” after a highly publicized spat in which Swiffer called Dust Bunny ”a piece of crap smut whore” when he saw her latching onto a buff mop in the bedroom aisle of a chic cleaning supply store.

Offers are pouring in from Hollywood studios to turn the affair into a movie but Loose Lips Leta was unavailable to confirm or deny the reports since she was in surgery having her stomach stapled and the staples in her lips removed.

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Jobless Rate Rises by One.

Image by Cornell University Library via Flickr

On Friday, I opened my email at work and read this:

Your position with —  is being terminated due to restructuring. Let’s meet at 4:45 to discuss further.

The person who sent the email sat behind me, only two-feet away.

Instead of turning around and facing the person who sent the email and saying “WTF?” I clicked on “compose mail” and responded with this.

I’d rather meet this morning.

 She fired off this 22-caliber email, which grazed my arm.

Let’s meet at 11:00 a.m.

And so I spent the last two hours of my jobful morning clearing my desk and bidding co-workers adieu. “Adieu to you and you,” I said, who were my two friends.

Now that I am free to explore the endless employment possibilities, I can’t wait to roll up the sleeves on my sweat top and jump back into the job market waters, which has reached the freezing point. I hope I don’t suffer a concussion and bruise my id, or ergo the ego will get mighty pissed.

Craig, honey, I’m back and ready to scroll through your lists.

Cheek to cheek kiss.

Now chew on this earlier post after ingesting my words:

Caught in the Unemployment Voice Mail Undertow

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Office Noir: Secretaria Dim Wittus


English: A desk in an office.

English: A desk in an office. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shallow End of the Office

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.


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WTF Friday: Shopping Center Considers Women Special Needs Drivers.

Image by dklimke via Flickr

Car park offers wider spaces, signs to help women drivers in need | News.com.au

Oh men and their need to malign women drivers. Are we really auto dysfunctional or just preoccupied with stuff, like screaming kids and husbands yelling at us to “hurry up and park the damn thing?”

Just as men suffer from “stopping for directions disorder,” women have spatial relation issues when it comes to in-laws and parking spaces. Maybe not in-laws, per say, although having a mother-in-law riding shot gun, just two-feet away, complaining about how you’re raising her grand kids like feral children, would not be conducive to a successful parking experience.

Well, the Wanxiang Tiancheng shopping centre in Hebei province’ has devised a way to improve that parking experience.

A SHOPPING centre in China has opened a car park that offers women drivers bigger-than-normal parking spaces to accommodate what it sees as their special needs.

I resent the name calling, referring to women as special needs drivers. I admit that I’m a crappy parker and that the parking lines seem to move with the car, but I get the sense that there’s a bit of chauvinism going on here. Special needs drivers, indeed.

Wang Zheng, an official at the Wanxiang Tiancheng shopping centre in Hebei province’s Shijiazhuang city, told AFP the women-only parking lot aimed to address women’s “strong sense of colour and different sense of distance”.

“Different sense of distance.” You mean like sticking your head up your ass, while writing a memo about adjusting the parameters of parking spaces in order to accommodate special needs women drivers. Geez! And what was all that about a “strong sense of colour?” You won’t find it at the News.com.au link. You have to jump over to the BBC News website to find out more details on this incredibly important topic.

The women-only car park in Shijiazhuang city is also painted in pink and light purple to appeal to female tastes.

Okay. I do like pink and light purple but think it might be a tad bit distracting to admire pretty colors, while parking at the same time. Don’t get me wrong. Women are great multi-taskers. We can smack the kid in the back seat; run a red light, while also making dinner reservations. But when we see pretty colors, we lose our train of thought, as soon as the dopamine in our brains kicks in.

At least that’s what Wang Scheng would have you believe. The BBC article provides details on how Wang Scheng  intends to condition women drivers to respond like rats behind the wheel.

The Wanxiang-Tiancheng shopping centre had also “installed signs and security monitoring equipment that corresponded more to women’s needs”, he said.

The Global Times website says female parking attendants have been trained to help guide women drivers into their parking spaces. The bays also have extra lighting.

Ohhhhhh! Pretty lights, too. I bet those women parkers in China will never make it into the store. In my opinion, the light and color combo is an accident waiting to happen.

Let’s face it. Maybe we’re better suited at being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen while parking baking dishes in ovens. Hence, my previous post on a study concerning women’s parking habits. Women better at parallel parking baking dishes in ovens than cars on streets.

Haven’t any of these reporters heard about global warming or the high unemployment rate? There is important news out there, somewhere. Go find it! For God’s sake.

What say you on pink and purple parking spaces with all those purdy lights – parking salvation or parking hell?

This has been another edition of
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How blogging saved my mind but not my 401K.

Cover of "Titanic (Three-Disc Special Col...Cover via Amazon


After being jobless for almost a year, tomorrow I will once again be jobfull. A culture shock waiting to happen due to my previous limited conversational choices, which included the characters in my head and virtual blogging friends. I know you’re all real!

Spare us the sentimental crap and continue detoxing your brain.

When I lost my job, I also lost my self-esteem in addition to a steady paycheck, excluding the unemployment checks that paid for Macaroni and Cheese and ketchup, the affordable vegetable alternative.

Blogging saved my brain from frying like an egg sputtering in bacon grease. Remember, a mind is a terrible thing to waste unless you’re Hannibal Lecter. Then you eat every last bite.

I eventually found my self-esteem on an obscure shelf in the family room in my house where I also found my car keys. Now I can drive again with confidence. Parking is another story, as mentioned in an earlier post called Women better at parallel parking baking dishes in ovens than cars on streets. I know. Shameless self-promotion, but it is relevant. Sort of.

For months, I searched the hallowed halls of my head and house for my shiny ego that had ejected from my brain. It took five months to notice it radiating from the shelf, slightly tilted right against the Titanic DVD. No wonder I kept rearranging the deck chairs, while the birds evacuating the feeder left good luck droppings on my head. Thank you, birds. Not! Lice ridden rats with wings. Oh, that’s right. Those are pigeons. These birds are just lice ridden and shit a lot.

As I lifted my ego from the shelf, it looked up at me and smiled. Maybe the Lysol fumes fogged my head. We embraced, my ego and me, and then I promptly slipped it back into my brain. It was easy, like replacing a lithium battery. I could breathe again, as soon as I passed through the Lysol cloud that hung above the kitchen compactor. Compactors transform trash into manageable messes. Don’t you know?

The darkness finally went away. Oh, that was night. I could get on with my life, take showers, and send out resumes in confidence, knowing that Job seekers now outnumber openings six to one.

Hearing those numbers was equivalent to having a lobotomy.

Six months after finding my footing – it was icy outside and the wood floors slippery inside – I found a job, which brings us back to Doe, not Doh!

Stop it!

It brings us back to the beginning of this abomination. I’ve got to wrap this up before y’all go away. They say that people nowadays have a really short attention . . .   Sorry.  I got distracted by my own bullshit.

Tomorrow, I begin a new day with the blare of my alarm clock set to heart attack mode and then segue into lunch that will now last an hour instead of an afternoon. And Oh? Did I mention that I will be paid with real money and not Entrecard credits?

Time will now be a valuable commodity. When you have too much time, its worth becomes devalued. However, the blog does not stop here. I intend to keep writing the wrongs and posting regularly, as long as I keep eating my blogger bran and don’t fall asleep in my Macaroni and Cheese still left over from the case that sits shuddering in the dark on the evil kitchen shelf. I wrote about scary food, too. You probably remember Cook’s Crypt. How could you not? I keep dragging that one out of the cellar.

From the bottom of the likely clogged arteries of my heart, I thank you all for reading my maniacal ramblings. This is not good-bye. This is good God. How am I going to get up at 6 a.m.?

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Snaking the drain and other erotic half-truths.

If the sink were a heart, the drainpipe would be an artery, the faucet a skull, and the assisting drain surgeon a numbskull.

This began as a comment on Kys awesome blog aptly called Stir-Fry Awesomeness. I thought it was too good to remain as a comment and decided to expand it into a post that I hope you’ll take a gander at while in goose-neck position, with head bowed over laptop, or in red-throated loon position, with head and neck habitually pointed slightly upward, gaze affixed parallel to the screen.

Just follow the words to the end of this sentence to read the inflated commentary about the drain that required an angioplasty this past Sunday.

Caution: Beware of possible screen turbulence due to the sudden change in tense.

My brainwaves are clogged after helping my husband snake the drain. It’s a lot sexier sounding than it really was.

What a mess! Mouse droppings from a rodent era of days-gone-by scattered beneath the sink along with wet lards of meatloaf, the villain in the compelling “mystery of the clogged sink.”

After my husband determined the clog was localized in the drainpipe underneath the kitchen sink, it was time to plunge into action.

We each grabbed a bucket and started scooping murky sink water with chunks of dinners-past, and then dumping the muck into the toilet in the powder room. Not a pretty sight. Once the sink had been adequately drained, it was time to head into the dark recesses of cabinetry beneath the sink, where I removed boxes of dishwasher powder (there were three of them), sponges, Brillo pads, and other unidentified over the counter products that somehow ended up under the counter.

As my husband sank to his knees, he looked at me, as if it would be the last time I’d see him, sat on the floor with said bucket, placed it beneath the drain, and then removed the curved pipe from the main drain vessel. The word Titanic came to mind, as water gushed into the bucket and around it, soaking my husband and the dark underworld below the sink.

“Abandon sink,” I did not yell, while chunks of fat deposit plopped into the pail, as my brave husband dredged gunk from the drainpipe with his bare hands. It will be awhile before I allow him to touch me again.

Once the spewing and plopping ceased, the reattaching of parts and cleaning of sink muck began with grunts of disgust and mutterings of “Oh, God, no. Just kill me now.”

Thirty-minutes later, a dull glare shone from the floor and counter. I shielded my eyes, while reviving my husband, yet another exaggerated falsehood, although the kitchen looked, somewhat, passable, attaining a level of adequacy never previously achieved.

“Better than going to the gym,” I said.

My husband just glared at me and left the kitchen to go upstairs to take a shower.

Lessons learned: Run hot water onto fat saturated baking dishes before the fat coagulates. If the drain clogs, wait until Monday and call a plumber.

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Squirrels go nuts for the snap, crackle, pop of Christmas lights! They’re tasty and fat-free!

Two out of three squirrels prefer Christmas lights to nuts.

I wasn’t going to post today, until an article about squirrels eating Christmas lights piqued my interest. The article aptly entitled, “Squirrels chew up Fredericton’s Christmas lights,” hooked my brain as soon as it associated the word squirrel with chew and then Christmas lights. While reading the article, I learned something new about squirrels and the fact that they like to chomp on frosty LED lights in much the same way that humans like to chomp on frozen Bon Bons.

Bruce McCormack, general manager of Downtown Fredericton, in New Brunswick, Canada, where the squirrels feast on the festival of lights, explained the problem to a CBC News correspondent.

“They seem to be very, very hungry and they like plastic and they like the LED lights and that’s all. We just can’t fight them anymore.”

As if a squirrel munching on Christmas lights isn’t enough to make you scratch your head, in Mr. McCormack’s continuing observation of the furry filament feeders, he discovered that the squirrels have an aversion to the red LED lights.

R, G, and B LEDs [7].

“It’s fun to watch the squirrels. They’ll come out … and they go up and they perch themselves in that tree and they gnaw away at the lights — but not the red ones.”

Apparently, the city tried to save the lights, as well as to cure the squirrels of their eating disorder, by ordering larger bulbs, assuming that the squirrels would have no interest in eating anything four-times the size of a nut. Well, they were wrong. The squirrels love them. And so now I ask. Who and/or what are the real nuts here?

In a final note, the squirrel images you see were created in Microsoft Word by using different shapes and then grouping them together. Okay. Maybe I do have too much time on my hands, but I think it looks pretty cool. What do you think too much time or pretty cool?

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