The Infinite Et Cetera, More Powerful Than the Next

The clerk yelled, “Next!”

Tesco punctuation

Tesco punctuation (Photo credit: cole007)

I stepped up to the counter.

“What can I get you?” he asked.

I stared at the seemingly infinite choices on the shelf.

“Well?” The clerk glared at me.

“Uh . . .”

“Hesitation is a sign of weakness. This is no place for the meek. You need fortitude to pick among all the items on the shelf. No guts, no turn. Time for you to step aside.”

I white-knuckled the counter, exhaled and then channeled the confidence of Brangelina. “I can do this,” I muttered to myself. “I’m ready,” I said.

“Too late. Next!”

I wouldn’t budge. Even the much feared tap on the shoulder from the customer next in line didn’t make me waver. “I won’t leave until I get what I came for.”

Grumbling from behind.

I glanced over my shoulder. The line had doubled in size since I had taken my place at the counter. I shrugged and turned to face the clerk.

The clerk glanced across the room. A sheen of sweat covered his brow. “Okay, okay. Just relax.” His gaze settled back onto me. “Fine. Tell me what you want, and then get out.”

A smile curved my lips. “Etc . . . ,” I said.

Et cetera I presume "etc..." is the ...

“What’s that?”

“Etc . . .  is the thing I’m looking for.”

“The power of infinite mores,” the clerk gasped. “My God, I didn’t think it was possible. Are you sure you don’t want a semi colon instead?”

“As soon as you give me et cetera, I will leave.”

The clerk’s cheeks blanched, as he whirled around to face the shelves. After searching from one end to the other, he grabbed something, turned and stuffed it into a bag.

“Is that it?” I asked.

The clerk nodded and stapled the bag shut. “Take it!”

I grabbed the bag and held it against my chest.

“Now, get out!”

“But I haven’t paid for it yet.”

“You will,” he warned. “No one gets an etc. without paying for it.”

A lump lodged inside my throat, as I followed the line out the door.

“You’re a fool,” shouted a man with a bulbous-shaped head. “We need boundaries.”

“That may be true for you,” I said. “But I always need something to look forward to.”

 What’s your favorite punctuation mark?

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QB and Me, a Whole Equal to the Sum of our Parts

I met QB back in the 70s at a bar in the lower east village.

He swaggered up to my table, as a friend and I argued over the merits of bookkeeping versus book tossing.

I raised my gaze to a 45-degree angle.

“Hello,“ he said. “You’re a cute little number. I’d like to buy you a drink”


I calculated my options, thought the drink would turn a profit, and so I said, “Yes.”

He picked up the tab, and then led me to a table with a prime number of chairs in the back of the room.

In a husky voice, he whispered into my ear, “One plus one equals two,” grabbed a chair, and gestured for me to sit.

He hunched over the table across from me in his tie-dye shirt, a remnant from his sixties inventory of clothing.

I immediately fell for his quirky smile and flashy green eyes. As the night wore on, I discovered he had an even temperament, as well as an extensive database of amusing stories. After three more drinks and a $20 burger, I knew I was in love.

It didn’t take long for me to figure out that no other guy could measure up or even outperform QB’s assets. He had infinite charm and an excellent taste in programs.

To sum it all up, I simply knew that QB was the one for me, a man I could always count on.

Later on, we went back to his place to seal the deal between the sheets. It exceeded all my expectations.

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Failed Social Networks Modeled after Twitter

Day 103 - FGR Copy A Cat

Image by lintmachine via Flickr


Social network for insensitive tarts


Social network for pests


Social network for tailors


Social network for neurotics


Social network for crochet enthusiasts


Social Network for garbage men


Social network for Romney supporters


Social network for slackers


Social network for the colon conscious


Social network for the sedentary


Social network for sociopaths


Social network for slobber mouths


Social network for humorists

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A Left Brain Plot to Kill a Right Brain Post

Image via Wikipedia

Fear hangs out with the letters on my keyboard among the dust clusters and granola bar crumbs.

Actually, fear appears as a red herring, a fishy character that presumably kills off my blog post. But I know the real perpetrator, Perfectionism.

The Perfectionist evil doer hijacks my brain, duct tapes my arms to the chair, and shoves a Cashmere sock in my mouth.

Bound and gagged, I’m forced to stare at a white screen with a gray border, not boarder, although Gray never checks out, unlike my distant cousin Focus.

At least, I don’t have to make Gray breakfast or change the linens on the bed. How could I with my hands duct taped to a chair?

I just wish Gray and White weren’t on the same page. Gray darkens the psyche and White never shimmers like a high-gloss shine.

Whose idea was it anyway to align a shady squatter with a faded screen icon.

Both hold inspiration prisoner in a dark subterranean room, while Perfectionism rewrites the sentences.

“Keep your damn hands off my words,” I say telepathically.

Then add, “You won’t get away with this. You meddling bitch.”

And she didn’t.

Unbeknown to my restrained right brain, an anonymous tip from a desktop informant alerted the literary authorities of my inspiration’s incarceration.

The SWAT team arrived, smacked the evils doers with the taskbar then removed the duct tape from my arms.

I opened my eyes to a normal window view with an expanse of white space to the right.

Thanks a lot, SWAT.

You saved me from perimeter torture and gray and white page border blight.

The Irrational Fear of Blogging

I woke up today and remembered that I had a blog.

I’m slightly amnesic after a Google search algorithm sideswiped me while I was surfing Craigslist. I also might be HTML intolerant.


Pavlov (Photo credit: sclopit)

Lately, the word “blog” sounds more like “blahg” when it rolls off my tongue, as if a rotten pistachio nut left a bad taste in my mouth.

Maybe it has something to do with watching five minutes of the new Fear Factor, or motion sickness from the dizzying swings of the S&P.

Or maybe because I fell off a pile of bills and hit my head at the bottom of my bank account.

I’m also pretty sure that that derelict Fear regularly squats on my shoulder, plunging the northern region of my torso into freezing temperatures.

All those ideas I scribbled onto scraps of paper went MIA, lost somewhere on my desk, or in my mind, after a Wizard of Oz squall sent me back to Kansas in an invisible hot air balloon, as I clicked my heels together three times in an attempt to kill yellow brick road ants that infested my shoes.

And those 3,080 emails clogging up my inbox might be a problem, or perhaps my neurotic perfectionist tendencies that encourages me to save. I hope my compulsion lands me a show on the Discovery Channel about email hoarding.

Reading blogs used to release dopamine into my brain and send coffee spurting from my nose. Now it just elicits a swift kick to the gut and a panicked grip to the windpipe.

Damn shoulder squatter!

What’s the problem? I love interacting with virtually every species of avatar.

Maybe earthling matters have clouded my perception. Writing a memoir squeezes the creative juices from my brain.

I’m also exhausted working three days a week, as a part-time desk jockey, earning dog food pay.

Because I’m Pavlov’s human, my dogs torture me every day. They’re always barking up the wrong tree. You know, the one that fell without a sound when I wasn’t around the other two days.

Pavlov's Bell(Dreaming.....on the Starlight train)

Image by mRio via Flickr

It’s time to wake up and spurt the coffee.

I won’t let fear – of what I don’t know – keep me away from the blogosphere.

Maybe, I’ll Google cyber shrinks and then dive this time, thus avoiding the concussive effects of an errant algorithm wave.


Does Fear ever squat on your shoulder?

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Brain talk – when the chatter never stops

My brain talks too much.

As soon as I open my eyes to a freshly minted day, my brain starts yammering.

Blah, blah, blah.

Things to do:

Make beds with hospital corners. Note: Omit drainage bag and catheter.

Wipe out dust bunny colony. Note: Dump remains in woods in back of house.

Dust bunnies

Forage supermarket shelves for food. Note: Wear elbow pads, helmet and body armor.

Print out 200 page manuscript at UPS store.  Print out 200-page manuscript on office printer.

Don’t want to dehydrate the printer cartridge or get the skinny on a ream of paper.

A cartridge only costs $30 bucks. A 200-page print job costs $15 or $20 bucks.

Will there be a happy ending?

Print out 200 page manuscript on office printer.  Print out 200-page manuscript at UPS store.

Note: It’s not rocket science.

I’m bored. On to other things . . .

You gonna write a blog post today out of anorexic air? Transparency in writing is key in a pad. Or are you gonna strain our brain with that editing shit?

I vote for Feng shui writing. Take the laptop and write in different corners of a room.

What about the dogs? The nagging will start in approximately 10 seconds, 9, 8, 7 . . .

Ruff, ruff, I want to go out.

Ruff, ruff, I want to come in.

Ruff, ruff, feed me or I’ll magically appear underfoot and get tangled in your legs.

Ruff, ruff, scratch behind my ear or I’ll eat that Harry Potter book you left on the coffee table.

You’re a dumbass for leaving it there.

I want this. I want that. Dog demands disguised as high-pitched barks.

God, they’re worse than kids.

You’ve only got one kid.

But if I had two, the dogs would be twice as bad.

Dogs are easier than kids, except when a dog screeches, you can’t shove a binky in its mouth.

Is there a binky for adults?

Cigarettes and booze. Both can kill you, but at least you’ll be smiling at the end of days.

The dogs are still a pain in my ass.

Looks like more than one ass to me.

But the dogs are so cute when they’re quiet.

That doesn’t last long. One crow caw and they’re out of the house – ruff, ruff, ruff all the way down the stairs and onto the lawn.

Stop sign on the corner of Chestnut St. And Av...

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes I get so ferklempt from their antics shit sputters from my ears.

That’s because you’ve got shit for brains a.k.a. CRS (can’t remember shit).

Can’t remember what?

Say goodnight, Gracie.

Goodnight Gracie.


Do you write from the seat of your pants or switch on your editor?

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Big Biz Cuts Jobs and Runs – Updated w/Newell Rubbermaid Response

Apparently, all corporations aren’t part of the evil empire. Earlier today, a representative of Newell Rubbermaid contacted me to clarify the LA Times article I cited in my post yesterday.

Hi Lauren, just read your blog with interest. I’m with Newell Rubbermaid and wanted to clarify something from the LA Times article. We actually are continuing to hire in the U.S. but not as rapidly because the market is highly developed. Meanwhile, as we introduce our brands to new countries we need to hire local salespeople and other local staff to support those launches. We are not “sending jobs” overseas just generating new local jobs to support new local sales in new countries.

In fact, growing overseas means we need to hire additional people in the U.S. to manage those people overseas, as well as develop new innovative products for those markets, etc. So overall in Newell Rubbermaid’s case when we can grow internationally, we often continue to add U.S. jobs.

It was unfortunate to be included in the LA Times article mentioning companies laying people off because we are not doing layoffs.

If you are interested in discussing feel free to call me.


Next time, instead of depending upon the LA Times to do their DD, I will search the far reaches of the Intertubes to fact check articles I intend to cite.

To quote the folks from South Park, “You know, I’ve learned something today.”

We shouldn’t believe everything we read. Just because something is printed in black and white doesn’t mean it’s true. Reading a newspaper article should be regarded with the same skepticism as say, a doctor’s diagnosis. It’s always a good idea to get a second or third opinion.

“Newspaper people have a habit of putting you in the front pages to sell their papers, and then after they’ve sold their papers and got big circulation’s, they say, ‘Look at what we’ve done for you.’”

John Lennon

I leave you with several links to fact-checking sites:

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Big Biz Cuts Jobs and Runs Overseas to Invest Over There


Now that Big Biz has helped stall the economy because they’re not adding new workers, and in fact, laying workers off, they’re cutting and running overseas to invest in growth over there.

Warning: Do not ingest any food byproducts before reading this.

Today from the Los Angeles Times:

Newell Rubbermaid Inc., one of the biggest marketers of children’s car seats, for example, is expanding in Brazil instead of the United States. While young Americans are putting off having children, in part because of the poor economy, Brazil’s middle class is growing, and many more young couples are starting families.

So more Brazilians have the money to buy new, upscale car seats while more U.S. parents are making do with cheaper brands or hand-me-downs.

It also helps Brazil that it recently mandated car seats for infants, says David Doolittle, a spokesman for Newell, which sells Graco baby gear, Parker pens and Sharpie markers. While Newell’s employment and operations in the U.S. are stable, he said, “We’re just not doing a lot of new investment. We’re putting it all behind emerging countries.”

Screw the American consumer stuck in a pile of Big Biz droppings. It appears that BB has given up on job creation at home and the middle class and is taking their business overseas to consumers in Asia and Latin America where people can purchase their products because they have their jobs.

Big Biz is killing the American economy and Congress won’t do anything about it because Big Biz is their sugar daddy.

So, in honor of Big Biz and Congress’ desire to blow them instead of represent the people that voted them into office, I give you my adaptation of the 1917 song “Over There.”

Over There

Over there, over there,
They send the jobs, send the jobs over there

Big Biz is coming, Big Biz is coming
The cash flow-flowing everywhere
So prepare, they don’t care,
They send the jobs, send the jobs over there

We’ll be over, they’re going over,
And they won’t come back ’cause their money’s over there

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