The six pack
Disposable Pull-Up pants are not just for big boy toddlers refusing to relinquish parental enslavement. They are not just for ancient unshaven Grampy stiffly propped up in the corner of your velveteen couch. They are also for the toiletless traveler refusing to take the chance of being seen with their pants down while seeking relief on the shoulder of the New Jersey Turnpike.
Conveniently interspersed every few exits, yes, there are so called comfort stations and I can see why some genius decided to call a place where one takes a dump a comfort station, since it is especially comfort-able to release the beast and drain the vein but I do wonder, when the term comfort station was first coined, couldn't there have been an innocent roadie or two walking in to one of those non descript cinder block buildings flummoxed at the sight of nothing but latrines and sinks while expecting a hug and a chicken pot pie? So why, one might ask, would any respectable person take on the odds of exposing their hiney, or worse yet, the flip side to an innocent traveling nun, in conjunction with the potential of being charged with indecent exposure by the potty police, when just off road indoors, there is privacy; comfort to be had?
I place the blame squarely on the sinister spiky spherical ever flitting Coronavirus particles. Even masked, those nasty tiny boogers are just itching to climb into either one of your nostrils, I know it and you know it, which is why when I knew I had to make a four plus hour trip I thought, but what about a bathroom break? And then I instantly thought, as if I googled it, "Why not?" Who but me will know what's under my shorts? Besides the handsome lady on the TV commercial does an awfully sexy spin lifting up her skirt and portrays a facial expression of deep contentment wearing them, so why wouldn't I dash off to Walmart for a pack of Depends?
I surmised the adult diapers would be located in the feminine hygiene aisle, and I was correct. As soon as my eyes locked in on the neon blue plastic six pack marked Depends, I happened to notice a nosey lurking cart inspector. You know the type. The person who sets their alarm at 5:30 a.m., not to go to work, but to walk the streets dragging their sleepy dog behind them as a decoy with the express purpose of slyly peeking into your recycle bin, counting the number of empty beer bottles. Who are they? The AA police? So I waited until she moved on but I wasn't taking any chances. Even though I didn't need any pads or plugs, I grabbed a few packages to conceal the necessary contraband from view. And there she was, as expected, still lurking just around the bend as I made my way to the self check-out registers pretending not to look into my cart. So just to let her know two could play, I made sure to stare just a little too long into her cart, finishing our encounter with a "what's up" to her with my chin, exemplifying "How do you like it? Take that!"
Go figure, as luck would not have it, the bar code didn't work. Feeling for a second like drop kicking the unmentionable under the register, before I could make my next move Slick Willy with the "how can I help you" button prominently pinned to his chest is on me like white on rice. Never making eye contact, he took care of my problem so fast, when he whipped the package into the plastic shopping bag, for a second I wasn't sure if he had decided to drop kick the package under the register for me as a kind gesture.
After making it home, I looked in my bathroom mirror noticing the red blotches on my neck had subsided when I decided it might be in my best interest to test drive my purchase right then and there, since it would not be cool to experience the results of failure whilst crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, coming out on the other side sitting in a yellow puddle on top of my fabric upholstery. No need for any further details, let's just wrap this up by taking my word for it that the product works, calling this disclosure a one time anonymous review of the product.
And thankfully, afterall, like a big boy, I was dry when I arrived at my destination, so other than my happy ending, there is no point to this story, but that doesn't make the unused product any less useful.
The Pre-Op and other misfortunes..
I’d better start by explaining that I haven’t been in the best of health lately and made the mistake of mentioning this to my doctor a few months ago which, in hindsight may not have been the best course of action. Since then, I have been tested for everything a human being can suffer from since time immemorial and that includes the great plague. Alarm bells rang for me when the doctor, after spotting what she described as a “ring of roses” on my palm proceeded to check my pockets for “posies”! The long and short of it is, and indeed the last in a long line of ailments means a consultant wants to poke around down my throat with a camera to find out why I can’t sing anymore. Some oik, whom I believe to be a neighbour, apparently sent a pleading letter containing £50 asking him not to perform the op! Before I agreed to the investigative operation, I sought assurance from the consultant that I would at least be able to play the piano after the op. He assured me I would which pleased me no end because I’ve been trying to master the flippin thing since childhood and had about given up having only managing a few bars of chopsticks.
To cut a long story into two volumes and a best seller, I received a letter four months after his consultation with an appointment for three months hence, which was much longer than the "month at most" he quoted it would be at the time!
The day of the pre-op arrived, and I prepared everything I needed for work so that as soon as I returned home, I could pick up my briefcase and drive to work as quickly as the speed limit allowed, thus minimizing the lunches I would have to work to make up the time I had lost due to this appointment. My working contract excluded payment for sickness!
I left the house in plenty of time, but I’m sure I am not the only person in the world who put’s oneself under pressure to get to an appointment because waiting around the corner could be the biggest tailback of traffic which will inevitably make you late! It was all of about 100 yards before I started driving like a lunatic, the side window wound down in preparation for any finger gestures, wrist flexing and general swearing that may be required to be aimed at anyone that was going to hold up my journey. Having previously been a calm and relaxed type of bloke, especially when driving, I have had to change with the times or risk getting bullied on the roads!
The journey was fairly uneventful so to ensure I remained in peak practice, let a group of middle-aged ramblers have the full complement of hand gestures as I passed them standing by a bus stop. My luck must have been in because even I did not spot the pool of water in the road which unfortunately as I drove through it, soaked the group entirely. Viewing the scene in my rear-view mirror, I could see them returning the very same gestures I had previously shared with them only a few seconds earlier! The group were clearly only concentrating on the gestures and not on what was going on around them because they were soaked a second time by the car that was following behind me! Kismet came to mind as I drove on.
I reached the hospital car park bolstered by the knowledge that my no claims bonus has remained intact and joined the merry go round of cars searching for a space to park. I saw patients peering through the windows looking down at the farce playing out below them. It must have resembled a scene from Custer’s Last Stand as the cars followed each other boot to bonnet in a circle around the car park. I must have toured all four car parks at least three times without finding a crevice big enough to squeeze my bonnet into and claim it as a valid space.
Feeling nauseous, I broke out the convoy and headed back to the far car park ahead of the crowd where I managed to utilize one wrist flexing gesture and a two fingered gesture all within twenty yards at a particularly over cautious nun who had forgotten to apply the hand brake to her godmobile which was rolling out of the space she had obviously found with god’s help! I skimmed past her vehicle offering my emergency range of gestures and as I passed. As I looked in the rear-view mirror, the cheeky wotsit was making the sign of the cross back at me! I’m not a religious man by any means but now I’m not so sure as right in front of me was a car park space, albeit illegal, but a space none the less. It wasn’t actually a marked out legitimate space, in fact, to be honest it was once a flower bed circled with curbstones and was now full of weeds, devoured of any former blooms, possibly by forgetful or frugal visitors to the inhabitants of the hospital. I positioned two wheels inside the flower bed, being careful not to damage the underside of the car. I rummaged in the boot and found the correct sign for the occasion and positioned the sign on the dashboard so it could clearly be seen stating “Doctor on Call”! I was going to pay for a car park ticket as I’d noticed a sign on the way round the first tour of the car parks stating that staff should also buy a car park ticket! The “Doctor on Call” sign was to assure the clamping company that in my vehicles particular case was possibly left there in an emergency.
I walked to the pay station with a pocket full of change. I thought two hours would be sufficient for the pre-op, so started feeding in one-pound coins which were immediately rejected. You know what it’s like with these machines; previous users of the machine desperate to retrieve rejected coins without success had used various instruments to try to retrieve the said coins from the reject flap and in doing so had broken the flap off. My coins fell to the floor. I tried another coin and again they were rejected onto the floor. Luckily, I had fifteen 20 pence coins and seven ten pence coins in my pocket which just bought me two hours parking with no reduction for parking in a flower bed. I passed the nun as she was pushing her car back into its space and gave her a cheery good morning, she did not reply. Her strained expression portrayed her necessity to preserve her strength! I popped the ticket on the dash next to the “Doctor on Call” sign, locked the car and walked towards the Hospital entrance.
You know when you have a little mental bet with yourself and you win, the feeling you get that you had got one over on yourself, but it didn’t really matter because you’d won the bet anyway? Well, it must have either been divine intervention or it really was my lucky day because as I reached the nun’s car, I saw her leaning at a forty-five degree angle backwards, legs straight and heels digging hard into the tarmac and gripping the open driver’s door handle in a veined attempt to stop the car from rolling down the incline of the car park. Manners prevented me from continuing, so I stopped and allowed her to skid past, the heels on her court shoes now fifty per cent worn at a forty-five-degree angle! There was a chorus of “J-e-s-u-s Ch-r-i-s-t....” in C# minor if my ears were attuned correctly which seemed to diminish in volume the further the car dragged her down the car park! Dancing on ice immediately came to mind and I found myself humming the theme tune as I walked to the entrance. The smell of frying bacon hit me as I neared the entrance door.
Now I don’t know about you, and I won’t labour the point but, why do hospitals serve the unhealthiest food options when you are ill in hospital, and why are there so many people with drips attached to their bodies encircled by nurses without drips attached huddled around the entrance smoking cigarettes? I must have inhaled at least 20 cigarettes as I squeezed my way past and in through the door. Funnily enough I found I had acquired a drip myself from someone I must have brushed past at the entrance. Luckily it was unattached to a vein so wheeled it to a security guard who surveyed the incoming herd of potential customers and those future customers who headed into the cafe!
I passed a large poster informing anyone who bothered to read it to “Look after your heart, eat healthily” mounted right next to the cafés open entrance which served bacon sausage and eggs, the smell of which filled the whole hospital with its rather mouth-watering aroma.
I reported to the reception desk where a little old lady behind the desk growled “YES”! She resembled someone who had just swallowed a wasp without chewing it. I passed my paperwork to her and she growled “up the stairs, turn left and its area four”! I climbed the forty-two steps to the top, turned left and between wheezes, scanned the walls for a sign indicating area four. I managed to spot it right at the end of the mezzanine. As I approached, I thought there was a “Climate Rebellion” demonstration in progress as the walls were covered with placards telling victims requiring their services what to and what not to do. I started at the top left reading each instruction before moving on to the next. None of it was relevant to me until I got to the last placard. “If you are here for a blood test, take a number and sit down. Now I could have been pedantic here and blocked the entrance to the blood test department as the instructions did not mention to sit on a seat in the waiting area. I heard a voice behind me saying loudly enough that everyone heard, “I bet they are all dinking bleeding tea in there, having a good old laugh at us lot waiting out here”. Not wishing to get on the wrong side of this lady, and stirring the pot figuratively speaking, I replied that I could actually see them eating cream cakes as well. Ten minutes I’ve been bleeding waiting, I want to get home to me kids and all they can do is sit drinking tea. And eating cakes I added!
I took a seat away from the lady and scanned the area, looking at each of the poor souls before me. A flock of nurses appeared and called number one, number two, number three! I was number four. Oh well I thought not long. As I waited, I heard a scream come from one of the side rooms, I recognised the voice to be that of the woman who had been moaning earlier. In her inimitable tone she shouted, “what the bleeding hell are you doing, sharp scratch, my arse”. I chuckled and a young nurse called number four. I walked over to her outstretched hand and quickly informed her that I’d had an extensive blood test three weeks earlier in the vain hope that I could forgo the process. She took the hospital letter from me and said I’ll just print off the details from our system and disappeared into an office. Just as she returned, another nurse shouted Mr. Race. I said I’m afraid I’m already spoken for. The first young nurse asked, “Are you here for a blood test?” Gaud knows I replied, I was told to come to area four and assumed my pre op included Dracula’s cave for a blood test. The second nurse said no Mr. Race, come with me I have to take your blood pressure. I gave the first nurse a cheery shrug of my shoulders and followed the second nurse to a discreet corner of the corridor. She sat me down in a chair and put what looked like a clothes peg on my finger and wrapped the inflatable band around my right arm. She pressed a few buttons on the machine. Now I’m sorry, but in these situations, I always try and bring a little sense of humour into proceedings if only to take my mind off whatever the medical team were going to do to me and can never resist testing the sense of humour of the person carrying out the test. So, when the arm band inflated, I gave out a loud Pssssssssssss. Thinking the arm band had punctured, the nurse aborted the test and changed the band. I didn’t have the heart to own up! With the new band firmly in place and blood pressure taken, I noticed that she was looking a bit puzzled at the machine and said I had better test the other arm. Why I asked, is this arm dead? No, she said, it’s a bit high. I looked at both arms and politely informed her they looked the same height to me. No, your blood pressure’s a bit high, so I’ll take another reading on the other arm. I was tempted to ask if this one failed, would I have to lower my trousers and go for the best of three but thought it might be a bit forward of me and besides they don’t take blood pressure from the leg, do they? It wouldn’t be anything to do with the stress of finding a car park space and the forty-two steps that needed to be mounted to get up to this floor would it? Ohh I never thought of that she said. She took the other reading which was just as high as the first one. I might need to take another she said. Blimey I thought, have I got clean pants on? She confirmed the third reading was not necessary and I breathed a sigh of relief. She informed me that I was off to see Susan next and that Helen will want to see me after that.
I took a seat back in the waiting room which was exclusively reserved for Dracula’s Cave. I checked the time on my phone; I had one hour, and twenty minutes left on the car park ticket. Mr. Race, I heard from behind me. Yes, I said. Follow me replied the nurse, so obediently I followed her down the corridor to another treatment room. Now I was always told that a man can be recognised as a man by an Adams apple protrusion in the throat. Susan, I noticed had an Adam’s apple! A little confused by the figure in front of me, I discreetly scanned Susan from head to toe. The vision confirmed that Susan was a man when viewed from a frontal prospective complete with whiskers and the tell-tale Adams apple! But Susan is a female name I argued with myself. My thoughts were disturbed by Susan saying I’m going to take your height and weight, stand on here and face the bar. I resisted asking for a gin & tonic. Right what does it say said Susan looking at the digital weight screen? Get off you fat git more than likely I said. No Susan replied you aren’t too bad. Gaud I’ve pulled I thought! 1.75 meters she read off the height scale. Ok, pop your trousers off. My shocked expression led Susan to reveal she was only joking, and that Helen was waiting for me.
There was a discussion going on between Susan and Helen as I took a seat in the corridor outside Helen’s office. How are you feeling Susan asked Helen? Just having a few hot flushes answered Susan. That’s the menopause for you replied Helen. Helen’s as nuts as Susan is; it’s a bloke for gauds sake I screamed inside my head.
Mr. Race called a voice from inside the office; I entered and sat down next to Helen. She turned and jumped out of her seat. She said Christ, I wasn’t expecting you to be sat there, it usually takes my pre-op people a few minutes just to stand up, never mind be sat next to me. Would you like me to go out and come back in with a limp I asked? No said Helen. Anyway, I said, Susan has put somewhat of a spring in my step, I couldn’t get away quick enough! Thinking I’d overstepped the formality, apologised. Not at all said Helen and revealed that since Susan had gone into menopause, she had grown facial hair, but we just ignore it the poor love. Anyway Mr. Race, you have been keeping us pretty busy haven’t you with all your ailments. I started to reveal everything that had happened to me recently and after about an hour describing the different diagnoses, I checked the time on my phone. I said you are going to have to hurry Helen; I only have forty-five minutes left on my car park ticket. We started on the questionnaire. I won’t bore readers with the details; suffice to say I had to nudge her twice to wake her up so we could carry on with question number two!
We eventually got to the end and she said you have to have an ECG, right, out of this door to the end of the corridor, turn right, through the doors, turn right and you will see a brown desk, give the woman this card and thrust a printed card into my hand and she will see to you. When you’ve had it done bring it back to me.
So off I went and it’s at times like these you wish you had a reel of cotton handy so you could tie one end to Helen’s door knob and the other to my trouser belt in order to be able to trace the route back afterwards! I eventually reached my destination and arrived at the brown desk. The room was heaving with people suffering from all the ailments I had previously been diagnosed with and had received the “all clear” for. I informed the receptionist sat at the desk that I only had thirty minutes left on the car park ticket. Don’t worry she said, they unclamp you very quickly these days! We won’t keep you long, take a seat pointing behind me to where there wasn’t a seat to be had. A nurse came to the desk and said to the receptionist “not more walk ins”! She was looking at what looked like the card I had earlier passed to the receptionist. Mr. Race she shouted. I was in quicker than a rat up a trouser leg before the mob behind me realised I had, in their eyes, jumped the queue.
I was led to a small room with a single bed in it.” Off with your shirt and lie on the bed”! Without a mention of bedside manner, I was on the bed, shirtless. Visions of Mr. Clampervan entered my head and thoughts of him going through the process of clamping my car despite my “Doctor on Call sign” quite visible through the windscreen. Meanwhile, the nurse was yanking out clumps of chest hair to enable the adhesive connections to be attached. I asked if she worked part time in the local waxing emporium as she had quite a knack for removing just the right amount of body hair with one tug. No, she smiled as she slowly ripped the final clump of hairs from my chest. I used to work in the Black Country Pork Scratching Factory removing the hairs from the pig skins before they were fried. The jobs not much different than here then I said! She told me to relax as she could not get a clear reading. What, with the free car park tour, the forty-two steps, meeting Susan and now having a free chest and leg wax all while some clamper clamps my car, I’m about as relaxed as I’m going to be. That’s it she said, whatever you did, it worked. She ripped off the adhesive strips as gently as a slitter in an abattoir and I was free to go back to Helen.
I managed to disguise myself enough to pass the mob in the waiting room although I did receive rather a sour look from one lady sat by the exit door and by some stroke of luck found myself outside Helen’s office. Come in she said, sit down. I passed her the ECG and she stared at it. After a period of contemplation, she said it was nothing that she did not expect. I asked if it was her ECG, would she be pleased. Not really, she replied but it is what we expected. Ok she said if the operation goes ahead it will be on the date we have indicated. You have to be here at seven am. Nothing to eat or drink and if I click this button on the computer, we will see what time the op is planned for. Right, 16.45 you should be out by 20.00hrs if all goes well!
Mindful that it may take at least fifteen minutes to reach my car, time was against me. Is that it, can I go now? Yes, said Helen. I was already at the door. Barring any requests for drug tests I must have beaten all the current hospital speed records and I got back to the car with ten minutes to spare despite having to negotiate the ever increasing crowd of smokers at the entry/exit door and the extra weight of a plaster cast that somehow had found its way under my right arm. I noticed the nun had managed to push her car back into her space and apply the handbrake. She was catching her breath, bent over the bonnet as I passed. I put the plaster cast in the boot along with the “Doctor on Call” sign, set the Sat Nav, gently eased the two wheels out of the flower bed and I was free to go home!
©Julian Race 16/07/2020
It wasn’t a bird, it was a plane, I’m telling you. I’m not insane; I can’t alter the way my dreams self-create. Anyways, I wasn’t awake because I was in a compromised mental state, and who would choose to wake up when they were riding on top of an aircraft, literally side-saddle on top of an aircraft, just to finish working on an essay draft?
So that’s really the reason that I didn’t turn my English homework in on time; well, that and the fact that I didn’t sleep too well last night. Really, this is partially on me because I didn’t ask for an extension. I really didn’t want to email you and then repent it, because you’re a busy man and this is a petty request, so I thought it would be all right if I turned everything in before the test.
Why couldn’t I sleep well? That’s a good question. Unfortunately, some of the blame is on you—forgive me for being impetuous, but I’ll have to rush through the explanation. I was deep in concentration at the library, sequestered in a corner mustering the courage to refresh my rustiness on the subject, when a dark drowsiness, a solemn sleepiness, stuck its claws in my mind, so I let go of the pencil and opted to recline.
See, I had a terrible nightmare in which you stared into my soul, laughing fanatically as your hands rolled up balls of paper and threw them at me. Your mighty red grading pen swept me off my feet, a feat all too easy considering everything was scaled to thrice the size of me. A single tear of mine turned into a circular puddle on the floor, a hurdle in my rush to the door with nothing more than a will to somehow survive this judgement day (despite the delay I introduced when I chose to procrastinate, a decision induced by maybe one too many games of beer pong or one too many tear drops on the keyboard of my laptop).
Professor, you should really understand that there’s little that I could do. I was a frozen statue after that vivid unreality, aware that I was awake but unable to do anything but remain in that chair surrounded by my bad decisions and the ones still pending (hey, those might well have a happy ending, we can’t deny that).
And then! A godsend, a re-emergence into unconsciousness, where, as I said before, I was soaring with wind on my fingertips and an itching, undeniable thirst for the freedom that I so clearly had.
Maybe you could accept this email as my submission! It’s the most work I’ve done all semester, and you know that’s not fiction (see, I know some literature jargon). Please reconsider the F you’ve affixed to my transcript, as I’m sure that this somewhat fits into what the prompt is, based off the assignment you sent to me last month:
Re: We need to discuss your incredibly prolonged procrastination on the 20-page analysis, my office on Friday.
It never rains...
but it pours!
the neighbors have been waiting all these long quarantine months. waiting to enjoy the air? waiting for a trip to the seaside?
no! waiting to rennovate! just as soon as they could, they called in the demolition guys and started breaking walls down.
now, i shouldn't get excited. every spring and summer, home rennovations are almost a tradition. i used to joke with my kids, that the drills heard from upstairs and the drills far off in the distance are just mating calls of a rare and beutiful bird and in fact, many poets have written emotionally stirring works on those enchanting bird calls.
well , the joke’s over. the noise is too much for a baby. lucky for me, school is out so we can spend the day running with the baby outside. keeping her happy and eating.
but it can’t be just one thing. so we got a thunderstorm and a monsoon. I ran to get our nice big umbrella but it broke apart as i opened it. i dug around and finally found a working one, only very small. i got very wet that day..
so...we went to a nice , air-conditioned shopping mall.
i opened the trunk to take out the stroller, and hit my head on the door.
then we got inside, and walked in the supermarket. my baby loves fish, so the seafood section has all these nice, big aquariuns, with big fishies swimming around, waving their fins. so my baby waves back.
we do that for a while, then it’s time to sleep. sophia should get her nap. we park it in an empty starbucks and i go crazy for the smell. i havent had real coffee in a looong time..but we can’t do anything before the baby sleeps. and she’s toooo excited from her day trip.
worried that we’ll lose the nice quiet spot, my wife stays with the stroller and the bags and i take my little one walkies for a while.
we go to the second floor and walk among the shops, till the unmistakable aroma of my little ones’ early creations hits my nosteils. i feel that even with the mask on! i hurry back to the starbucks, only to find the upstairs entrance locked. more running , and suddenly a group of girls stop me. they remind me that i taught them once, a few years ago, and seem upset that i don’t recognize them after sooo long, so many students AND their dust masks on...
more running, even faster, up, down, until we find the restroom and change, putting the bomb safely away. hope it doesn't fall into the wrong hands...
you’d think this would be the end, right?
sophia still doesnt want her nap after the change. we keep walking, going home.
when we get home, the “birds” are still crowing. so we go doenstairs again . baby finally sleeps in the shade of the community park, and i stay to wave off the mosquittos. my wife goes to cook. but she soon calls me , telling me that the power is out in all rooms but the bedroom...
by then the baby is up again, feeling refreshed and rambunxious. she is having a wonderful day...
i check and see that this is not merely a simple fuse thing and call the electrician. but you see, i got it wrong, it’s not that there was no power. air cons and fridge were happily humming away. it’s just that ALL the light switches somehow didn’t get power!
the electrician told me he couldnt do a thing about it for the evening. so the rest of the evening we did in the hallway outside the bathroom, which of all places didn’t get turned off. but it did get a ton of plaster and paint from the walls falling down because of the humidity and the hammering upstairs.
sophia ate well, at least, of the leftovers i warmed in the darkness of the kitchen.
we put her down to sleep finally and i started to clean things up, when i found that the bananas i bought that morning when we were in the supemarket , turned to a very sloppy mush in the heat.
crazy days are beautiful in a way. because they show how inventive this world can be to squish you..
Move to the beat!
Chase smiled. His hand came forward to take hold of Susanna’s. He led her to the dance floor. But when they hit the dance floor~ Chase seemed to have lost control over his own body & bones.
She watched in fright as he stretched his arm backward over his head. It circled toward his back making his arm look like half a pretzel. It was not something easy to watch. Chase laughed & got ready to show many more dance moves. He stomped on the dance floor like a charging rhino.
Susanna wondered what YouTube videos Chase’s been watching that portray such dance moves. Hmm, she actually thought they were intriguing.
After a little while, she could not help it & soon she was also dancing like Chase. Or more like she was being attacked by a swarm of wasps. Her hands were in a swatting motion over her head.
The others on the dance floor scratched their heads. They thought maybe these two had a little something with an extra kick which was making them move somewhat like headless chickens.
Thought of sharing the way my cousin made me laugh & inspired me to write something based on the disco dancing moves.
Note: Inspired from watching a dance video of the older dance moves from the disco times~ My cousin said ‘the moves were something else & it looked like an emergency team was needed close by after all the dancing.’ lol
These are moves that I will pass on to teach any one who wants to add some new dance moves to their dance routine. Free dance lessons! Seriously, great music here, too. Love MJ’s music & dancing as well. <3
20th July, 2020.
All Rights Reserved
A Lunch in Quarentine
Family (me, brother 1, brother 2, sister, Mother, Father): eating sushi for lunch from small plastic containers.
Father (leaves the room for a few moments).
Brother 2 (looks at sushi container, which has one piece left): “How many were there to start with?”
Mother: “I had two.”
Me: “I had three.”
Brother 1: “I had two.”
Sister: “I had two.”
Mother (to me): “Wait, how many did you have?”
Me: “I had three.”
Mother: “You had three?”
Me: “Yes, that’s what I said.”
Brother 2: “Wait, but that doesn’t add up, because two plus two plus two plus three equals nine, and there were more than nine.”
Mother: “Yes, but didn’t you have two? No, three.”
Me: “No, I had three, not Brother 2.”
Brother 1: “There were ten pieces total.”
Me: “No, there were twelve.”
Me: “Yes: two rows of six.”
Mother: “Oh! Ok, that makes sense.”
Brother 2: “No, that doesn’t add up.”
Sister: “Why do we even care?”
Me: “Yes, why do we even care?”
Mother: “Ok, two plus two plus two plus three…Wait, did Dad have any?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Brother 2: “Try counting again.”
Me: “Wait, what are we trying to do again?”
Brother 1: “Figure out how many pieces of sushi we started with.”
Me: “You didn’t just count them before you opened the container?”
Brother 1: “Who counts things before they open them? Did you?”
Me: “No, I never saw it.”
Mother: “Ok: one, plus two, plus two-“
Brother 1: “Where did the one come from?”
Me: “Wait a minute!” (Jumps from my seat and points at the refrigerator). “There’s an unopened pack in the fridge!”
Brother 1: (runs to refrigerator and takes out sushi but drops the container, spilling the rolls all over the floor). “Oh no.”
Me: “Count them, hurry!”
Mother: (rushes over to throw the soiled food away). “How many were there?”
Me: “Count them! Quickly! Before you throw them out!”
Brother 1: “There’s ten!”
Me: “Are you sure?”
Brother 1 and Mother: “Yes, there’s ten.”
Me: “Count them!”
Brother 1: “We did!”
Sister: “But we only ate nine.”
Brother 2: “There was one left, remember: here it is.”
Father: (walks back into the room and sees the sushi he had bought less than fifteen minutes ago all over the floor). “What the?-“
Me: “There’s ten!”
Family: (pauses and look at each other before laughing).
The Endless Pool
There we are, lying in bed. Day 46 of quarantine. Night 2 of going to sleep with an empty blanket at the foot of the bed. Three days ago, we were going for walks and teaching tricks to our beloved nine year old dog. Then suddenly, we were at the vet, kissing her goodbye for the last time. Now, the world was rent in two.
“All I want,” my husband moans, “is to go for a swim. To take a break from being sad. Remember when we would go swim three days a week? Now instead of the Freshman Fifteen, we’re working our way toward the Covid Nineteen, am I right?”
I try to laugh, and put my tear-stained face close to his. “I know. It hurts so bad. Our stationary bike isn’t making it better, either.” An idea springs forward in my mind. “I wish they made a stationary pool.”
“A stationary pool? Like a treadmill, but a pool. It would have a current, and you could just swim against it. Wouldn’t need to be all that big. Why don’t they make those?”
“Actually, they might.”
“How much do you think something like that would cost?”
Mike reaches for his phone on the nightstand, and a quick search reveals something called an Endless Pool for sale for $4,595.
$4,595 is a lot of money, but not so much money as to be totally out of the question. If we wanted to make an Endless Pool happen, we could make it happen. What began as a ridiculous, just-for-fun internet search has suddenly become a much more serious conversation than either of us were planning to have. The Endless Pool is actually within reach.
Through the darkness, I feel myself making what we call, the Grocery Store Face. The Grocery Store Face is timeless. All around the world, since the dawn of time, couples have both wielded and fought against the Grocery Store Face. At supermarkets, garage sales, boat shows, petting zoos, Costco, and Home Depot, the Grocery Store Face can be found: it’s not on the list, but now that I’ve seen it, I just have to have it - and you’d be a monster to deny me this happiness.
Mike is wise to me. “Grocery Store Face?”
We poke around some more, and come to the Endless Pool Swim Machine website. Image after image of beautiful people and beautiful pools flood the phone. We view the three different models: E500, E700, and E2000. The E2000 model is a 20’ long vessel that is part pool, part hot tub. Obviously, we’d like that one, but we decide to research the mid-grade model instead. We are practical people, after all.
That there is no pricing on the website does not concern us. The promotional videos are full of gorgeous people in palatial homes, but we don’t care. They glide across their sweeping lawns towards their Endless Pool for a sunset swim. Our lawn is anything but sweeping - and looks to be made of broom bristles - but these are trivial matters.
We watch a few more videos. We watch some independent reviews on Youtube. We browse the optional accessories. Where would we put our Endless Pool? We’d need to pour a concrete pad in the yard, and probably have to crane it over the house. Good thing we both work in construction - Mike can get the concrete for cheap, and I can work my contacts for a crane rental. The HOA would probably have to sign off, but that’s a minor detail, and our neighbor down the street is the president. Does the pool subcontractor from my last project distribute Endless Pools? I make a mental note to call him tomorrow and check. All told, we’d probably be in it about $6,500. If we moved some things around in our savings, we could have our pool in two months.
As we read about the ordering process, 45 minutes into this research project, a shadow briefly crosses my mind. It’s too complex for a $5,000 purchase. Something doesn’t seem quite right. Something seems amiss.
“Which model did we see for sale?” I ask. “Can you go back to that very first page?”
Mike has a hard time finding the Endless Pool for sale. The shadow in my mind grows. Finally, he finds it again.
“Here it is - $4,595. Do you see a model number anywhere? I can’t tell from the picture.”
I study the listing, and I see what I had missed before. The shadow swells, swallows me whole, and my dreams are crushed upon the rocks as waves of disappointment, embarrassment, and hilarity crash overhead. Of course we're not getting an Endless Pool. How could we have been so naive? There is nothing to do but laugh.
“Mike - we’re idiots. The listing isn’t for the pool itself. The listing is only for the cover.”
Welcome to Hell!
Hello! I’m Sam and I’m the head
Of Hells welcome committee!
We’re so glad you’ll be joining us
For all of eternity!
We get a bad rep down here,
So let’s set the record straight.
After some time, we’re sure you’ll find,
This place is pretty great!
We keep the temperature down here
In the high 90’s.
But it’s more of a dry heat,
So it feels like 10,000 degrees.
The second circle of Hell features
An olympic-sized lava pool.
It burns the first time you jump in
But after, the pain’s miniscule.
Then there’s our Michelin 3-star buffet,
Do try the gruel and slop
(The special ingredient is demon meat,
And we only use the cream of the crop).
Every Friday night we host
A concert and bonfire,
We hope you like Smash Mouth and Creed,
They’re the only bands we hire.
Now, we’ll be honest with you,
Is there torture? Yes, a bit.
We’ll spare you the nasty details,
Just know you’ll get used to it.
So once again, welcome to Hell,
We hope you enjoy your stay!
Really, you don’t have a choice,
And we like it that way.
I am a loser when it comes to girls
“Hey Luke, where are you going?” asked my brother as I cat-walked down the stairs.
“None of your business,” I said and reached the door.
“What will I reply if mommy asks about you?” he asked with a curious face.
“Tell her that I went to the coffee shop to take a look at the newspaper,” I replied avoiding him.
“Haha, I have found the answer for my question from your own mouth,” he said in a surge of victory. I smiled at his innocence and marched out.
And by the way, hi, I am Luke Glover. My friends call me “NERDY” and my family calls me “COWARDY CUSTARD.”But hey, please don’t stop reading this piece after hearing about me. I have written this as my brother Alex urged me to. He told me that though I may be a nerd sometimes, I am worthy, because he loves hearing all my embarrassing situations. Okay, now let’s back off to my story.
I ran to the little hill as fast as my legs could take. You can ask a question; Why should I go to a hill ? Well, it is because the little hill is a place which attracts tourists and I thought that I can get a girl for me, since she will be new to the place and will not be aware that I am a nerd. I told you, I am a coward.
In less than three minutes I was there, lost in the crowd which stood there gazing at the little hill. And guess what, I saw a beautiful young brunette in sunglasses. I stood there staring at her beauty that I didn’t realize that I have been staring at her for ages.
“Hello sir, could you please tell me what you are doing?” said a voice behind me.
“I have no time to reply,” said I as my eyes refused to turn back.
“Hello sir, could you look at me?” said the voice again in a harsher tone.
And stupid me, I replied “No, get lost.”
Now the man who was torturing me with his grunting voice came forward, blocking my view.
“Who the hell are you? Get out of my way,” I said.
“You wanna know who I am?” he asked with his eyes bulging as if they were to pop out any second. And his dirty long beard moved here and there like a swing with flies buzzing around.
“No, you don’t have to explain, I am enjoying my day today. Look at her. Look at her hair. I would rather go and make her my soulmate than wasting my time watching your ugly face, you roly-moly fatso,” I answered.
“Forget it, she is my wife,” he said shouting like a hungry dog. His voice was loud enough for her to hear and she turned back at once.
“What? You think I am a fool? She looks like a teenage girl. You will never get her even in your dreams,” I said in a voice so stern.
“What’s up honey? Who is this guy? Your friend?” she asked in a sing-song voice.
“Nothing baby, he was asking when we were married,” he said, smirking at me.
“Four years of course and who is he?” she asked, removing her glasses.
“Well he..,” he began but I interrupted him “I was his classmate,” I said. Ugh, how can he be my classmate? Do I look that old?
“Oh, fine. It's late. Can we leave, sweetheart?” she asked and I saw them leave, holding hands together.
Though my eyes couldn’t believe this drama, I heard my mind whisper, “Stay calm, she is not the only girl. Turn left.”I obeyed the orders and to my surprise I saw a cute girl with blue eyes as dark as sapphire. I stood watching her beauty and I didn’t realize that I slipped the word, “Charming”.
And I heard a girl say, “Excuse me”. This time I turned at once and I was shocked to see the same girl standing behind me!
“A ghost!” I shouted and ran to the other side of the crowd.
“We are twins, you idiot,” she said. But my ego didn’t allow me to look back. Yet, I didn’t lose my confidence. I waited for another girl to come across and yes, I saw one in a corduroy jacket who seemed ultra-modern. I didn’t wish to waste my time, at least this time. Behind me was an old florist waiting for customers. And I bought a dark red rose and reached her.
“Uh... hey... I am Luke...You...uh...you...look good...I mean great... I...I love you..,”before I could complete, she slapped my face so hard and one of her long nails pierced through my cheek and it transformed into a ripe-red cherry matching the colour of blood that came out. Tears were waiting to roll down my cheeks, but I didn’t have the courage to stand there any longer and I had no option but to race back to home.
I cried. I yelled. I screamed. I howled. And finally, my house was there as still as it had always been. I opened the door. Alex was there, where I left him, with an angry face.
“It took you two hours and thirty two minutes to read the newspaper?” he growled. He was never wrong in calculations. Especially when it has something to do with me. I laid on my bed facing the ceiling.
He sat beside me and in no minute, he yowled, “Oh, Luke! What’s wrong with your face? You are bleeding!”
He ran to his room and came back with some cotton and a bandage. He gave me first aid and looked at me with eyes of agony.
“What happened ?” he asked.
“Nothing, I just fell on the ground,” I said.
“No, look at that; It's like a fist.” He is clever, I thought, cleverer than me.
“Okay, Noel beat me,” I replied in disgust.
“Come on, Noel’s fingers are much bigger. You’re lying.” Ah, man, let me rest for sometime.
“Okay, you win,” I said and rolled on my bed.
“Tell me, or else I will keep pestering,” he said. I knew my brother. He is the best pest in the world, so I begged him not to say this to anyone for heaven’s sake and he promised. When I narrated him this long tale of utter nonsense, he laughed and laughed and laughed till he cried. He was the one who urged me to write this, insisting that nobody will know who I am. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the end of the story. I am sorry I am not good at conclusions, well, good at nothing. So thank you for wasting your time, reading this story of a nerd. Signing off, wishing you a good day opposite to mine. Goodbye!
Well, my day was going to crap. I honestly had good intentions for today, a plan. I would get up at 7, hit snooze until 7:30, and then sit at my computer and stare at the screen. That’s right, I’m a writer, so being frustrated all the time is part of the gig. Anyway, I am writing a murder mystery. I just can’t figure out the ending and how everything will come together.
So my craptastic day started with me waking up at 6:34. Rough night, so I knew there was no hope of getting back to sleep. After lugging myself out of bed, I went to go make myself breakfast but there was no milk. Great. What is cereal without milk? I sigh, now I have to run to the store to get milk for my breakfast, and being as stubborn as I am, there would be no breakfast without milk. Grabbing my coat, I head out the door towards my new adventure, yay.
So I’m now at the store, ok, and I go to the dairy section all the way at the back of the store. Unlike most people who would’ve stopped to buy something else that they vaguely need, I am in no mood to partake in the capitalistic strategies that make up grocery layouts. I am hungry. One good thing did happen though, they had 2% on sale.
Heading to the lines that were full of elderly morning-ers, I impatiently wait. So here I am, finally next and putting my things on the belt when this d-bag in front of me decides to make his problem everyone else's by pulling out a gun; man, isn't my morning great?
"Get on the ground," he yells at the cashier, not even stopping to look at me or any other customers, "and hand over the dough."
The poor kid at the register, tired and from what I can see, probably stoned, turns, and looks the man dead in the eye. Just sighing he says, "Dude, really? It's 2019, there is most likely $15 max in here."
The man, obviously unhappy and surprised by this answer, doesn't know what to do now. His plan has been destroyed by changing consumer practices and a kid who is as high as a skyscraper. Mustering up all his leftover pride while still pointing the gun at the cashier, he says, "Look, I'm going to take my stuff and go..."
You know, I'm not one to judge, but looking at this guy's stuff he's buying, really stealing, I'm so done. All he has is frosted loft cookies. F-ing cookies. The audacity. And all while staring at these cookies, I get an idea for the end of my book.
Not wanting to let this idea go, I push past the man, swatting his gun away, take the kid's scanner, scan my gallon of 2% milk, pay with cash, and leave. And that, ladies and gentleman, is how I finished my book and had the most mediocre breakfast I've ever had.