Sunday, June 30, 2013

For $500, You Had Better Suck!!

Dear Makers of The Dyson DC14 Animal Vacuum Cleaner:

       A few years ago my old vacuum cleaner decided to go on strike. It had had it with trying to pick up the cat hair, my hair, random stuff and dust bunnies that make a house a home. In my neat-freak panic I decided that I was going to quit throwing money down the drain and invest in a vacuum cleaner that would really suck. One that had a reputation for never losing suction. The kind of suction that would make a high school slut and a trailer hitch proud. So I forked over 500 big ones for your DC14 Animal.

    RRRROOOOWWWWRRR. Even the name sounded like it could peel the paint off a wall from 50 paces. My inner cleaning animal was unleashed. I developed a relationship with your DC14 that bordered on co-dependent. It would suck the padding from underneath the carpet as I hit the high notes like Liberace in Vegas. The feeling of clean carpet under my toes made me want to pull it out and use it every day. For $500, I was getting the kind of satisfaction that normally comes from a day long Law & Order marathon, vodka, xanex, and HoHo coma.

     Now, just like Mick Jagger ~ I can't get no satisfaction. Apparently when your inventor, James Dyson, said "never" he was talking more like approximately 4 years. Cause this baby doesn't suck any more! Nothing! Not even the random piece of string that I ran over 25 times, then picked up to inspect, then returned to the floor to run over again 25 times. So much for never loses suction. Even the high school slut is still giving out after 4 years! Doing the math (cause that's what former math teachers do), my Dyson only gave me $125 worth of suction a year. I don't think of that as suction so much as I consider it getting screwed. 

     So now I have a new vacuum with a much smaller price tag and it sucks just fine, thank you. At the price I paid for this little Hoover sucker if he gives out at the end of the year I'm not going to be upset. As for your DC14 Animal, he is now residing outside my apartment complex dumpster. In fact, DC14 has been sitting out there for two days now and even the dumpster divers won't take him. Guess that tells you something, doesn't it?
Dyson, you don't suck ~ you blow.
Ms. Tastrophie

Excuses, Excuses

(Previously written in 2009 ~ but not published)

As a teacher I have seen my fare share of notes from parents. Although, the notes I get usually aren't ones asking how Little Johnny is doing science or what kind of homework he will be doing this week. I get ones that say Little Johnny was sick with an upset stomach for the last three weeks and could I please excuse all the work he has not done so that he will pass the 7th grade and make it one year closer to getting the hell out of our house?

But in the two years that I have been teaching this is by far THE BEST parent excuse letter EVER!

"Plese excuze Dumb-Ass* from school yesterday. The mutha f*cker found my stash and smoked up all my sh*t and was gotten to high to go to school. Dont bothr punishin him cuz I grounded him til he pays me back all my sh*t he smoked." *pseudonym

Now for all you people freaking out over the whole thing, don't worry. The authorities were alerted. Yes, CPS was involved and took care of things. That's not what this blog is all about. This blog is about YOU using YOUR creative skills and giving me a note from home to be proud of. One worth reading. One worth my crushing my academic integrity and ethics in order to help Little Johnny over that silly little road-block called an education.

I have to tell you, I get some really boring notes from parent and I don't feel any need to reward bad excuses with good grades. So next time, instead of telling me Little Johnny had a fever and chills, make some good sh*t up. Tell me you and the Mr. got a little too freaky last night, over slept and decided that freak-round two should occur at 8 a.m. Which sounded a whole lot better than hauling your @$$ out of bed and getting your off-spring to school. 

Tell me that you thought that taking a "mini-break" to the sale at the outlet mall with your little diva-in-training appealed more to your sense of economical duty than the need for your daughter to know the history of the Spanish occupation of Texas, Louisiana, and Mexico. (I would probably agree with you on that one.)  Besides, if the little diva in training is destine to become the next Jackie O or Kate Spade, who am I to stand in the way of some field research?  Just remember me when she's designing her Spring collection.

Remember, creativity counts and snaps will be given for excuses that include blatant sucking-up to the teacher. Calling me the best teacher Little Johnny has ever had, and that he has learned more from sleeping through my class than any other class he has slept through before, will appeal to my sense of empathy. I promise not to count off on the missed classwork if you put a little imagination into Little Johnny's excuse. Hell, I might even give extra credit for style and original concept. Just don't admit to committing three felonies and bad spelling.

The Anger Files

Warning ~ this is not the nicest post I have ever written. Mostly it is me getting some stuff off my chest. In fact, it isn't even semi-good, as far as my writing is concerned. Again, it's my blog and I will use it to vent, if I want to.  (Originally written in 2010 ~ while having a VERY VERY baaaaaddd day.)

Ms. Tastrophie is in a mood people!! I am fairly certain that the good Lord is trying to see how far I am willing to go in order to keep that whole "thou shall not kill" commandment. Because I will bet that He is putting people on this good green earth just to try my patience!!

First off, I inherited my grandfather's lack of patience. He had about .05% of his good nature to waste on people acting the donkey. I think I have about .025% of that and right now it's about half gone. It started about two weeks ago and maxed out on Thursday afternoon.

Things That Will Prove You are an Ass Hat; Ms. Tastrophie is Right in Thinking That She May Have To Hurt You:

1. You don't know how to merge and think that you don't have to follow the rules of the road or be nice. If there is a line a mile long where people are having to merge; you don't get to bum-rush everyone else's spot and drive to the very front of the line, thereby passing everyone else who was nice enough to merge politely. Don't even think about easing around my car assuming that I won't make a quick turn into your car. I have phenomenal car insurance and your ass would be at fault any way since you failed to yield right of way, and I am just the b*tch to do something like that. So don't test me.

2. I really do not think that natural childbirth means you should get some sort of Medal of Honor. First off, women have been doing it for centuries. You weren't the first and you won't be the last. However, I know for damn sure that I will be taking whatever drugs I can get my hands on up to the minute I even think I am in some form of labor (should all hell freeze over and I become pregnant). It's not my fault that you didn't think about getting the big shot of Pain-Away and thought that being in labor to 300 hours while trying to squeeze a baby the size of a watermelon through an opening with a dilated circumference the size of a coke can is some form of bravery. More power to ya, but don't think I'm going to think you are a hero. A masochist maybe, but not a hero. Oh, and I do NOT need to hear your war stories about how you were in labors for hours and torn from ass to chin by a 10 pounder making its way all sling-shot from your vajayjay. Complete with contraction-by-contraction details of how little Suzy was ripping your hoo-hoo to shreds, thank you very much. I don't read horror stories for a reason and that would be a horror story to me!  With that being said, I do think you deserve a life time supply of vodka and hohos for your trials as I am too much of a chicken shit to EVER go through the time honored throws of childbearing.

3. And should you have said child and make the commitment to raising him or her be sure not to f*ck it up any more than the normal amount of required parental angst we all get. I am a teacher. Not a freaking clean up squad. It is NOT my job to have to listen to your child:
a. Tell me to F*ck Off
b. Tell me to suck his d*ck
c. Call me a c*cksucker
d. Otherwise speak to an adult in a less than civil tone and with some level of manners already taught/
I also do not have to be a moving target for your little brat's throwing practice. In the past two weeks I have been hit with erasers, pencils, paper wads, Runt candies and something I can't figure out except to say that it was blue and hard and hurt like hell when it hit my lower back. I have a suggestion for you. If little Johnny or Jane starts to make that magic down hill slide into delinquency, I recommend heading it off at the path and taking care of it at home. Don't think my job description lists anything other than teaching Science. I HIGHLY recommend military schools. I heard they now have a Marine Corps Kindergarten, which tickled me red, blue and gold!!

4. Last but not least, do not tell me, when I feel like my entire world is crushing me from every corner of the universe, to pray about it!!! I love God and have my faith, but nothing will piss me off more than telling me to do something I already know (and do). Not to mention at that particular moment, I am not exactly lovin' the situation God has apparently put me in; if I am to base my understanding of the situation based on your explaining of God and how stuff works. Piety in others pisses others off ~ ask Jimmy Swagggert.

Now I have to go and find out if I can legally get a Valium infused air freshener put into my car. Because I am going to kill the next M-F*er who cuts me off in the merge lane.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

For Sarah ~ Who Never Stopped

For the past five years I have been a part of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  Which is to say, for the past five years I have done little more than paid my entry fee and ran 5 kilometers one Sunday morning each year.  Each year I ran alone.  I have mercifully never had breast cancer and I don't think I personally knew anyone who had it.  I ran alone, most for the joy of running and a little for the cause.  Last year changed all that.

Since I run with the lightening speed of a turtle, I usually queue up at the back of the pack.  Somewhere between the slow runners and the sea of walkers.  Last year was no different.  I found my place among the throng of participants and next to a rather large group of walkers all decked out in hot pink and wearing a sense of purpose.  Surrounded by this pepto-pink doused group was a women.  The most incredible woman I have ever met.

Clad in pink fuzzy slipper, pink leopard print pajamas, a tiara baseball cap on a hairless head, and a feather boa that would have made Liberace proud was the shell of a woman.  She sat in a silver and pink sequins wheelchair equipped with IV bag and rims.  Her name was Sarah* and she had end stage triple negative breast cancer and was running her race for the last time.  

As the race started and we began to slinky our way across the starting line, my desire to be a lone runner died.  I walked along side her entourage talking to a woman who had been part of Sarah's care team at M. D. Anderson.  I learned that Sarah had been a part of the Komen Race for a Cure for over 10 years.  She had never missed a race.  During chemotherapy, she walked.  Weeks after a double mastectomy, she walked.  During recovery, she walked.  Now, with time racing against her and life showing it's last days, she would once again walk.  This time in a tricked out wheelchair surrounded by friends, family, care takers and clergy; she would make one last stand against a disease that cares little about race, religion or ethnicity.  She would show cancer that it may have claimed her body, but it would never kill her spirit.

I walked half that race with her and her team.  Each step learning more about what it means to live, survive, fight and love.  I don't know what happened to Sarah.  I assume that cancer finally claimed her body.  I doubt it ever got never her soul.  This year, I ran with more purpose.  I asked people to donate.  I was no longer a lone runner.  Despite a hip injury that sent shooting pain down my leg with every step, I refused to stop.  I couldn't stop.  Sarah never stopped.  And if she could do it, so could I.

* In respect of her privacy, I have not used her real name; although, I somehow think she wouldn't have minded.

** "I walk for those who walked before me and those who walk beside me"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Are You a Good Witch or A Bad Witch?

Apparently the women's movement has yet to overcome the one holiday where we get to express our inner alter egos.

Last week I was in search of some Wizard of Oz decorations for a bulletin board at school.  During my search, I went to several party supply stores and a few costume outlets.  Note:  Wizard of Oz is apparently passe on the party circuit as I could not find ANY decorations remotely dealing with ruby slippers, gingham dresses or dogs named Toto.  Ditto on the Good Witch.  However, I did find several variations on the Wicked Witch of the West.  Let's just say that having a bucket of water doing her in has done wonders for her night life.

What I also discovered on my Dorothy Hunt was that no matter how far the Equal Rights fight and Bra Burning movement has come, the costume makers of America apparently use October 31st as the day to break it all back down to the level of every porn fantasy ever thought of.  Because, according to the costume choices given to women, we apparently want to make each one of our alter egos the same variation on one theme: SLUT.

So I am standing there in front of this HUGE wall of costume choices and I start to notice a pattern.  See if you can find it:

Sexy Cop

Sexy Doctor

Sexy Lawyer


Sexy Teacher        Sexy Bartender         Sexy Witch         Nun    
Sexy Vampire        Sexy Zombie           Sexy Kitten         Nun

Anyone seeing a pattern here?  Apparently in my foolish believe that Halloween was a time to play dress up and, for me, homage to my shameless adoration of Scarlet O'Hara and her fine green velvet drapes, I missed the part where I was supposed to make Ms. Scarlet look more like Belle Whatley than a fine Southern Lady.  How is it that this fun time of being fairies, witches and Minnie Mouse has turned into a live peep show for perverts?  I don't remember seeing any male costumes that included fishnet stockings, 4 inch hooker heels and a thong.  Apparently, we women really didn't go through that whole women's lib movement in order to be thought of as equals, but rather we suffered through it in order to fulfill some twisted guy fantasy one night out of every year.  Go figure.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go find a costume that can set the women's movement back into 2010.   Anyone know where I can get a positive female role model costume that comes with dignity and respect?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Balls-y Move

Yeah, that's me and my students.
It's tough to get 8th graders interested in chemistry & physics.  Hell, it hard to get me interested in chemistry & physics.  I'm more the life sciences teacher type, but that gets taught to my 7th grade class.    For those of you who do not know, I teach in a "challenging" environment.  My students are more into gangs, drugs, and sex than they are into elements, molecules and Newton's Laws of Motion.  

In my attempts to bring it to the level of my "criminally gifted" audience, I have turned to my love of movies.  (Little snippets to grab their attention, if it doesn't put them to sleep the minute the lights go out.)  For this little lesson I turned to a certain film featuring a young hunky Ben Affleck and my Moonlighting crush Bruce Willis, called Armageddon.

We were studying the difference between weight and mass.  One being the amount of matter an object has and the other having to do with the gravitational pull against that mass.  Now you can imagine what kind of snooze-fest it was in my classroom.  Seriously, the only thing my students want to know about weight and mass is how much does a dime bag really weigh and how many buds would that mass have in it.  Anyway, I decided to use a clip from the movie that shows the oil-drillers training for their walk on the asteroid.  In this clip, Bear (Michael Clark Duncan) is not paying attention to Astronaut Watts instructions.  Being the good instructor that she is, Watts gets Bear's attention and tells him she is trying to teach him how to use his suit, so that if she were to kick him in the balls, he wouldn't go flying off into outer space.

Oh, don't get all uppity on me about the balls comments.  If you worked in my classroom you would understand that saying "balls" is about as benign as saying "hoo-hoo".  My kids can conjugate the F-bomb like nobody's business, so showing a movie clip where they say the word "balls" is nothing.  Get over it.  

Anyway, I used Bear's predicament as our scenario.  First I ask "What would happen to Bear if Watts kicked him in the family jewels while Bear was still on earth?"  After several comments about Bear kicking Watts' behind after he could walk again, and how they would kick someone's @$$ if a chick did that do them - we get to the point.  The point being that the earth has gravity holding Bear to the ground.  It's what makes Bear weigh so much.  I then ask "Why would Bear fly into outer space if Watts kicked him in the family jewels?"  The right answer is because the moon does not have gravity.  It takes a few minutes for them to catch on.

Next we move on to the topic of mass.  "Now did Bear change in size when he went to the moon?" I asked.  No.  He is still the same size.  His mass does not change.  It remains the same on the moon as it is on earth.  This they seemed to grasp fairly quickly, so we return to the weight portion and start to review.

Again, I ask "Where would Bear go if he was kicked in the pants on earth?"  Answers varied from falling on his knees and crying to beating the snot out of Watts.  Eventually we get to the idea that he does not leave the earth's atmosphere because the earth has gravity and Bear has weight.  

Then I make the fatal mistake.  I ask "Where would Bear go if Watts kicked him in the pants while he was on the moon?"  Silence.  Then the lone voice from the back of the room shouts...............................WAIT FOR IT..............  "He'd go to Uranus!"  The class erupts and students (OK, and teachers) spent the next 20 minutes trying to regain some composer.  Yep, another fine teaching moment brought to you by Ms. Tastrophie's Criminally Gifted & Talented 8th Grade Class.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Do You Make?

Miss Tastrophie has been around.  At least in the terms of her careers.  In previous lives she has been a secretary - want to know who knows all the company dirt?  The secretary.  Trust me people, do not piss her off, because the secretary can turn your life to a living hell with the flip of a Rolodex.  A waitress - where she learned that she really was not meant to serve the masses.  You want your order right and not to get charged for drink refills?  Be nice to the waitress.  You want a watered down scotch & soda - piss her off.  You want to afford oh so cute Coach handbag - get another job.  A bartender, but that didn't last long - something about the vodka being for the patrons, not the bartender to suck down with her ho-ho's during her many "union" breaks...whatever. A personal assistant - ditto to the secretary thing here.  And a health information systems analyst - yeah, it was as boring as it sounds, but the perks and pay made up for the "dork" factor.  Plus, it put Ms. Tastrophie in too cute hand bags and shoes for several years.  But for the past three years, Ms. Tastrophie has been living a different, sensible shoes and handbag life as a teacher...and I FREAKING LOVE IT!!! 

Granted, the kids I teach are among some of the best "criminally gifted and talented" this town has to offer, the pay is somewhere below that of an indentured servant, and whoever told you that you get summers off was full of sh*t, but I love it.  I work harder now than I ever did when I was a corporate drone.  The one thing that I have noticed about teaching is that since I have become a teacher, people seem to think I have lost some I.Q. points.  As if the brain I had when I was answering the phones, shuffling drinks, or telling people that their ERM was FUBAR had suddenly disappeared.  But my favorite part of teaching has to be when people belittle what I do.  And it is usually done by some pompous @$$ who thinks his job is soooooo much more important because he has a litany of initials behind his name.  I especially love it when he/she equates my non-existent income with what I make.  

So recently I was sent the following little tidbit of humor that I found slightly appropriate for dealing with those snug @$$ people who don't realize that if it wasn't for some poor teacher way back in their life; they wouldn't be so smug.  I don't know who wrote it, but they are forever in the heart of Ms. Tastrophie - 'cause you know she loves a good comeback.

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.  One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a
teacher?"  To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Bonnie .
Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?  (She paused for a second, then began...)

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I make a C+ student feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

You want to know what I make? (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table)

I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them how to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything.

I make them read, read, read.

I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in the United States of America .

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.

( Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make?

I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make Mr. CEO?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Woman Lie Detector

When the good LAWD all-mighty was making men I am sure when He was done, He had an entire bag of left over parts and no idea what to do with them.  I know for a fact that one of the parts in that bag was the "Woman Lie Detector" part.  Not the part that can tell when a woman is flat out lying about something.  For example:  "Honey, I have NO idea how that three foot scratch down the entire side of your beloved 1968 Shelby Mustang got there." LIAR!!! She knows.  Hell, she probably put it there in retaliation for some trivial thing the guy did.  But here's where that missing "Woman Lie Detector" part comes into play.  Had the man had this missing part installed, he would have been able to safely navigate through the Man/Woman mine field therefore completely avoiding the possible destruction of his most precious automobile.

The scene possibly started like so:  A conversation about plans.  Plans with the guys.  Plans without the woman.

Him: "Honey, I am going to (insert name of sports bar or best guy-pal's house) to watch the (insert sporting event name here) with the guys.  I'll probably be gone all afternoon/evening, so don't wait for me."

Her: "Now?"

Him: "Uh, yeah now."

Her:  (in a slightly pouty, but semi normal voice) "But I thought we were going to (insert some form of chick based activity - i.e. watching The Notebook for the 100th time)."

Him: "Honey, this is a really important game.  If (insert name of fantasy football quarterback pick) gets 3 TD's my fantasy football team moves into the league championships and I could totally kick a$$ this year."

Her: (in a more pouty, but still normal tone) "So you would rather sit in a room with a bunch of guys, drinking beer and watching a game instead of spending the afternoon with me?"

*****DANGER****** Men, this is the most critical moment of your life!  I guarantee you that every instinct in your body is going to be crying out for the beer, buds, and ball you so richly want.  Don't do it!  Those four hours are not worth what is coming next.  And here is where that missing part could help save you hours of misery.

Him: "Baby, you know I love you.  I'll be back right after the game and then we can spend all night together. (Insert promises of movie, roses, back rubs, whatever you think you will have to give, in order to get the h*ll out of the house in the next ten minutes)"

Her:  "O.K. Fine."

DING!!! DING!!!! DING!!!! And men, with those two words, she has just sealed your fate in the world of payback-is-a-b*tch.  Because everything is most definitely NOT fine and you are blissfully unaware that your fate has now been sealed.  All this could have been avoided had you just had the "Woman Lie Detector" installed.  She would have said "Fine" and you would have been beeping like a blinged out rap artist in a metal detector at that lie.  Thereby allowing you the time to find a successful comeback that would have allowed you to watch the game and still make the little woman happy.  As to what that comeback might be, heaven only knows.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Who Ya Gonna Call?--

Once again it is back-to-school.  And once again, teachers everywhere are schlepping back to the classroom with their dreams of summer vacation slowly fading from memory.  OK, not so slowly fading as I found myself daydreaming about lounging by the pool, eating ho-ho's, drinking umbrella garnished vodka drinks, and a certain cabana boy named Paco who will forever hold a special place in my heart.... uhm, when I was supposed to be engaged in professional development training.  By the way, teachers are WORSE than students when it comes to our behavior during "class".  

During the back to school flurry of fun we teachers get to have, there are tons of forms, schedules, and spreadsheets to complete.  My favorite form is the "Personal Information and Emergency Contact" form.  What kills me about this form is that it is the EXACT same form I filled out when I was hired by the district years ago.  And the same form I completed last year, and the year before, and the year before, and the year before.......  Why they just don't keep the form I completed last year and tell me to let them know if anything changes, I don't know.  Maybe they just enjoy seeing me realize how pathetic my life really is as I answer questions about my marital status and interests.  "Single, two cats, knits."  Yep, it's pretty pathetic.  

Since we all know I don't do well with things I find to be slightly irritating, I like to have a little fun with the form.  (Not to mention slightly redundant.)  I like to express myself and answer with the truest of all Ms. Tastrophie answers.  Things like when it asks me for my name and what I want to be called, I answer:  Well, I want to be addressed as "The High Empress of All Things Chocolate, Princess of the Starbucks and Masterful Queen of the Sarcasm" but if that's too much you can just call me Ms. Tastrophie.  The form asks me for my address - which I give.  You never know when someone would want to send moi flowers or shower me with gifts and I would hate for them not to be able to send them to the right place.  My phone number - again I give it.  Just in case they need to call and tell me to take the next week off with pay and not to worry about a sub because they have it all covered.  And my date of birth.  Which is totally rude and none of their business unless they are going to be sending expensive birthday gifts.  In which case see the question regarding address.  Not to mention I lie on that one anyway, because a lady never tells and I refuse to admit to being a day over 25. Even though I graduated high school in 1987 and college in 1993 and 1999.  GAWD bless the miracle of botox.

Then it gets to the part about emergency information.  This is where I just can't help myself.  I have to answer these questions with all the do seriousness these questions are just screaming for:

1.  Any medical conditions that would prohibit you from doing your job?  Well, I am allergic to work and break I out in hives when I am required to do any physical labor.  Plus, I don't do mornings very well, so I would appreciate it if you could schedule the classes I have to teach in the afternoons. 

2. Are you currently taking any medications?  Not right now, but I intend to go to lunch and self medicate with my daily ho-ho with xanax and vodka chaser.  I will probably change the times for these self medication rituals once school officially starts, but I'm waiting to see what the semester brings.

3.  Do you have any special needs?  Oh sweet mother-of-pearl YES!  I need a job where I get paid to look good and not one that requires me to get up before 9 a.m.  But if you can't arrange that, could you please get me a room with an ocean view, a masseuse named Sven to help work out the stress knots I have in my shoulders and a T.A. who can actually work the copy machine without screwing up a two sided copy?

And my ALL time favorite question

4.  Who do you want us to call in case of an emergency?  My answer:  9-1-1!!!!
Seriously, what do you think my sister could do for me?  She's a flight attendant not a doctor.  If I ever need to safely exit a 747 during a freak air incident; she's the person I'm gonna call, but if I'm having a stroke at school because a 7th grader actually DID their homework and turned it in on time, I want you to call the paramedics!  What do you think my dad's going to do?  He lives three states away.  I'm thinking it might take him a while to get there.  Don't call my family, call someone who can competently administer high dosages of xanax and ho-ho's.  Preferably one of these guys:


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Family Time And Other Time Warps

I love my family.  Don't get me wrong, I really do, but they can push my sense of "come on people, let's go" to the end of all reason.  As I understand it we have 4 time zones here in America. So why is it that my family operates in it's own little time warp continuum that prohibits them from getting anywhere together in a reasonable timely manner?  I'm not joking.  Herding cats is easier than getting my family to the church on time, if ya know what I mean.  At least with cats, you can get everyone headed in the general direction.

A few weeks ago, Ms. Tastrophie was visiting most of her time-delayed family and after much discussion, we decided to head out for dinner.  The decision was to go to Jack Stack's for BBQ.  And for those of you who don't know, let Ms. Tastrophie educate you:  Kansas City has THE BEST BBQ in the world.  Hands down.  Even when KC BBQ is bad, it's still better than any other BBQ in the world.  I know many of you may think them there are fightin' words, but bring it. 'Cause brown sugar and molasses kick some pork rib @$$!  

Now the where to eat discussion alone took us the better part of an hour, so once the decision was made, Ms. Tastrophie thought it was a fait de compli.  Why I don't know better by now, I can't tell you because this was not the first time I have made this mistake.  And here is where the time-warp-continuum begins:
Oh look, the family's all here.

6:00 p.m. - Grand announcement that we have "made a decision and are leaving" is made.  This is the announcement that signals everyone should get their stuff together and make any needed restroom breaks.  

6:15 p.m. - My aunt, step-mom, and I start looking for car keys, purses, cell phones and discussing who will be riding with whom in which car.  The men haven't moved from their respective positions since the Grand Announcement was made. 

6:30 p.m. - The women are walking out the door.  I decide I have to go back to the bathroom...again.  My family knows I have the world's smallest bladder and why they think I can make it out the door with only one potty break, is beyond moi.  My dad can't find his cell phone and has to have it because it's the one he uses for business.  My uncle is still standing in front of the t.v. watching sports center and it hasn't been determined whether or not he actually heard the "grand announcement".

6:45 p.m. - One person has decided that the outfit currently worn doesn't match the shoes currently worn and has returned to the bedroom to change.  (To protect the innocent, no names will be mentioned here...LISA.)  There are now two guys in front of the t.v. watching sport center.  Someone has discovered the sports section from yesterday's paper and is re-reading it to see if anything has changed since it was printed.  My aunt is on her cell phone talking to a friend back home and has poured herself a glass of wine.

7:00 p.m. - Someone has stuck their head in the refrigerator and is rooting around for something to eat.  The kids have returned to the den and the previously started video game.  I am texting and two people suddenly have gin & tonics in their hands.

7:15 p.m. - Step-mom (bless her heart, she is trying to get us out the door) re-announces the "Grand Announcement" to which the fluttering of car keys, cell phones and potty breaks begins anew.

7:30 p.m. - All family members are actually OUT of the house and standing halfway between the door and the cars.  Someone notices the inside only cat is now standing outside.  Cat herding for real has begun.

7:35 p.m. - Cat is much faster than the rotund body shape would imply.

7:45 p.m. - Grown people are circling a car attempting to coax rotund feline out from under the front axle.  Neighbors are gathering to watch the show.

8:00 p.m. - Long pole is used to "gently" herd cat to back end of car where rest of family is waiting to pounce and procure said feline.

8:05 p.m. - Neighbors start taking bets.  Odds listed at 80:1 in feline favor.

8:08 p.m. - Cat has outsmarted the entire family and is now up a tree and hissing.  Debates about calling the fire department vs. leaving feline up a tree.  One person has returned to the house to watch sports center and finish his gin & tonic.

8:25 p.m. - After much cat calling and fresh tuna enticement, the feline is out of the tree and safely inside the home.  Antiseptic, bandages and another gin & tonic have been applied.  All members are out of the house and half way to the car.

8:30 p.m. - Final head count is taken and all members are in assigned cars.  Assurances that a hospital visit is not necessary as enough gin & tonic has been consumed to kill toxoplasmosis, thypoid, and the common cold.

8:35 p.m. - Someone announces they have to go to the bathroom.  To which the reply "tough noogies" is actually heard out of a grown woman's mouth (O.K. it was my mouth) and the procession of cars pulls away.

8:55 p.m. Arrive at Jack Stacks "on time" for THE BEST DAMN BBQ EVER!!!