Last week there was a flier in my mailbox. It was a picture of a lost basset hound named Maxine and an offer of $1,000 for her return. I felt bad for the owners. I could sure use $1,000. They were relieved when I called and said I’d found their dog. They seemed puzzled when they arrived to pick her up and hand over the grand.

“Ma’am, she looks a little different,” they said. “I remember her being bigger than that. And why do her floppy ears look like they’re crocheted and fastened to her head with elastic? I don’t think that’s really her.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s her all right,” I assured them.

“But she seems to have a penis. And I think she just meowed at me.”

“Oh, I’m sure you’re mistaken. Here you go. Don’t forget her leash. Also her litter box,” I added as I slammed the door and walked away counting the cash. I’m sure going to miss Fluffy.


One winter the school where I worked was closed for several weeks; first for Christmas, then for snow days. Support staff (of which I was one) were expected to work, even though there were no students or teachers in the building. With each additional snow day, my standards regarding appearance and hygiene slipped a little further. At first, it was just the little things. Maybe I’d skip the makeup. There was hardly anybody around anyway. The next day I didn’t bother washing my hair and I wore the same outfit. By the end of the week I showed up at work in my bathrobe and slippers, with bed hair, unbrushed teeth, unbathed body, with a newspaper under my arm and a mug of coffee in my hand, surrounded by a fog of body odor unsuccessfully disguised by the stench of cheap perfume. The recliner I dragged in may have been overkill.


I saw a commercial for an air conditioner service company which promised, “We will leave your house even cleaner than when we got there…guaranteed!” What a deal! I called them for service. Their guy has been here since last Thursday. I’m not letting him leave until he gets my house cleaned like they promised. He’s got my windows sparkling and the floors scrubbed so far. He tried to leave a few times, but I told him I was “packing heat,” and he’d better get back to work. “Packing heat” is the right expression, right? Means I have a weapon? It doesn’t mean I’m threatening to “get frisky” with him, does it? Because it kind of sounds like it does. Oh, well, whatever. It scared him and he hasn’t finished cleaning the oven yet.


I saw this in a headline: “Making belly rubs a part of break time is the newest way for any employer to boost morale and increase production on the job.” Wow. Really? OK. Here’s something to keep in mind before you put this into practice. (1) Ask your co-worker for permission. (2) Be courteous and warm your hands first. (3) Be sure to have bail money on you and another job lined up. (4) Read the entire article and not just the headline because it was about bringing your dog to work with you.


I had to get my hand X-rayed in preparation for hand surgery. The technician told me I’d have to remove my wedding ring, which has been on my finger for 50 years. I believe it has permanently merged into my flesh, especially since my doctor took me off the diuretic component of my blood pressure pills. My fingers now look like Italian sausages. I warned her we’d never get the ring off. She left and came back with a bottle of Windex, which she said always works. Sure enough, she sprayed my finger and the ring slipped right off. She apologized for making me smell like window cleaner. I didn’t mind because I now smelled like I’d been cleaning my house, which I clearly had not. That gave me an idea. I’m still not going to clean my house, but I’ve dabbed a little bleach behind each ear and sprayed my hair with Lysol. Then I dragged the vacuum cleaner to the middle of the living room floor and put a can of furniture polish and a rag on the coffee table and laid down to take a nap. Still have a messy house, but now I look and smell like I’m about to start cleaning any minute. Feel free to steal this idea.


When writing, the placement of clauses is very important. Actual headline in the newspaper about a so-called miracle treatment: “Your back pain can be gone in 28 days, without surgery or drugs, just like my wife Lois.” His wife Lois was gone in 28 days? That’s so sad. Why is he sharing that with us? Further down the ad is the bold headline, “I couldn’t do anything for her, but Doctor (name redacted because I don’t want to get sued) could. Ah, it’s becoming clear. The doctor could do things for Lois that her husband couldn’t. Further down the ad is the sentence, “Just last night she was standing in the kitchen grinding hamburger for goulash.” I guess she’s now grinding Dr. (name redacted for the same reason as before). As humorist Dave Barry would say, I’m not making this up.


An online company I once bought something from has been persistently e-mailing me for over a year, trying to get me to buy something else. I’ve been ignoring and deleting them. Today their e-mail addressed me as, “Hey, Good Looking! Take a peek!” Now I’m going to have to take out a second mortgage to pay for all this stuff. That same come-on line got me a date and a peek back in 1968.


Today I heard on a commercial, delivered by a sultry-voiced spokesperson, “Everything you need to know about life you can learn from granola.” I’ve been down that aisle at the grocery store and I don’t recall the granola being particularly wise and chatty. Maybe I wasn’t asking the right questions, so I went to the store to see what I might have missed. “Hey, granola, what’s the meaning of life? Is the hokey pokey really what it’s all about?” I got nothing. The only thing granola could tell me, after 20 minutes of asking, is how many grams of carbs it has, and I had to read the back of the package for that. The only thing I learned about life was if you stand in the cereal aisle demanding answers from the granola, you get thrown out of Kroger and have to have a chat with a psychiatrist.


My husband and I both have herniated discs at L-3. I guess it’s true that after many years of marriage, a couple becomes more and more alike. Now we have twin health issues. Next week, I’m having my prostate checked.


Many years ago, as I was preparing for my wedding, I asked my mom if she had any advice. She leaned close and said, “Never throw ice water on him when he’s sleeping on the couch.” That explained the advice my dad gave to my future husband when he asked him the same question. Dad said to my man, “Never make her mad and then fall asleep on the couch.”


While hiking in the woods, I heard one of the men hiking right behind me say to the other, “Look at that big ash! Did you notice that when an ash gets old, it gets all wrinkled like that?” They need to enunciate more clearly when hiking behind an old woman like me with an aging, generous caboose. Somebody nearly got slapped.


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