humor · life

I’ll count to 3, you’d better be gone

One — ohmygod, this is stoopid. Two — pretending to threaten winter is lame, even for me. Three — okay, now what? I don’t know, that’s as far I got. Drop it and move on.
Hey, kids, welcome to February and the final 28 days of winter. It landed on our doorstep first thing this morning without pomp or circumstance or blizzard conditions. Which is a best case scenario if you ask me; there are so many other awful possibilities. The worst of those is the dreaded ‘wintry mix’ — the tangible version of ‘something wicked this way comes.’

When ice enters the picture, hooboy, watch out; a glazed world is a topsy-turvy world. Pedestrians become airborne and orthopedists become boat owners.

But winter hasn’t been its usual unbearable self this year. Not even a snow day. We’ve had snow, of course, and some bitterly cold, windy days, but nothing cataclysmic. And here we are in February, the last obstacle before spring. I’m almost tempted to breathe a sigh of relief, but I don’t want to jinx anything. So I won’t, I’ll just cross my fingers and hope for the best.

While we’re waiting for spring to spring, I’ve found plenty to keep us busy. February is full-to-bursting with entertaining stuff. Besides the obvious — Valentine’s Day and Groundhog Day, President’s Day — there’s also National Tooth Fairy Day (the 28th) and World Whale Day (the 18th). Here, I’ve made a list:

I hope you’ll be willing to drop in again after this exhibition of incompetence. Shoot, next time you might get lucky and I’ll have a real, bona fide idea. I’ve been noodling around with some thoughts and now that I’ve discovered how easy it is to start a post and go nowhere with it, a new world has opened up. Turns out pride is vastly overrated. Yay!

happycopyright © 2017 the whirly girl

humor · life

laundry room conversations

Being the new girl is dicey. You need to be wary of strangers, right? So I put my guard up and maintain a low profile while I learn the lay of the land. Then I try to figure out who’s a gossip, who’s a snitch, who’s a buttinsky, a gas bag, a clinger, a pest. Watching and listening is a preventive measure.

So is waiting to do laundry until 10:00 at night; it reduces the chance of long awkward encounters with curious strangers. Laundry rooms can be deadly — what is there to do while you wait for the wash cycle to finish? Me, I read a book or mess with my phone. Others laundry-cartlike to talk. I’ll go along with them, but I know how the conversation will end.

Last week, I hadn’t even finished loading the washer before three neighbors wandered in with laundry of their own. My heart sank, but there’s no way around being sociable. So I plastered a smile on my face and traded pleasantries. I listened; I nodded in the right places; I feigned interest — and daydreamed about pulling the fire alarm.

They exchanged medical conditions, talked about medical bills, and eventually defaulted to the good old days. One chattered on and on about the glory of skating rinks. She waxed nostalgic about swanning around, spinning and twirling and flirting with the boys. Then she wheeled on me and asked if I remembered that kind of thing. I piped up with, ‘Well, sure. Know what I did at skating rinks? I cracked my head open.’

Eyes popped. Chins fell. Crickets chirped.

A lifetime of these stunned, uneasy silences has taught me nothing. I still think I’m hilarious and I’m still surprised no one agrees. Clearly, small talk isn’t my métier, but I can’t avoid it. I’d like to, but I can’t. It’s the everyday currency of polite society.

Oh, given enough time people realize I’m harmless, some even start to think I’m funny. But it takes for flipping ever and they never think I’m as funny as I do. Just oddly amusing. And not always, just occasionally. And not everybody, just a few.

They’re my favorites.

copyright © 2017 the whirly girl

humor · life

elevator conversations

elevatorAwkward situations are part of life. Falling down in public. Leaving your fly open. Colonoscopies. Forgetting a name. Stuff happens, we survive. Big deal.

Yes, it is. It’s a very big deal. The distressing moments are when real life occurs. Senses heighten, we become alert and watchful and horribly, painfully self-conscious. We’re left to rely on rusty, decayed social skills to dig our way out of whatever quagmire we wandered into. It’s nerve-wracking.

Even something as mundane as an elevator ride can lead to trouble, make us squirm and fidget to beat the band. Living on the eleventh floor, I know this to be true. The curious part is, the more crowded the compartment, the happier the passengers. But when it’s just you and a stranger, things can get weird — depending on the stranger. Not you.

For instance, I stepped into a vacant elevator on eleven and headed to the first floor. It stopped, of course, on nine where a woman got on. Now, typically, you do one of two things: watch the floor numbers light up or stare at your shoes. I chose the floor numbers. The other woman stared at my shoes, not hers. And a peculiar conversation broke out.

Her:  I like your shoes.
Me:  Thanks.
Her:  What are they? Size 2?
Me:  Oh, uh, no. They’re eights.

She jerked back and hit me with a glare. What, wrong answer? It was the truth — to a personal question straight out of nowhere. Seriously, who asks a stranger their shoe size? Did she want proof? Should I take off my shoe, show her?

A little rattled, I went back to watching the numbers light up and she watched me with the intensity of a laser. Dang, I was being flash-fried. When the doors finally opened I wanted to bolt, but I politely said, ‘after you.’ She squinted a silent, hostile accusation and marched forth with an indignant nose in the air.

Stairs, now they’re invigorating. And no one ever uses them.


copyright © 2017 the whirly girl

humor · life

the trespassing

fogInauguration day passed in a fog, the honest-to-goodness weather kind. A thick shroud of gloom rolled in mid-week and stuck around, restricting visibility and cloaking the world in sinister intentions.

Frankly, I don’t need assistance. I’m well able to conjure nightmarish scenarios all by myself. I can spot a lurid monster under the bed and in the White House, snap, like that. Disaster looms large in my imagination lately. It’s doubly eerie when it’s swirling outside the window, too. But never fear, the nasty weather will clear up. The forecast for the new government isn’t nearly as assuring.

So I put the tv on mute and took refuge in a book, The Trespassers by Tana French. Great book. But I didn’t cotton on to the irony of the title until that very day — Inauguration Day 2017. ‘Trespassers’ is a bang on characterization of the Trump administration. They blithely and eagerly trespass against the most basic rules of decency — truth and kindness, humility, dignity, no need to list them here. Now, to my horror, they’re official.

Trump has the sleazy rectitude of a cult leader, with a doctrine of bigotry and darkness to go along with it. He happily promotes his warped agenda with plagiarized assistance and bald-faced lies, lifting dialogue from Batman movies to sound tough and photos from Obama’s inauguration to distort the reality of his own undersized audience. Sad.

Over the course of the day I caught a headline about ‘American carnage’ and I thought, wait, the pot’s calling the kettle black? That effer is the carnage. And the terrorist. And the biggest threat facing America, bar none. So, today, I’m at sixes and sevens, groping along in a bewildered daze; I’ve lost my footing. America is no longer reliable. It’s no longer comforting or safe. It’s no longer home.

A siege mentality has set in while the country is trespassed against by a kleptocratic megalomaniac and the wee, but strategically placed, band of suckers who bought his brand of fear mongering bullshit.  Which reminds me, I have some terrific, top-notch, very classy swampland for sale. Great terms. Outstanding terms. Call me.

copyright © 2017 little ittys

PS. I have to ask: what is with the squinting? Passing a stone? Concealer too heavy?

humor · life

farewell to dignity

 Inauguration Day, 2017

Integrity, compassion, reason, truth, logic, and hope, too. They’re all goners now that Trump is officially president. We’ll mourn the losses and cope with the disquiet for years to come — assuming he dodges impeachment proceedings as deftly as he dodged the draft. And income taxes. And creditors. And reality.

Well, come on, let’s cheer up. One day down; 3 years and 364 days to go.

sadcopyright © 2017 the whirly girl

humor · life

resolutions for the underachiever

slugThroughout our lifetimes, we’re offered endless opportunities to fail. And you know me, I don’t skimp. I grabbed every single one — from giant flamers to dainty piffles — and gave it a shot. They mostly shot back, a phenomenon known as backfiring. Well, no more.

Starting right here, right now, right out of the gate, I’m setting myself up for success on New Year’s Day. Join me, won’t you? Downsize your damn resolutions. I know it’s hard; making the grand gesture demonstrates such good intentions. It shows true spirit, those lofty, pie-in-the-sky goals do. Plus, we get a little buzz of pride, which is fun.

But then enthusiasm turns to boredom. Boredom turns to lethargy. Lethargy morphs into resentment. And your resentment leads to abandonment; you avoid even the thought of your ill-advised goals and never mention them again. Eventually, they fizzle to death. And those are the six stages of resolution.

Well, no failures allowed this year. The bar is set comfortably low. I’ve guaranteed my success by crafting an effortless agenda, pictured below. Please, feel free to use my resolutions as a guide. They’re verified and notarized, all nice and legal. Notice how attainable the tasks are? That’s intentional; I embraced my limitations.

Good luck, boys and girls. I wish you victory in your every endeavor, this year and in all the years to follow. Remember, low expectations are the key to happiness and fulfillment.

copyright © 2017 (yay, me!) the whirly girl

humor · life

cup size matters

And not just in bras. All over the world people are busy filling out their Christmas lists. Many, many of those lists will feature a fancy new coffeemaker or espresso machine with bells and whistles galore — programmable, auto clean, drip stop, built-in grinder (burr and blade), automatic frother, barista included.

In the clamor for jazzy technology we tend to forget the basics, small details like the number of cups and their actual size. It’s best to be specific and eliminate the guesswork of harried shoppers whose only goal is to grab and run. They don’t care, but you will. Eventually. There’s a vast difference between a 4-cup machine and a 20-cup. I discovered that too late.

My little coffee maker died a few weeks ago and I went into a precipitous decline, physically and mentally. I, of course, assumed it was ebola or zika and began putting my affairs in order. Then I bought a giant coffee and, shazam, complete transformation. Imagine my relief when I realized it was only caffeine withdrawal causing the sluggishness, the aimlessness, fatigue, headaches, the full laundry list of ailments.

So I zipped off to replace my tiny 4-cup coffee maker post-haste. Cheap was my exclusive focus. So when I found a 12-cup Mr. Coffee for $15, jackpot!, I snatched that bad boy off the shelf, paid my money, and hurried home. To my great surprise, the thing is enormous. It takes up acres of counter space and I can’t even raise the reservoir lid — the cupboards are in the way. The carafe itself is the size of a koi pond.

I’m one person. I don’t need 12 cups of coffee in the morning, even though I’m suddenly equipped for it. Perhaps I should reconsider my options and open a coffee kiosk in the lobby. Or start a fitness program and swim in the stuff.

Cheers. Or glug.

copyright © 2016 the whirly girl