Category Archives: Humor
Son, I’ve Made My Life Out of Readin’ People’s Faces, and You Don’t Know What the Heck I’m Talking About
To this day, probably the scariest two words you can say to me are, “Talent Show.”
“Hey Mom, guess what? I’m going to be in the 5th Grade Talent Show,” my daughter announced the other day.
“Really? Um, have I mentioned what happened when I was in my 5th grade talent show?” I asked.
Because it’s all about me.
“Well, I was with two other girls, and we were going to sing The Gambler, and I promised I would learn all of the words but I didn’t. And I stood there like an idiot, making up words to everything but the chorus, and completely embarrassed myself. In front of the biggest crush I ever had.”
“So, what are you doing for the show?”
“A Taylor Swift song.”
“Do you know the words?”
“Just the chorus.”
“That’s exactly how much I knew of The Gambler,” I said with a raised eyebrow.
I was pretty sure where this was leading, and I thought maybe nurture (or lack of it) could bypass nature, but a feeling of doom settled in my stomach.
This was going to be The Gambler all over again. The Circle of Humiliation following its inevitable path.
But it turned out that she changed her mind. She is now doing a skit with her friends. Which could still lead to embarrassment – but it will not be a musical one at least.
That, of course, is not the end of the story.
After school yesterday I ran across one of my students sobbing uncontrollably.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“It’s Lyric Check Day for the talent show, and I forgot to bring my song,” he sobbed.
“Well that shouldn’t be a problem,” I said. “Tell me the song, and we can go print it out real quick.”
“The Gambler,” he choked.
Wow. It really is all about me, I thought in amazement.
“Are. You. Kidding?!!!” I exclaimed. Probably not the best way to calm down a hysterical kid.
“I sang that when I was your age!” He looked at me doubtfully.
I decided not to relate the whole mortification in front of my possible future husband portion of the story.
“Let’s go get that printed out,” I said.
I realized what was going on. This was my chance. To redeem myself, to console this poor boy, to make a difference, to be a hero. TO BREAK THE CYCLE. We went to to the computer lab, and I pulled up the song.
He peered at the screen through his tears.
“That’s not it,” he said, somewhat hesitantly.
“Are you sure? You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to run,” I belted out. “By Kenny Rogers?”
“Who’s that? What are you talking about?” The tears had dried up. My singing has that effect on people.
“What are you talking about? Who do you think sings The Gambler?”
So, sure. That’s who sings it. And why he looked at me so doubtfully when I announced I sang it at my talent show. Before “Fun” was even born.
And the Humiliation comes full Circle.
I decided to look up my Roller Derby name today. According to Mia Psycho’s Roller Derby Name Generator, I am “Terror Shattering”. It’s good George W. was not aware of this during his interminable term, what with his whole hostility against horror. I might have been drafted to be some kind of weapon of mass emotion obstruction, which I would, of course, have found morally reprehensible. Even though, ironically, I take a pill every morning to obstruct my own emotions. And I think I can pretty much directly trace the necessity for that back to George W.
George’s Roller Derby name, by the way, would be “Anger GimmeMore,” according to Mia Psycho. She is amazingly accurate, that Mia.
I am not intending to join a Roller Derby team. I just ended up watching this unique sport last night when Kanye West got a bit too intense and creepy on Saturday Night Live and I was looking for another channel to switch to that would not be too engrossing because I definitely wanted to switch back to SNL in time to see Seth Meyers do his last news report.
Looking at the online guide, it seemed that Roller Derby might fit the bill, and I arrived on the scene just in time to see some kind of penalty being assessed, and a giant wheel being spun to determine the consequence, and the ensuing pillow fight between two of the opponents, the winner of which was determined by some kind of peanut gallery of spectators who certainly seemed completely objective.
I nearly did not get back to Seth Meyers in time because I found this human behavior so sociologically absorbing that I could not peel my eyeballs from the screen or shove my chin back up to meet the rest of my skull.
I’m not really into contact sports. Or sports. But I have got to admit that Roller Derby is fascinating. And not nearly as disturbing as Kanye West. It’s a bit like Quidditch combined with football and roller-skates. And without the flying, of course. I’m not absolutely sure there are no broomsticks, though. The rules seem a bit vague on that.
I only had to watch Roller Derby for two minutes and seventeen seconds to realize that this is the solution to every major conflict on this planet, and that women definitely should rule the world.
Just stick me on the rink with Aim Antagonism (Kim Jung-un) and a pillow, and I’ll have things sorted out before you can say, “Ithaca New York Suffer Jets versus the Empire Skate Troopers”.
God, I love puns.
Jon Stewart has been flirting with me, and I’m not really sure how to handle the whole situation.
I mean, I love him, but, you know, not that way.
I mean I could love him that way under the right circumstances, like if my husband told me he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, and it turned out he was really shacking up with Jon Stewart’s wife in Argentina.
But that would never happen. Probably. I’m pretty sure. Because my husband would rather walk a golf course than hike a trail, and I would be kind of suspicious if he said he was playing golf and he didn’t come back for a few days. Mostly because he can’t last more than 3 hours on a course without deciding that he completely despises the game and should never play again.
But back to the Stewart thing, you are probably wondering how I know about his not-so-secret crush. My answer is, “Well, women just know these things.” And that is true. We are amazingly attuned to men who are attracted to us. I totally knew, for example, when my dry-cleaner had a crush on me, even though it took him 18 months to inform me of this. And with him, there were really only two clues: 1.) he always had my form filled out before I even walked in the door, and Dos.) he kept giving me random discounts when no one else was there.
It was so obvious.
My two clues with Jon Stewart are: 1.) his recent hysterical interview with David Sedaris, who just happens to be my favorite author, and whose book I had just ordered on Amazon the same exact day he appeared on the Daily Show, and Dos.) his completely random attack on my sworn enemy, Donald Trump, who would completely justify someone’s use of “toupee-dar“.
I mean, for those two events to happen on his show within the span of one week is just way too much of a coincidence.
And then he announced that John Oliver will begin guest hosting on June 10th, and that just makes everything as clear as the unflavored Knox gelatin mixed with warm water that I paint on my daughter’s hair when she has to do a synchronized swimming performance.
Because June 10th is exactly when my vacation starts. And if Jon Stewart is not going to be hosting his show, just where exactly do you think he is going to be?
I finally solved the mystery of what’s using up all of the RAM in my brain, rendering it completely useless for ordinary tasks like processing words and creating pointless bulleted lists of what I desperately need from the grocery store.
Someone has apparently messed with my system preferences and over-upgraded my anti-virus program resulting in my brain spending more time on defending me from highly contagious infections than reminding me to perform simple tasks – such as putting a memory stick into my camera before I take 200 pictures and realize that none have been saved.
I was thinking that getting older was the culprit, but a rare moment of self-awareness the other day revealed the true reason I can’t remember a darn thing anymore.
I was supervising recess, and a student came up, rubbed his palm on my arm, and asked me if he could go to the bathroom.
“Sure,” I said automatically.
What I was thinking was, “I need to douse my left arm in hand-sanitizer as soon as I get back to my classroom.”
About 2 minutes later, a parent walked up to me, introduced himself, and shook my hand.
“Hello,” I said automatically.
Thinking, of course, “And I will use my right hand that man just shook to spread the hand-sanitizer all over my left arm.”
And then someone asked me a question.
And a small bit of panic began to rise because I now had two things to remember and one thing to respond to all at the same time and apparently two is my max amount for multi-tasking and my brain completely freezes if required to perform three functions at the same exact time.
I don’t even remember the question. It was about that moment that a random window opened in my brain, informing me that this is exactly why I am a basket case while simultaneously debating whether the person who asked me the question got close enough that I would now need to sanitize my entire body just to be on the safe side.
Later that day, I informed my husband of my great revelation.
“I can’t remember anything because I’m too busy trying to remember which parts of my body need to be disinfected every time someone comes near me. I’m seriously creating little mental maps in my brain with place-markers on every spot that has been touched since the last time I expunged all of the germs.”
Despite the fact that I make astounding statements like this every single day, my husband seemed a bit concerned by the gravity of the situation.
“That’s weird,” he said. ”You seriously need to stop watching those reruns of Monk.”
“Oh God,” I thought. ”I never thought of that. CAN YOU IMAGINE ALL OF THE BACTERIA LIVING ON OUR REMOTE CONTROL?!!!”
I was reading the Sunday paper and came across this quote in an article about the recent spate of parenting books written by inept moms, “There wasn’t this acceptance about being this sort of less-than-perfect mother, but all of a sudden it feels like that is becoming the norm, rather than the exception.” This was spoken by Jill Smokler of scarymommy.com.
Well, that explains what I’ve been doing wrong. I need to stop talking about what I’m doing wrong, and start talking about what I’m doing right because there are far too many other people who are talking about what they are doing wrong, and they are doing it far better than I am. The wrong, I mean. Well, and the talking.
So, from now on I pledge to stand out from the pack and tell you all of the things that I am doing right as a mom. Starting today.
1.) My daughter has eaten hamburgers three days in a row.
Why is this right? Well, I am so glad you asked. Even though I would think it should be obvious. It’s right because my daughter has eaten three days in a row. Duh. Plus, she loves lettuce and cheese on her hamburger. So, there you have it – all 10 food groups in one meal. Three times. Two more and I will have Food Bingo.
2.) I bought my daughter a dress for her 5th grade graduation while we were shopping for clothes for me on Mother’s Day.
Why is this right? This is another no-brainer. We made one trip to the mall, and now I don’t have to make another trip to the mall until August. Possibly even September if I can find a post on Pinterest on how to transform a yellow lacy dress into a backpack.
3.) Oh. My. God. That is the best idea. Ever. I am going to quit my job and support my daughter by making Graduation Dress Backpacks.
Why is this right? Because my daughter will see how important it is to pursue your passion in life instead of saving up for retirement.
And then, she will be happy to support me in my twilight years (although I may have to explain that this is a different kind of “Twilight”) as she pursues her lifelong passion to teach bulldogs synchronized swimming.
And then we will bond even more.
I discovered today that I apparently missed my calling as an interrogator.
I had a bit of a mystery in my classroom as someone had played around with the settings on one of our laptop computers. Considering I teach 6 grade levels a week, two other classes had borrowed the laptops in the past few days, and I host the Robotics Club in my room, I was pretty certain I was not going to discover the culprit out of a pool of over 100 suspects. So, I figured I would just lecture everyone, beginning with today’s 5th graders.
“So, apparently someone changed the name of one of the desktop icons, which one of my 4th graders discovered yesterday.”
The students started looking around at each other.
“It was Evan!” two of the kids said in stereo before I could say one more word. I couldn’t believe how quickly I had gotten them to rat someone out.
“What?” Evan is in Robotics club.
“Yeah, a few weeks ago he messed with the desktop but we changed it back.”
“Well, that’s not it, then. But I will definitely be talking to him. This was something that happened recently because it was noticed yesterday.”
“It was Harry!” someone yelled. Three other people nodded and murmured, “Yeah, I saw him do it.”
I looked at Harry, who seemed completely bewildered by this sudden onslaught of accusations.
“No, he changed the names of some files, but I changed it back,” another student defended (?) him.
“Harry, you and I are going to talk in a minute,” I said sternly. ”Now, back to what happened yesterday. Someone changed the Internet Explorer icon to say something different. I’m sure you were just being silly, but you guys could get me in a lot of trouble by doing things like that. If people don’t think I’m supervising you enough they could take away the technology, and wouldn’t that be sad?” Encouraged by the seeming willingness on the part of my class to throw people under the bus, I laid it on thick.
They all nodded that this would, indeed, be sad.
“What did they change it to?” someone asked.
I shifted uncomfortably.
“Purple Mustache,” I said, and waited for the laughter.
Slowly, a hand came up. A quiet voice said, “I did it.”
It was my daughter.
“You did?!!!” I said – along with 15 other people. My daughter has gotten one conduct mark during her 5 years of elementary school. The only one I suspected less of changing the icon to “Purple Mustache” is my dog, Wonderbutt. And that’s only because he didn’t have access to the computer.
Crap, I thought.
“Well, you and I are going to have a serious talk at home tonight, young lady,” I said. Even though I wasn’t sure about what.
I had no idea that I had this kind of confessional power. Apparently I somehow mastered the technique of the Guilt Trip without even knowing it.
Now, if I could just master the technique of the Don’t Even Think About It Trip, maybe her teen years won’t be so bad after all.
It all comes from deciding not to go to the Goat Barbecue and Craft Fair.
I don’t know what got into me. I read the blurb for this amazing event in the Sunday newspaper, and thought, “That has got to be the coolest name for anything. Ever.” And I mean, anything. Like the name of the new band I’m going to start with Jon Stewart. Or the bookstore I’m going to open in my garage. If David Sedaris can explore diabetes with owls, I don’t see why I can’t spend an afternoon embroidering a lamp shade with a goat while eating some juicy ribs.
I have to admit, though, that I was a bit confused about the goat’s part in all of this. Is the goat doing the barbecuing and the crafting? Or are the goats being barbecued? If so, is that before or after they make a craft? And, most importantly, how do you train a goat to make the Alamo out of Popsicle sticks without the goat actually consuming it?
I could have discovered the answers to all of these riveting questions if I had chosen to make an actual appearance at the Goat Barbecue and Craft Fair. But, as tempting as it sounded, I couldn’t convince myself that anything was better than hanging around the house morbidly depressed. Even the “cow patty plop” didn’t persuade me. Though it did bring up more questions…
So, instead, I stayed home. My daughter, who was bored, got herself invited to a friend’s neighborhood pool. The friend’s mom decided not to make an appearance at the pool, so I waited for her with our bulldog, Wonderbutt, in tow. Not surprisingly, Wonderbutt fell in the pool and almost drowned because, stupidly, I had not brought his life jacket along on what I assumed to be a Drop-Off-And-Drive-Away situation.
Now, if you would have asked me who would be more resentful about this whole experience, I would have laid odds on the daughter, who got yanked back home when her friend’s mother took too long to return to three unchaperoned girls at an unlifeguarded pool. Instead, it’s Wonderbutt who isn’t speaking to me.
Being spurned by an obese bulldog is even more depressing than the thought of eating barbecued goat.
This was the chain of events I began to relate to my doctor the next day as evidence that he probably needed to change my medication – again.
He stopped me at “cow patty.”
It’s kind of scary how little convincing was needed to persuade him to write out a new prescription.
Lately, I’ve been obsessing about Jodi Arias.
When they show clips of the trial on my favorite news channel, HLN, I stand in front of the television, transfixed, and ask myself, “Why? Why? Why?”
Why does her hair look so friggin’ good while she is in prison?
I’m serious. This is driving me crazy. I mean, I know her hair isn’t all that glamorous right now, and people are claiming she’s deliberately looking mousy to deceive the jury. But, look carefully.
No split ends. No frizz. PERFECTly straight.
Do they let her wield a straight-iron in jail? Does she even have permission to possess a comb? What kind of shampoo is she allowed to use? How does she get those locks to look so shiny and thick? Isn’t stress supposed to have a negative impact on your hair? Is she one of those people who shakes her head when you say, “You are so lucky to have such straight hair,” and responds, “I’ve always wanted it curly”?
I hate those people.
I really need for this trial to be over. I keep going to the store and loitering in the hair product aisle, trying to reconstruct the crime of Jodi Arias’ flawless tresses. I wake up in the morning, and eye all of the bottles and appliances lined up in my bathroom and debate who I can put on trial for deceiving me with false promises of frizz-free hair and ends that will reconcile with each other and refuse to split after all.
I know. I know. I’m missing the whole point of this unbelievably long, drawn-out courtroom drama. Jodi Arias has a lot more important things to worry about besides her unbelievably healthy hair.
Like how to score a facial before her next mugshot.
Or, during her next mugshot…