Category Archives: Annoyances

You’ll Never Find the Skeleton in my Closet Because It’s Buried Under All of the Other Junk

When do real people clean out their closets? Seriously. I ask this because I have been polling my fellow teachers about what they will be doing when we get the whole week off for Thanksgiving next week, and nearly all of them said that they will be cleaning out closets. This is the same response I get when I ask what they are doing for Spring Break or the rare three-day weekend. And summers.

I, too, plan to exorcise the demons lurking in my closets during the break next week.

Which leads me, again, to the question, “When do real people clean out their closets?” ”

“Real people”, meaning “not teachers.”  Also not multimillionaires like The Man Who Must Not Be Named Because I Don’t Want You to Think I am Obsessed With Him, who probably has people to do that for him. Real people.

I mean, do you just not clean your closets out? Ever? Is it because you are so obsessively compulsively neat? Or, is it because you never buy awful-looking purple polka dot shirts that seem quite fashionable at the time, but never seem like the quite right thing to wear whenever you are getting dressed in the morning and so you have to buy more things so you don’t leave the house naked and then they don’t fit anymore and you suddenly have this traffic jam of clothing on rods in your closet which makes it easier to just throw things (clean or dirty) on the floor so you don’t get attacked by a hanger that suddenly cuts loose from the two different shirts that were entwined around it, nearly blinding you in the right eye and forcing you to question the need to actually wear anything other than yoga pants and a t-shirt for the rest of your life? Are you saying this does not happen to you?

That’s just not normal.

I know. You’re like Monica on “Friends”. You have that one locked closet where you stash everything so the rest of your place looks neat.  She wasn’t a teacher, either.

You Have Heard of Google, Right?

photo credit: id-iom via photopin cc

So, the other day I meet this guy for the first time.  During our conversation, he finds out what college I attended, and, hey, what a coincidence, he went there, too.


Then he proceeds to tell me an outlandish story about an 8-year-old genius that attended this college when he was there (at least 15 years before I happened on the scene), and how the frats would have keg parties specifically planned for this kid, in which the kegs would be full of root beer.


And then, how this kid was consulted by the student body when the college found a way to keep them from “sudsing” the fountain by putting a chemical in the water.  And the brilliant boy genius figured out, not only how to counteract the university’s evil plan, but also how to add his own chemical that would make the suds ten times worse.


My new acquaintance then says, “Gee, I wonder what ever happened to that kid.”

And I say, “Why don’t you Google him?”

And he says, “I don’t remember his name.”

Seriously?  You can tell me how the football team used to run on the field carrying this kid on his shoulder, how he tested out of every college subject, how the professors wanted him to do the teaching, and you can’t remember his name?

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but I am a Google Genius.  And I can tell you, even without knowing this kid’s name, that you made this whole thing up.

I wish I’d had this power when I was in college, when the guy I was dating called to cancel our date, and told me he was at the hospital with a friend “who is having stomach problems” – and it turned out to be his girlfriend miscarrying his child.

Or when my mother told me that she was a medical doctor, with a specialization in Psychiatry.  Even though she never went to medical school.

Pathological Liars – A Dying Breed.

Except in politics.

Thanks, Google.

To the Person Who Left a Poopy Diaper in the Home Depot Parking Lot

Hah!  You thought you were going to ruin my day.  But, guess what?  My day was already ruined before we drove to Home Depot for our monthly argument about what-color -paint-we-should-paint-the-walls-this-week.  And you know what else?  Brown was not one of our options, any way.  And it was only 104 degrees in the parking lot, so we hadn’t reached the predicted temperature of 135 degrees yet, so your little package had not attained its maximum stink level yet when I almost stepped on it.

Hey, I’ve been there before.  You’re trying to live your life, and your baby keeps interfering.  That walk from the parking lot to a garbage can is just 15 yards too long.  You’re running late, and you’ve got to tile your kitchen before Hoarding, Buried Alive airs because your husband already has the DVR set for Dog, the Bounty Hunter.  Something’s gotta give, and it looks like Proper Disposal of a Poopy Diaper is the winner.

That’s unfair, I know.  You probably had a really good reason for leaving that diaper in the 13th parking space from the front door, row 6.  You’re probably a police officer who found a crying baby sitting in her car seat in the middle of the parking lot, and you knew right away when you picked her up that she needed her diaper changed, and you changed the diaper, and then got a call on your radio that you needed to respond to a 422 or something RIGHT AWAY, and you had no choice, but to abandon that diaper right there and then.

At least you took the baby.

So, don’t you worry about me.  I’m fine.  It takes a lot more than a randomly placed poopy diaper to derail me.  I’m good.  Not bitter at all.  Not sitting here obsessing about the type of people who leave poopy diapers in parking lots and other random public areas.  Not sitting here trying to type something interesting and all I can think about is a poopy diaper.  Not judgmental.  Not trying to figure out what kind of image I can include with this post that won’t gross out my readers.

I’m fine.

Rather than leave you with the disturbing image that I had burned into my brain today, here is a photo of my dog, Wonderbutt, asking, “What’s wrong with you people?”

You Should Probably Not Ever Take My Advice

It turns out that it is not such a good idea to yell at the airlines the night before you are going to take a flight.

I turned up at the airport at 7 a.m. to find out that my flight to Boston was cancelled. Not delayed. Cancelled. Kaput. And no one had bothered to actually post this on the internet where I could have seen the information before I left the house. Not that I checked. But that’s beside the point.

I will not bore you with the story of me standing in line in front of reservations while I simultaneously attempted to call reservations. Suffice it to say that I got a seat on a later flight.

None of the ticketing agents seemed to find it a problem that my later flight was due to arrive twenty minutes after my connecting flight in Dallas was due to leave.

“It’s gonna be tight, but you might make it,” one of them assured me. Uh huh.

Shockingly, I missed my connecting flight. I stood in another line to try to get the next flight to Boston. I was told that I was on standby and to listen for my name.

Now, you might find this surprising, but I don’t use the last name “Firepants” when I travel. I use a clever pseudonym, bestowed on me by my husband, which no one can spell, much less pronounce. So, when people say, “Listen for your name,” they might as well say, “Listen for when I say the Pledge of Allegiance in Ukrainaian” because I’ve got to listen to everything said for the next hour in the hopes that I will recognize the new, butchered version of my name.

This time, though, my correctly pronounced name was called in a record five minutes. I jumped to the counter, amazed that things finally seemed to be going my way. The woman at the counter checked my non-Firepants identification. And issued me a ticket. I went back to my seat, and sighed in relief.

Until I looked at my ticket. Wrong name. First and last. Both wrong.

How could this be? I showed her my i.d.! Why do these people make me dig through every pocket in my super duper carry on bag to find my i.d. if they are just going to give me the wrong ticket anyway?

And, now that I had the wrong ticket, I had a huge moral conundrum. Hmmm.

I thought about getting to Boston before midnight. I thought about sleeping in the Dallas airport. I thought about how Wonderbutt would handle this situation.

And I ate the ticket. Because I knew the darn airline wasn’t going to feed me.

Sigh. I didn’t eat the ticket. I went back to the counter, where a rather long line had suddenly developed, was berated when I went to the front immediately to return the wrong ticket so the poor lady who tried to get it would not be turned away, and slunk back to my seat as a Standby again.

They called me back. Complete mispronouncing my name. But when I got the new ticket, everything was right.

The moral of this story is that you should not eat tickets that don’t have the right name on them. And do not buy fake i.d.’s in Mexico.

I’m just sayin’.


Beware the Wrath of Mrs. Cap’n Firepants

This is going to be a Yelling Post.  It is that time of the month, and I am sorry if that is T.M.I.  but I feel that I should give you fair warning.

First of all, I would like to yell at the veteran bloggers out there who either A.) did not warn me that there is some kind of summer slump that completely decimates your number of readers, or 2.) did not tell me that the quality of my writing has plummeted so deeply that I am shedding fans faster than Wonderbutt can pee all over my new furniture.

Secondly, I am yelling at Apple.  Or Adobe.  Or all technology companies.  To Flash or not to Flash.  I don’t care.  But come up with a friggin’ consensus.  Because of your shenanigans, I have to bring my 10 million pound laptop to my conference in Cambridge next week.

Which leads to me airline companies.  It’s not all of you.  Just the one that I happen to be flying tomorrow that charges for people to check one bag.  I would say your name, but you will have my life and, more importantly, my luggage in your hands tomorrow.  You took away my meals.  You took away my free wings and my tour of the cockpit.  And now you want me to pay to check one suitcase!!!!!!!  Which I would not have to bring if I did not have to bring my laptop.  Because I was planning to bring my super lite iPad.

My laptop not only weighs 10 million pounds, but it is antiquated.  Plus, I dropped it a couple of years ago, and the back button has never been the same.  But, now I have to bring the laptop because my conference at Harvard requires access to “Flash-enabled” websites.  Which means my brilliant idea of taking one personal item and a carry-on is out the window.  Because I HATE dragging a Bunch of Stuff with me when I have to change planes – and a 10 million pound laptop plus a full carry-on falls within my definition of a Bunch of Stuff.

So, now I must check a bag.  And pay $25 for that checked bag.  Going and coming.  And they will probably lose it.  And then I will be stuck at Harvard with an antique laptop and no clean underwear.  And everyone at Harvard will laugh at me.  Because of the horribly old laptop.  They won’t know about the underwear.  I hope.

The airport Stormtroopers better not got through my antique underwear.
photo credit: pasukaru76 via photo pin cc

I’m Surprised it Didn’t Just Fall on our Car

As you may know, mattresses and I have a somewhat turbulent relationship.  Lately, it seems as though we have mattresses coming out of our ears.  Which is an interesting mental image when you think about it…

Conversation between Cap’n Firepants and me as we are driving along the highway:

Me:  What are we going to do with the 40 year old mattresses that we just picked up from your mom’s apartment?

Cap’n Firepants:  I don’t know.  I think when we order the new mattresses that they will pick up the old ones.

Me:  From our garage?

Cap’n Firepants:  What the –

He swerves to avoid a box spring mattress that is lying in the middle of Highway 281, with its guts, including wooden boards, strewn all over the highway.

Cap’n Firepants:  Someone is going to get really screwed up by that.

Me:  I think I figured out what we can do with those mattresses.

The epitome of patriotism – littering your country’s roads with old mattresses that cause multi-vehicle car crashes.
photo courtesy of

Murder by Mattress

Cap’n Firepants is trying to kill me.  And he is quite devious about it.  He acts like he loves me and wants the best for me.  But he is really plotting my demise.

After finally getting our mildew mattress exchanged for a mattress of better quality and NO MILDEW smell, my husband began to implement his Plot to Kill His Wife Slowly By Making Her Brain Implode.

“The new mattress doesn’t smell.”

“Yeah, isn’t it great?”

“But it feels like the old mattress.  Not the mildew one.  The other one.”

Oh God.  The mattress that had a cave-in.  The one that was destroying his back so badly that he started sleeping in the other room so he could walk each day without looking like the Hunchback of San Antonio.

“But how can this be?  You tested it in the store.  It’s supposed to be just like the first model – but better!  It even feels firmer to me than the last one.”

“Not to me.”

“Are you insane?  IT IS FINE!  IT’S BETTER!  IT DOESN’T SMELL!”

“It’s not better to me.”

I am reporting him for spousal abuse.

Once I get admitted to the Rubber Room, which is clearly lined with mattresses, I will slowly be asphyxiated by the smell of foam.  
photo credit:

I Want My Money Back

To put it mildly, this summer is not living up to my expectations.  So far, I have: not been invited to a funeral to which I should have been invited, been invited to a funeral to which I probably should not have been invited, and alienated my mother-in-law to the point that she is probably wishing she could attend my funeral very soon.

In the meantime, I am fighting a lonely battle against the combined strength of conspicuous consumption and the ridiculous reluctance to relinquish rather redundant refuse.  I have nightmares that our world is one giant landfill and that everyone but me has developed the gills necessary to peacefully swim through the detritus.

To top it all off, Mayor Bloomberg wants to ban Big Gulps.

Granted, I don’t live in New York City.  And I don’t drink sugary sodas.  But, I liked Mayor Bloomberg until he went off the reservation with this one.  And, now I’m beginning to question my own judgement.  Which is a big ole slippery slope – with a bunch of jagged rocks – down which I do not want to slide on my tender butt.

So, basically, this has been an unpredictable, uncontrollable summer.  And not in any kind of a good way.

If it didn’t mean having to get up early in the morning, I would declare myself ready to return to work.  At least, in my classroom, my students let me pretend that I have some control.  And, as we have already established, they do not question my judgement – because they assume I have none.

On the good side, our new furniture has made it over a month without being chewed up by Wonderbutt.  And Dimples and I are reading a super awesome book together that hopefully won’t have any embarrassingly racy sections that I will have to read out loud.  (I will tell you the name of the book once we finish and I can give you a full review.)  And, I’ve written 4 very short chapters of my own novel, which will not feature Wonderbutt or Dimples or Mayor Bloomberg.  Or my mother-in-law.  At least not in any recognizable form.

But I might throw in some Big Gulps just to be ornery.

Soda Ban?! Photo Credit: Newsday/Walt Handelsman

I Guess I Expect Too Much…

Our bulldog, Wonderbutt, who will be 2 in October, may be a texting genius, but there are still a few lessons left that he needs to learn.

If you are interested in reading other texts from Wonderbutt, click on the “Wonderbutt Texts” category on the left!

Just Call Me Archie Roper

So, the Clampetts moved next door last month.

Within the space of a week, we went from neighbors with 2 meek little girls and an occasional infiltration of our yard by their canine escape experts to a family of 4 kids, all 8 and under, who have absolutely no understanding of the phrase “noise ordinance”.

In addition to the increased commotion emanating from the adjacent house at all hours of day and night, Cap’n Firepants and I started to become suspicious of not-so-legal activities when we began spotting random cars with different license plates parked at the house every day of the week.  This fact, coupled with the likelihood of being able to support 4 kids, a stay-at-home wife, and a frequent stay-at-home husband, while still affording the home next door (which had been way out of our price range, and included a pool) made everything crystal meth clear to me.

“They must be drug dealers,” I announced to Cap’n Firepants with the absolute certainty that comes from years of experience with unusual neighbors – including The Catastrophically Crazy Cat Lady and the Unscrupulous Paint Ball Pinheads.

After several weeks of suspicion, I finally decided to put on my deerstalker cap and matching sensible flip-flops, and do some investigating.

I took a casual drive by their truck to find the company name emblazoned on the side.

Then I Googled it.  After looking through a page or two,  I found a name that I then looked up on a social network.  Then I cross-checked it with deed records, and five minutes after my official investigation had commenced, declared to Cap’n Firepants that “I am the best Googler in the World” – and that we (okay, I) had probably jumped to some wrong conclusions.

“He’s the head of an oil company,” I said.

“O.K.”, the Cap’n responded, completely unimpressed with my lightning internet detective skills.

So, I guess, since the husband is in the oil business, that I wasn’t completely off when I stamped them with “The Clampett” moniker.

However, I am willing to admit that I might have some sitcom blood in me, too.  Mix a bit of intolerance in with a whole bunch of nosiness, and what kind of neighbor am I?

“Listen Edith, I know you’re singing, you know you’re singing, but the neighbors may think I’m torturing you.” ~ Archie Bunker

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