My weekend kicked off with what I would consider a Hyper-Sensitive day. No, I wasn’t leaving my tears all over Philly, but I was overly in touch to what was going on around me. Some of which could have left tears.
Keep in mind what you are about to read occurred on an 8-minute ride.
I was on my way to pick up my mom for our weekly food shopping extravaganza when I noticed a “man” walking down a very busy boulevard in my area. What made me question his humanness was the fact that he was wrapped in a white bath towel from head to toe and the resemblance to E.T. was uncanny. Call Home …. Please.
As I was sitting at what seemed like the longest light in the world, a woman crossed in front of my car. She was dressed in full Muslim garb, which isn’t something out of the ordinary these days, however the extreme hooker heels peeking out from under that garb took me by surprise. I could feel the blisters forming with each step. These shoes came right out of Lady Gaga’s closet!
Still adjusting my eyes from the hooker heels I made my left turn where I had the pleasure of sitting at yet another red light. This is where a minivan pulled up next to me trying way too hard to be cool. I thought minivans are where coolness goes to die.
This poor guy had all the windows open with the radio blasting on what may be the worst sound system on the planet. His song of choice for all of us within listening distance was Pitbull’s Culo. Here is a sample of my horror:
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Lets go (Let’s go)
Right about now, we need all the ladies to hit the danceflo’ (Dominicana)
If you got a big ol’ booty (Cubana, Mexicana)
And you like to set that motherfucker, let’s go! (Colombiana) (Boricua) Pitbull, Lil’ Jon, Heey, Heey!
The fact that I recognized this song might be the scariest part of the experience!
The car behind me couldn’t get away from the impromptu concert fast enough. It just zoomed right in front of me when the light changed. But no worries she found herself next to me at the next light. So predictable.
When this happens we are obligated to turn and acknowledge such drivers with an expressionless glare a/k/a victory.
What I was not prepared for was the zombie decal covering the entire window glaring back at me. At first I thought it was sporting a friendly peace sign, then I realized it’s clawing to be released. WTF!
Once I put my heart back in place the light turned green and the Zombie mobile cut in front of me again. As I tried to justify the big hurry I noticed a gold glittered dog bone magnet that read “Groomer” going across the trunk of her car. Ok, maybe the crazy driving is due to a grooming emergency.
Just when I thought I was safe she erratically turned into an apartment parking lot. At this point, I was really hoping to see a matted dog waiting for her assistance. Sadly for my corneas the only thing waiting was a young man in a Superman stance sporting an erection. Yerp!
This is when I decided to pause, opposed to heading straight for the nearest pole. There had to be some sort of lesson hidden within all this crazy. What was CC or that cosmic comedian better known as the universe trying to tell me?
M E M O
1. Wearing a bath towel on the boulevard was a reminder to stop letting the opinions of others fuel my journey;
2. Hidden hooker heels could have been a sign to stop holding back and just let my inner hooker heels shine;
3. Poor minivan guy was a little nudge to be more of myself in spite of my current surroundings;
4. The zombie desperately trying to escape was really me knowing that it’s indeed time to move forward; and
5. Erection guy’s message was loud and clear. Confidence is the key to making your dreams come true.
Enjoy the Ride!
As I was driving into work one morning, listening to one of my many favorite morning radio shows “The Preston & Steve Show” on 93.3 WMMR here in Philly. I say “many” because I am beyond a channel changer while driving. But this show certainly has a way of making my ride a little brighter as I head to the
salt mines office every day.
This particular morning there was a discussion on a new book titled “Carsick” by John Waters. It’s a wonderful entertaining story about John’s decision to hitchhike across the country. As the DJ’s were discussing excerpts from the book, listeners were calling in to tell their personal stories about a time when they had no other choice but to hitch a ride. I found this all very intriguing.
Lucky for me John was making his rounds promoting his tale and I was able to catch an interview with him on the Bill Maher Show. I ordered the audio version right smack in the middle of the interview!
I must say I have never listened to a book before, because I am a traditional girl who enjoys her books written on paper, but since I have a 30-40 minute ride to the gym every day, I thought this would be a good way to pass the time and avoid my OCD channel changing … Mission accomplished John!
Many of you may already know that the then 66 year-old Baltimore film director John Waters decided to hitchhike from his home in Baltimore Maryland to his home in San Francisco. Crazy or living life?
Just the idea of such a journey in 2014, when the world seems so humanly disconnected, had me completely fascinated. I’m not sure why since I never had a wish to hitchhike … especially since most hitchhikers are usually portrayed as serial murders and frankly I’m a scardy cat. However, John did point out that most serial killers are looking for 20-year-old hookers and that did make me feel much safer.
The excitement as I put the first CD into the player was admittedly a tad over the top, but who cares … I just wanted to hear all the details of this journey … one CD at a time.
After listening to at least 2 CD’s I started to think …. “why haven’t I heard about any of this on the news?”
Well, the answer to that million dollar question was found when I decided to read up on the details of the book. Something I usually do before I hit the “Add to cart” button. This is where I learned I that the first half of the book was John’s fictional version of his trip. Let me just say If anyone has some swamp land they want to get rid of … I’m your girl.
First up are the fictional good and bad rides; followed by the real rides that got him to San Francisco. 3 books for the price of 1!
If you’ve ever seen or read any of John’s past work you are well aware that his imagination reaches a level that most people cannot even fathom and he does not hold back in the fictional version of his journey. Some might think it was over the top, others (like myself) might think … hey, you never know.
John wouldn’t be John without adding some exaggerated lewdness to the first half of the book. Hey, he isn’t known as the “Pope of Trash” for his portrayal of sunshine and butterflies. There were times when I think I might have blushed, cringed and laughed behind the wheel as I listened to him tell his fictional tale, but it didn’t stop me.
His words just confirmed that if anyone in this world was going to have sex with an Alien; be given a magical asshole for three hours that would fix a flat and sing duets with Connie Frances … well, it would be John Waters.
After all the crazy antics of the fictional adventures, I heard the words “The Real Thing” and I found myself so engrossed that I was driving in circles just to finish a chapter. It was worth every ounce of fuel … even at $3.67 a gallon!
I couldn’t help but imagine myself as one of those dashboard hula girls eavesdropping on every ride. Best seat in the house.
Does all of this make me want to manicure my thumb and hit the highway? Not one bit. It does however urge me to head into each day with my wit, optimism and belief that not every stranger is a serial killer … some are just out there to Enjoy the Ride … just like me.
I must admit that my biggest peeve so far has been the loss of my once perfect vision. Perfect …. it was PERFECT!
Of course I know that I must sound like a whining ungrateful first world person with partial vision, but I don’t care …. I MISS MY SIGHT! I do not like depending on my young eye rolling daughter for assistance in reading price tags, text messages or labels. I’m basically sending her to college to be a guide dog at this point.
Ugh, the struggles are endless. Oh, yes I did say struggle and I’m not afraid to bump it up to hardship if necessary. When I’m out and about on my own I find myself scanning the room for a set of young friendly, potentially assisting eyes. I’m convinced the Cougars out there aren’t looking for hot sex, they’re looking for a good set of eyes!
I guess you’re all saying “Get Glasses!” right about now aren’t you? Well, for your information I have glasses, but I REFUSE to wear them on top of my head, where I know they’ll be entangled in my hair, creating the potential for a bald spot or heaven forbid having them dangling around my neck on one of those decorative chains that just draws even more attention to my loss of perfect sight. Therefore, my stubbornness has resulted in me CONSTANTLY loosing my glasses.
The reason I am bitching, moaning and beating a fossilized horse on this subject is something happened to me a few weeks ago that brought this acute Mr. Magoo lifestyle to the surface full force. For the crowd under 40, Mr. Magoo was a famous cartoon character who made a fortune off of his blindness.
A few weeks ago I went out back with my love bug Peanut for his morning walk. I’ve learned the hard way to always LOOK carefully before opening the gate, because critters are always roaming around waiting to scare the shit out of me. Animals have a sick sense of humor, especially in the morning.
There was no need for me to wear glasses on this trip out back … or so I thought. Just as I was about to open the gate I noticed a beautiful blue parrot just sitting peacefully in the field. I went back in the house to grab a phone so I could capture a photo of this once in a lifetime moment. My husband was perplexed at my behavior, but I assured him my excitement was justified.
I gently opened the gate, channeled my inner church mouse and proceeded to tip toe through the grass. I couldn’t believe my luck that the bird wasn’t fleeing as I got closer. It was like he was just waiting for me. My heart was pounding out of my chest with excitement over my luck!
As I got a few feet away my EYES started to adjust and I suddenly had the sad realization that I was not going to be the one to capture this beautiful bird and collect the handsome reward that would most likely be posted for its safe return.
Nope, I was not going to post a photo of this grand bird on my Facebook page, where it would no doubt receive millions of “likes” and be shared all over the world.
Nope, my photo was not going to blow up Twitter like Ellen’s selfie at the Oscars … it just wasn’t going to happen.
Apparently I had misjudged the identification of this species, most likely due to my recent case of Magooitis, but my friend Dan, who was obviously concerned, sent my photo to the local Bird Society where it was correctly identified.
I am happy to present to you the Herr’s Blue Chip Foil, normally found in the potato fields of Idaho, but due to recent climate changes high winds this beauty landed smack in the middle of Northeastern Philadelphia where it resided until the next big wind.
Needless to say when I realized what I had stumbled upon I went down on my knees, laughed out loud and of course … peed my pants. Even though I miss my 20/20 vision a great deal, I must say having Magooitis has provided me with some great laughs while I continue to … Enjoy the Ride!
As a parent watching shows such as Law & Order SVU and Criminal Minds take me to another level of worry. My already over active imagination suddenly kicks into high gear if my children are 5 minutes late. Hell, just watching the local news can scare the crap of you these days.
Needless to say my kiddies think I’m some sort of crazy woman for wasting an ounce of time being concerned about their safety … “Mom, I’m fine stop” and “OMG Mom just put me in bubble wrap!” Hmm…bubble wrap.
The parents of yesteryear, such as my own, may have had their concerns, but they weren’t even close to this level. Columbo and Kojack kept fear to a minimum. Things were just different I guess.
I certainly don’t recall endless lectures about “stranger danger”, however I do remember walking home with my friend and being summoned over to a car by a man asking for “directions”, only to have the displeasure of viewing a little one on one loving … if you know what I mean. Oddly enough I wasn’t scared. Grossed out yes, scared no. Today this story would have been on the 6 o’clock news, but back then I’m not even sure if we told our parents.
Thinking back it seems perverts were actually all around us, including behind the wheel of the Good Humor truck. You may never think of a Rocket Pop in the same way again…read on. My sister, who was giving Dolly Parton a run for her money by age twelve, was presented with an interesting proposition by the one and only Good Humor guy. That’s all she had to do was jump rope for him and she could have FREE ice-cream. Were we running away in fear? HELL NO! She was happily jumping away for her free goodies as me and the rest of the stick figures stood in the distance green with envy. The thought that there was something wrong with this request never even entered our naive little minds.
One, such as my daughter, may say that this naivety is still going strong within me. Her theory, after a few Sociology classes, is that I am so worried about her and her brother because in reality I would be the one getting into the van in search of that imaginary puppy. She may actually be on to something … don’t tell her I said that.
Just a couple of months ago my daughter and I were taking Peanut for his evening walk. Now, when I’m out I tend to greet people, however my daughter tends to be … well … a mannequin. I know! We are complete opposites. So, on this particular evening there was an unusual amount of people out enjoying the weather. Jackpot for this social butterfly, not so much for the mannequin.
A few blocks from home I stopped to admire a beautiful garden. The design was spectacular. You could just tell a tremendous amount of love went into to tending to the needs of this foliage. I do not have a green thumb, so this was indeed impressive. Just as I was trying to bring a potted mix to the attention of my
mannequin daughter, the owner appeared. She was elderly with a very heavy German accent. At this point my daughter was most likely Tweeting away #socialbutterflymom #annoying.
As I was professing my love for her talents, she began picking a few springs from the potted mix explaining that they were herbs. My eyes were the size of saucers! She was insisting that I smell them, which I did without an ounce of question. Of course, not to be rude I offered my daughter a sniff as well. #Idon’ttakeherbsfromstrangers #mymomisgretel.
Needless to say I stood there sniffing away for lord knows how long as I was no doubt being slammed all over Social Media.
We said our goodbyes and I was handed a roadie of herbs as a parting gift. I immediately began lecturing my daughter on her lack of socialization when she informed me I would talk to a stick if it had a face. I wouldn’t go that far … well maybe.
We were walking along as I happily continued to ingest the aroma of my little bundle when suddenly I found myself slammed against a parked car, before I hit the ground. I become very dizzy. Well guess who suddenly came to life as I was laying on the ground like a porpoise? The mannequin!
There I was with my knees scraped, still holding onto my herb roadie in shock when I hear these comforting words being screamed at me … “Mom! OMG, this is what you get for taking things from strangers! You are the only one in our family who would get in a car filled with duct tape and knives! I couldn’t deny she was right in her conclusion, but I certainly wasn’t about to reveal that I would most likely be suggesting a quick stop at Home Depot to my abductor. You know for the rope and tarp he forgot to pick up.
In the end I was fine and we got a good laugh out of it all. I can not deny that if I miraculously came upon a house made of sweets I would be chowing down on a chocolate shingle without a care in the world. I tend to see the good, not the oven large enough to fit a human. Enjoy the Ride!
This week’s writing challenge: Tell us about a character in your life.
Where the heck do I even begin with this challenge? My dilemma isn’t a lack of material, it’s narrowing down the list. I’m not sure if it’s my overly curious nature or keen listening skills, but my path is always crossing crazy. Never a dull moment that’s for sure.
For this piece I decided to share the likes of Kathy MacDonald, a coworker from my very first “real” job. You haven’t experienced characters of the real world until you work for the Federal Government in Center City Philadelphia, at a meer 18 years old. This was similar to dropping a lamb off into the center of the jungle.
I’m not certain of Kathy’s age at the time, considering 30 year olds appear ancient when you’re 18, but if I were to guess, I would place her around 60 at the time. She had white cotton candy shaped hair, large glasses with over exaggerated features. Her cleavage doubled as a clutch purse and her voice was that of a well seasoned smoker, however Kathy never smoked. Kathy’s wardrobe consisted of nothing from the current decade and everything from the closet of a retired 60’s go-go girl, complete with colored plastic beads & baubles to match any shade on the color spectrum. She stepped right off of a Far Side calendar and planted herself in the desk behind mine.
My first day of employment was 6/14/1982, better known as Flag Day. I will never again forget this fact due to Kathy MacDonald, who was dressed as a human american flag in honor of the holiday. As if the red,white & blue ensemble weren’t enough, it was accessorized with flag earrings, a red sparkly headband, all sorts of red, white & blue plastic beads and bangles with blue socks that donned stars and of course, white sandals. I was in awe!
She introduced herself just as she headed out the door at lunch time to partake in the festivities over at Independence Hall. I had never met anyone who celebrated Flag Day with such enthusiasm in my life. To be honest, at 18 I probably had no idea there was a holiday called Flag Day. I quickly learned that ALL holidays were celebrated equally in true Kathy fashion.
Kathy always had a story that my 18-year-old ears had no business hearing, but I couldn’t help but be completely absorbed in her tales. One day she called me over to her desk to discuss the discomfort she was having with her “girdle”. I patiently listened how this “girdle” was pinching her skin, yet she didn’t feel it was doing its job. I had NO IDEA what a girdle was up until this point…I was just coming out of diapers for god sakes! She proceeded to raise her dress to reveal this torturous device that spanned from her neck to the middle of her thighs. It was covered in metal zippers with these elastic ribbons that held up her stockings. It’s really a shame that cell phone cameras weren’t around in 1982.
As you can imagine the girdle sighting stayed with me for quite some time. My mother tried to reassure me that it was only an undergarment, but I probably should have undergone some sort of therapy at the time. To this day I have questions about those zippers. Not to mention this went down in the freaking office!
I have certainly witnessed a large cast of characters over the years, most that left Kathy appearing almost normal. Looking back on Kathy’s character, I must say she certainly lived life with a little spice adding flavor wherever she traveled. She certainly made it easy for me to go to work every day…I never could risk missing an event.
The world can be amazing when you’re slightly strange, so be yourself and Enjoy the Ride!
If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.
I’m going to keep this simple…the answer is NO. Oh, please don’t expect some deep complicated thought on life paths, you’re not going to get that from me. This is common sense. For those of you who think on that higher plain of thought, I’ll break it down and do my best to make it sound much more complicated than it already is so you’ll understand.
By nature Human Beings are curious, so of course our first instinct would be Hell yea I want to know what’s going to happen! Then we take a moment, pause and think Wait a minute, didn’t something happen to some cat who was curious? Indeed it did folks, indeed it did. If memory serves me correctly, he perished in his own curiosity.
No, this little tale is not meant to frighten you into delving into normal curiosity, just the big stuff. To help you along in your decision-making I took time out my busy day to create this Curiosity Chart. I’m a visual learner, so I find pictures to be very helpful in the learning process.
RED LEVEL OF CURIOSITY (Killed the Cat): This is for those times when you find yourself on vacation with your friends at a secluded mountain house. Three of your 6 friends have already been murdered, you have no phone service or means to escape. After having sex with one of your remaining friends, because that’s what scared to death grieving people do, you get up to investigate a strange noise coming from behind a closed-door. Suddenly you remember the cat that perished, but continue to open the door as to give that dead cat a big fat FU. Well, guess what? You deserve the slaughtering you get. This is CURIOSITY WITH A SIDE OF STUPID.
ORANGE LEVEL OF CURIOSITY (Mamed the Cat): Enter with caution…literally. This is for those times when the thought may run through your mind that “Hey Bobby or Mary’s significant other is hot.” First of all there is a good reason why that thought was in fact RUNNING. This is never a good idea unless you’re looking to lose everything in your life. Penises and testicles have been known to go missing. The result of this level of curiosity lasts a lifetime…think twice.
YELLOW LEVEL OF CURIOSITY: (Injured the Cat): This is usually harmless, but it has been known to require an extended healing process. It’s your birthday and there is a BIG present on the table calling your name. You can either ever so slightly remove a corner, peek and be ________. Big packages of any kind have been known to disappoint. The recovery time on this is fairly quick, depending on the level of disappointment of course.
BLUE LEVEL OF CURIOSITY (Causes Purring): This is my favorite! I use it every single day. For me this could be noticing a cute pair of boots on a stranger and simply inquiring “OMG I love your boots! Where did you ever find those beauties?” See we’re all smiling. This is a win/win kind of curious that traditionally leaves all parties walking away Purring. Again, the level of Purring depends strictly on the situation..wink wink.
See how easy that was class. Now, don’t open that book unless you’re fully prepared to handle all of the above levels of curiosity. Do you really want to wake up one day with the full knowledge that you are about to indulge into a full-blowed Red Level day? As curious as I am, I would have to answer this with a big fat … NO.
Stop living your life for what’s around the corner and start enjoying the walk down the street. Grant L. Miller
Purr….. Enjoy the Ride!