Oh Oh. Calvin Sounds Off.

I wasn’t my perky self today.

Maybe I’m not perky, but that’s my vision of myself. I strive to live up to it.

Today I was feeling blue.

A lot of drama going on with my relatives including health problems, relationship break-ups, worries about the future. I was thinking about all these when a colleague of mine popped in the door in my office.

“What’s new with you?” Agnes said.

“Oh, you know, the usual drama – health, romance, money,” I said.

“That’s nothing,” she said with a laugh. “In my family, I have people in prison, people that should be in prison, a daughter who’s running a muck, my dog is costing me a fortune in meds every month –  I look at him and think, I should put wheels on him, he’s more expensive than a new car. Then there’s my husband with the implants in his mouth, except they can’t put them in until his mouth heals from the infection he has. I squeeze his cheeks and say, ‘That’s my new car in there.'”

Then she gave me a hug.

“Feel better now?” she said and walked out.

Hmm…I was feeling better after hearing what she has to live with.

Then the thought hit me. I made her feel better, too by giving her an opportunity to download her life for a moment.

Glad I could listen.

Calvin says, “Her attitude toward her dog stinks. We work our tails off being good companions. We devote ourselves to listening, to loving, to obeying you. Well, maybe not to obeying – hey, nobody’s perfect – and this is the thanks we get? Where’s the devotion back? I thought this was a lifetime commitment. From breeder to the grave, that sort of thing. I’m hurt. Truly hurt. This revelation is shocking. I expected better. And don’t try buttering me up by tossing me a bone or taking me for a walk to my favorite place where all the trash cans are. I’m offended. Does anybody out there want an opinionated beagle?”

Quit Your Bleeping Beep!

Alf has a beeping contest with our neighbors.

Every morning when they leave the house, they unlock the car and it beeps.

At night when they return home, sometimes quite late, they lock the car and it beeps.

Alf matches them beep for beep. Instead of two beeps, it’s four with his, and more on the weekends.

When we leave and come home, he beeps.

“Trying to make a point,” he said.

This has been going on for months.

“Is your point poking them yet?” I asked.

“I’m hoping they’ll get the hint and disengage the beep. It disturbs the neighborhood,” he said.

“You mean it disturbs you,” I said.

“They have no manners. They’re unaccustomed to American ways.”

“You mean they’re uncivilized.”

“They’re selfish,” he said.

“Why don’t you talk to them?”

“Wouldn’t help.”

“Why not?”

“Have you ever been to their country? The noise level is deafening 24-hours a day. They’re used to it. What’s a beep here or there to them?”

“But they’re not there, they’re here, and you’re irritated by the noise,” I said.

“I’ll keep beeping. I want to see where this takes us,” he said.

Calvin says, “This is so childish. I’d go over there and pee on their tires.”

Get Me Out of Here

I’m a nervous flier. My worst nightmare is the scanner at the security check point. I refuse the x-ray. At the doctor’s, yes. The airport, no way anyone’s going to see through me.

My strategy is to make myself invisible and morph into a stream of blue particles like Star Trek. “Beam me up, Scottie,” would be my mantra. It’s clean, efficient and quick. Away from latex-gloved hands groping my inward parts.

My other strategy is to scan for sheep in the stalls and attach myself to a rowdy group of plus-sized ewes with thick fleece and jangly jewelry. TSA agents love them. While they’re being detained and interrogated, I slip through.

My other must-haves for checkpoints are:

1) slip-on shoes that slip-off easily

2) a boring handbag, black, preferably fake leather, that attracts zero attention from female agents

3) a jacket I remove in front of watchful eyes, which makes me look like a docile, obedient sheep

4) and a smile

It works. Not always.

A friend, on her last trip, was selected for the scanner. She complied and was still pulled aside for a pat-down. “My fat was hiding my skeleton,” she said.

Another friend, an 89-year old, was also selected for a pat-down on a recent trip. “I chose the bright side. It was an invigorating massage,” she said.

Hm…I think the TSA is profiling older women traveling alone. They’re the new look of terrorism. Laugh lines, salt & pepper hair, and plump figures. They’re concealing weapons in the folds of their extra-large girths. Or maybe in the buns on their heads.

I recently flew out of Bob Hope airport in Burbank, the one remaining vintage movie set airport in California. Surely here Antonio Banderas would invite me to walk through the electronic gate and I’d be escorted to my plane. Instead, to my horror and disbelief, I saw my dread. Somebody had installed the newest scanners in the industry when I wasn’t looking. They looked like the Star Trek version. I was going to get my wish.

My decision came down to: Was I going to submit or dash to Hertz and drive home?

My ticket was paid for.

I was standing sans shoes, jacket and purse.

I was next in line.

It wasn’t Antonio waiting for me. It was Brunhilda in armor.

Help!

What would you have done? (leave me a comment)

Calvin says, “I would have created a real Hollywood drama by howling my head-off.”

What Your Grandmother Missed on This Subway Ride

I schlep the subway into work everyday. Public transportation is always drama. You never know what might erupt in front of your face.

For example, this morning a couple, in their 50’s, came on board. There were no seats for both of them together, so the woman sat in one row, next to a young buck in dark glasses, earphones, a baseball cap and a hoodie, drinking a large coffee in a paper cup. He draped his arm on the backrest of the seat invading the wife’s space.

The husband, in the row behind her, leaned over and told the kid to remove his arm. “Don’t tell me what to do!” the kid said.

The husband barked the order again. Then he repeatedly swiped the kid’s arm. The kid wouldn’t budge. He only got louder. “Take your hands off me!”

This was reality TV happening before our eyes. I looked around to see if anyone was filming this on their smart phone. Others were rubbernecking to see the oncoming explosion.

Not me. I prayed. I didn’t want to arrive at the office with blood-stained clothes.

“I”m calling the police!” the kid shouted.

We stopped at another station. More people got on, mostly elderly women. The kid leaped up to give his seat to one of the women, and stood hanging from a strap staring at the husband the rest of the way.

“Let me see your eyes,” the husband said.

The kid pulled out an ear bud. “What did you say, old man?”

“Let me see your eyes,” the husband said.

The kids yanked his dark glasses off and glared at the husband.

We made it thought the tunnel and into the first station in the city. Lots of people got off leaving several empty seats. The kid sat down behind the husband.

The husband turned around to face the kid. Here it comes, I thought. Do I call 911?

“I’m sorry for getting angry,” he said.

The kid shrugged. “It shows you’re taking care of your mom.”

“That’s my wife,” the husband said.

Oh no, here it comes, I thought.

“Okay, it shows you’re taking care of your wife.”

And with that the kid got up and got off at the next stop.

Calvin says, “Wow. Close call. I’d have circled the kid and bayed at full volume until the cops turned up.”