Resistance Is Welcome

Alf has surprised me with daffodils and purple flowers popping up this summer. My garden has never looked so colorful even though we have the worst soil on the planet. The Sahara has more chances of sprouting flowers than my front and backyards. It’s hard clay, that when broken up with toil and sweat, smiles at you for a moment, and then calls out to the clods and they come scampering back to form an impenetrable layer of steel that refuses all welcome to things green. 

Sort of like the attitude people have when confronted with the truth. It can be about anything. Health, food, books, religion, even where to take a vacation. Nobody likes to be told about something they haven’t thought of themselves. There’s an immediate revulsion. Never mind that what you’re suggesting is really good stuff, and will help them. That doesn’t seem to be the point. It’s being told something they have to do that makes them bristle. So I ask why the TED Talks are so popular, or the online seminars for turning you into a celebrity for 10 minutes garner thousands of likes on social media? Maybe the clue lies in this: if you appeal to a person’s ego instead of his well-being you stand a better chance of being heard.

There’s a word for that – pride.

Calvin says, “Hey, I run away when I hear the word bath.” 

Somebody Has To Do It

It’s been a while since I posted an article. Since the last one we’ve had a new president take the oath of office, women in pink caps raising a ruckus all over the world, rains with accompanying floods – I wonder if California will proclaim the end of the drought and reduce their water rates now – I doubt it.

It’s been a weird beginning of 2017. fullsizerender-23

Most people are scared of the new president and his policies. I don’t understand why. We were getting close to living in a socialist country, maybe had already begun to do so, so to take back the country sounded like a good idea to me. All you have to do is look into world history and see that socialism and communism don’t work and yet we were captivated as a nation into thinking they did. I recommend every liberal American go live in a country under a controlling regime and see what it feels like. I will be waiting at the airport when you get back home before your sabbatical is up. Or better yet, ask your local immigrant who risked his life to get into the U.S. in order to have a life.

You have to be of a certain age to have a long view of history. This new generation won’t have it until they reach their 50’s, so in the meantime somebody has to mind the store.

Calvin says, “My long view of history takes me back to England where beagles went on fox hunts.  Me? I don’t even know what a fox smells like.”  beagle

 

Down the Hall

Things started off with a cliffhanger as I prepared to oversee a food event for 60 people.

The food distribution truck showed up two and a half hours late and parked a block away instead of in front of the house like they usually do. Then the driver came to the front gate, a Hispanic dude, and saw the six steps leading to the front door and announced, “I don’t do stairs.”
“What?” I said incredulously.
“I don’t do stairs,” he said a second time. “It’s against company policy.”
“Really? You guys have been doing stairs for 20 years with us.”
He whipped out his cell phone, took a picture of those nasty stairs, and said, “I’ve just sent this off to my supervisor for instructions.” Then he disappeared around the corner to sit in his truck. photo-4

I called my rep. “I’ll fix this and get back to you,” he said.
I waited.
No driver.
No rep.
No food.
No answers.

I called my rep again.

“I’ll call my manager,” he said.

The driver came back to the gate. “If we don’t solve this I’ll have to take the food back to the warehouse.”

By now the chef, two friends, a co-worker and I were on the street staring the dude down in a gunslinger showdown.

Suddenly my rep appeared out of the ether. “I was in the neighborhood,” he said out of breath. A short, wiry guy with consternation all over his face. I showed him the tables set and ready and the kitchen.

I showed him those nasty stairs.

Meanwhile the dude had disappeared and returned with his first load of boxes. About 25 of them. At street level.

We had no choice but to make an assembly line sandbag style and run boxes from the street, up the nasty stairs, down the long hall, and into the kitchen.

It took us almost an hour to check every box against the order sheet. The dude was now in the kitchen helping us identify the boxes. The rep stood there with  jaw open.

We finished checking the last item, signed the sheet, and the dude disappeared around the corner.

The rep said he’d make sure this wouldn’t happen again.

You bet. Because you’d just lost a customer of 20 years, dude.

Calvin says, “Cut the dude some slack. If you hauled boxes all day, everyday of the week, you’d be a dragon lady throwing your rights around, too.”  beagle

A New Roof

A New Roof

 

The man who put the new roof on the house said

he was surprised I had chosen the color black.

He bet with his workers that I would choose a light color,

like so many of the neighbors,

but that was the point.

I wanted to be different,

like a hairless cat is different

from a Maine Coon.

 

The roof is on and it looks smug.  roof

Tidy, and precise, and serious,

as a roof should be.

All the neighbors’ roofs are gossiping.

They’re disturbed at the audacity

of the non-conformity.

That’s because they would never look chic in black.

 

Calvin says, “It’s boring, like you sometimes.” beagle

Not On My Watch

This morning on the subway ride to work I called the police.

A while back I had the presence of mind to add the police number to my cell phone just in case I ever needed it.

Today was the day.

Three men staggered into my car. An African-American and two Caucasians. The Caucasians looked like wild mountain men with long, unwashed hair, and straggly beards. They came on smoking pot. They huddled in the back two rows. One of the mountain men pulled out a Sharpie pen and began doodling on the window. Every other word was the F word for everyone to hear. All three wore hoodies and jeans.

Not a single man on board pulled out his cell phone to call this in. Nobody got up to tell the conductor. Instead everybody stared straight ahead, enduring the tension with a passive resignation.  photo (20)

Well, I was going to have none of it.

I dialed the police.

A woman dispatcher answered. I told her the problem. I answered her questions including identifying the car number we were on. She told me she’d report it.

Meanwhile new passengers came on at the intervening stations, sat with the three men until they realized they were crazy, and one by one  got up and moved to the other end of the car.

At the third stop a policeman came on board and blocked the doorway. He motioned for all three to get up and leave. They obeyed him like docile school children. The officer continued to stand in the doorway and asked for the person who called in to identify himself.

I raised my hand.

“Do you want to come out and make a citizen’s arrest?” he asked.

I pondered it for a few seconds. I thought that sort of thing went out with typewriters and cassette tape recorders. It certainly would add to my list of adventures. I could tell my grandchildren, and even blog about it.

“You handle it,” I said.

It was cold and the problem was off the train.

Thank God for cell phones and no-nonsense police officers.

Calvin says, “Wow, what chutzpah. From now on I will hold you with new respect.” beagle

You Can Have It

I hate 4 o’clock in the afternoon. No matter where I am, I still hate it. I hate it in New York, I hate it in Buenos Aires, and I hate it San Francisco.

4 p.m. is that time of day when the sun glares at you. If you happen to be driving it pierces you straight through to the back of your eyeballs like a laser. photo(18)

If you’re at the beach the 4 o’clock sun bleaches the water, the sand, and your feet so you’re all one color – luminescent white. You look down at your legs and they come to abrupt halt at the ankles. You look up at the waves and they’ve disappeared. And when you look up at the sky expecting to see blue, you don’t, you see a blinding light, the kind that knocked the Apostle Paul to the ground on the Damascus road. While I’ve never had God speak to me like he did Paul, I’m sure it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon when he did it. The only epiphany I get at 4 p.m. is a migraine.

Four o’clock is the hottest part of the day for me. Not noon, but 4 o’clock. It’s when my upper lip perspires and my eyes leak. Pretty soon I see rivulets in my make-up. If I don’t dab right away, my make-up runs away leaving me completely exposed to my own skin. Of course I can grab my compact of powder and soak up the sweat with the small sponge, but then I don’t know what to do with it afterward. I’m certainly not going to toss it into my purse where it will stain the lining.

Four o’clock in the afternoon is the nastiest time of the day for another reason. My sugar level drops and I’m craving a peppermint hot fudge sundae. And of course I know I should fight the temptation and guzzle down a bottle of water instead. The tug of war intensifies between my low resolve and the temptation I know I should keep away from. That’s when I have a flash of insight, the same color as the 4 o’clock sun glare. I swap temptations.

I end up at the frozen yogurt shop. I tell myself it’s a healthier choice. Besides, it’s only 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I’ll have the rest of the day to walk it off.

Calvin says, “Who are you kidding? It’s a double passion peach and mango with a touch of coconut swirl. How do I know that? Because I get the drips.” beagle

Digging in with My Bare Heels

I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to submit to the full body scanners at the airport.

I’m convinced all that radiation is bad for my health no matter what reassurances we have been given.

So I waited my turn in line, barefooted, beltless and breathless. I moved closer to the dreaded machine.

When it was my turn, I said, “No!” with conviction.

“No?” said the TSA agent. cropped-rubbed-my-tummy.jpg

“Yes, I mean no,” I said.

“It’s the law,” the agent said glaring at me.

“It’s not the law for my health,” I said.

“Very well. That means a pat down,” he said.

“Fine,” I said.

The agent stretched out both arms barring me from moving away and held me there. He called out, “Female agent. Pat down here.”

The other passengers in line were getting free entertainment even before boarding.

I didn’t care.

A female agent appeared. She put  on a pair of latex gloves with a fanfare and gave a little snap at the end. It was clear I had interrupted her coffee time.

“This way,” she said and motioned for me to follow her.

“Do you want to do this in a private room or here?” she asked.

“Here,” I said and smiled. I wanted witnesses.

“Very well. First, I have to tell you what I’ll be doing,” she said.

“Skip that. Just do it,” I said. I smiled again.

“I can’t. It’s the law.” Then she slanted her head upwards to show me a camera that was recording everything.

Witnesses! I loved it. I smiled even more.

She asked me to stand with legs apart and arms outstretched.

I complied.

I smiled at my audience in front and above me.

The agent ran her hands all over me, from head to toe, in a professional manner.

“You’re free to go,” she said when she finished and removed her gloves with another snap.

After reading so many horror stories in the media about pat-downs, I was prepared for the worst. Instead I was shocked at how decent an experience it was.

Calvin says, “If that had been me, I would slobbered all over her face.” beagle