The Chicken or the Egg?

As far as I know the question of which came first has never been decided, but I’ll vote for the chicken who laid the first egg. Imagine her shock when, exhausted, she rested upon the mysterious result of her labor. Perhaps she waited, curious as to what would happen next.

Warmth, a mysterious movement. The thing beneath her cracked! The chicken rose to see a tiny being emerge. Cheep Cheep! And she was never the same after that. She paraded around the barnyard, the tiny thing wobbling after her. They passed the rooster, who crowed. The chicken ignored the arrogant fellow. And then briefly wondered why he was passing out cigars.

The End

Sorry, but I couldn’t resist posting this. I ran across it in some of my old writings and it made me laugh so I thought maybe it would make you laugh too.

WHO Are YOU?

“And WHO are YOU?” the older man in the black tux and argyle socks said as he shook my hand. I was being greeted by the father of the groom after the wedding ceremony.
“My name is….” I said, not feeling quite as ridiculous as I might’ve if he hadn’t been wearing the purple and pink socks.

He raised his eyebrows at me, Groucho Marx style, and I moved on. I figured he wanted to disconcert people with the socks because he was a psychiatrist, and liked to do unexpected things to see how people would react, but I was disconcerted because I had no ready answer to his unexpected question.

The thing was I was nobody. I’d been invited to the wedding through a friend of the bride, whom I didn’t even know. My friend had arranged the invitation for me, including my pre-school daughters, believing they should get their first look at a true-to-life fairy-tale bride. I’d set aside my discomfort to appease her but had felt completely foreign in such exalted company. My friend had been disappointed when Terry and Tammy, instead of being excited, watched the elaborate ceremony with a detached air.

So – who was I? Should I have said “I’m a friend of a friend of the bride?” or “I have an invitation but actually I’m a party crasher because I don’t even know your son or new daughter-in-law?” It’s bewildering to be asked “WHO are YOU?” and trying to think of an answer.

Perhaps, I thought later, I should make an appointment with him. Tell him he got me to thinking “WHO am I” as if I’d never thought to ask it before, and that I’d been searching for an answer ever since. I was lost. I didn’t know who I was. Wasn’t that what psychiatrists were for, to help us discover who we are? But psychiatrists cost money, and besides I kept seeing those wild argyle socks with the expensive black tux. How could I trust him?

So I decided to find myself, myself. Still looking.

Well Blow Me Down and Call Me Flossie

When I was fifteen I worked one summer in Don’s Restaurant in Hazard, Kentucky. My name was Flossie. Don had such a turnover in waitresses he couldn’t remember our names so he used a few favorites remembered from ages past. Assuming there’d been a Flossie, that is. So I said “Blow me down and call me Flossie!” After all, he was paying me fifty cents an hour.

We had a tip box to put our gratuities in (I’m more sophisticated now) to be divided up weekly. Like a good little Flossie I put all my tips, excuse me, gratuities, in the box during the first week but when it came time to receive my cut, I only received four dollars.

I complained to the other girls that my tips, excuse me, gratuities, had been more than that for half-a-day. They laughed at me. “We don’t put it all in,” they said, “just a dollar here and there.” In other words I had shared all my own tips, excuse me, gratuities, with them, but they had shared only a smidgeon of theirs with me. The scale had been weighted to their side. I wondered why they hadn’t told me ahead of time. That’s how green I was. I’m more sophisticated now.

Okay, I said, and the next week I only put in a couple of dollars. But I felt dishonest. “Oh, he knows,” one girl said, “he don’t care.” And, since we were all in cahoots, I figured it was okay. But my conscience still bothered me, just a smidgeon. I’d been taught that rules were rules and were meant to be followed.

Although I never became a corrupt politician, nor even an honest one for that matter, I wonder if that’s how it begins? If we all do it, then it’s okay. Let’s vote ourselves some special benefits, set up different rules, just for us.

Of course none of this is actually vocalized. Most likely they just breathe in that rarefied stink in the air that wafts off the old farts who’ve been corrupting Washington for years, and they know without vocalizing that this is how things are done in Washington, DC.

Bless Her Heart

While walking Winston in the park today I realized I owe you an apology for my recent rants. Time was I never ranted but swallowed my ire and pretended the world was always a happy place. For this reluctance to express anger I blame my mom (God Bless Her Heart, as we say in the hills when speaking ill of someone – to show we really love the ornery person). My mom was, of course, a wonderful woman (God Bless Her Heart) but she was of the “turn the other cheek” variety.

Well, of course I could say the other cheek I was thinking of was lower down on the body and I forgot which one she meant. I tend to get things mixed up that way. You aren’t buying it? Mom wouldn’t either. She raised us to not “Act the Fool” (Bless Her Heart) and to Mom facetiousness was never funny.

But this isn’t about Mom. It’s about me apologizing for sending out negative vibes instead of positive uplifting ones, about me trying to make amends for my angry rants. The best way to do that, I think, is to give you a list of a few of the things that I’m truly grateful for:

1) That my eldest daughter just bought six baby chicks but can’t have a rooster, which is okay as she’s only going to have them lay eggs (in the garage until she can get a chicken shed built). They are already counting on 42 eggs a week after the chickens become hens. This is part of her answer to the coming food shortage she keeps hearing about. (Bless Her Heart)

2) That my youngest daughter has given up feeding her family grain, anything made from wheat, oats, soy, or even corn. That’s right. She now makes pizza crust from coconut meal, brownies from black beans, etc. They really do taste good, Bless Her Heart. I just hope Michelle doesn’t hear about it!

3) Which brings me to the last item for today. We still live in the good old USA where my grandson can buy a green wig with his birthday money, have me make him a strange-looking cape and go to an anime convention where everyone looks like they just stepped off an intergalactic vehicle traveling through unknown worlds to visit planet Earth, and nobody thinks it’s odd. My Mom would be appalled. Bless Their Hearts, she’d say. Ain’t it wonderful!

Bless Your Heart!

Obesity Epidemic?

According to a report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), more than two-thirds of states have adult obesity rates above 25 percent.  In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent.

News Flash!  America finally admits it has an obesity epidemic.   The government has gotten fatter and fatter.   Oh – you mean they’re talking about the people?   Oh. So who got fat first?   Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah  (finger pointing). 

They even admit now that the obesity rate has gone up since 1991.  We knew that already.  However, they’re talking about the rest of us, we who cling to our guns and religion while sitting in front of our television sets eating cheap junk food and listening to their lies.  

The question is:  Does the government represent its citizenry or does its citizenry reflect the ills of its government?  And how did the government get so fat in the first place?   Because it was taken over by the Fat Cats Club, most of whom also belong to the Lucky Sperm Club.  They scratch each other’s backs (or other parts) while dividing the spoils and using our tax money to reward their outside back-scratching cronies.   

The rest of us:  The obesity that began in Washington has spread throughout the country.  It’s contagious.   Oddly, the fattest people make the least amount of money.  What?  Do they spend all their money on food, with no activity, sitting and gorging all day?   No, but they buy the cheapest food, which is not nutritious, so they’re still hungry and eat more of it to try to get full, which they never do.   Healthy foods cost too much.

That’s not all, of course.   Society’s ills are never so simple.  For instance, most people on a steady diet of processed foods develop a taste for it (probably all those tasty additives, some deliberately used by food manufacturers because they’re so addictive).  

The government needs to cut its obesity rate by at least fifty percent (they didn’t count themselves but it must be close to 100.)   Do you suppose Newt could work up a contract between our obese citizens and our obese government?

From Hope to Nope

An editorial in the New York Times this morning calling the Republican party “The Party of Nope” tickled my funny bone. 

It reminded me of the story of the little girl in Arizona who prayed for snow for her birthday.  Her parents, afraid the child may lose her faith in God, asked her how she felt about God not answering her prayer.   “He did answer my prayer,” she said.  “He said no.”

God has answered the prayers of more than half the country by sending us a representative to just say no to an administration that has come to believe it is now sitting in God’s seat.   Wrong assumption.

Back to the Future: The Grownup Club

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in — Deepak Chopra

When I was a child I thought grownups knew everything, they just weren’t telling. I also thought that when I grew up, I too would know everything. For that reason I looked forward to someday belonging to the Grownup Club. Then I would know what the grownups meant when they gave each other those strange looks that I judged to be a secret code, especially when I asked such important questions as: What are we all doing here (on Planet Earth)? Isn’t there someplace else we could go? Are we stuck here?

My mother said we were here because God had made us and put us here, that He also made the Earth to be our home. When I asked why this place and not some other, where things might make more sense, she looked off into the distance and shook her head. Since I knew my mother was already a member of the Grownup Club and that I would someday become a member too–growing up being the only requirement for membership, I assumed–I realized she was thinking up a fairy tale to tell me, which is the only way kids were allowed to learn important things. Since I already knew I’d be let in on the secrets once I was old enough to become a member of the Club, I told her to forget it (in my mind that is, otherwise I might be punished for sassing) and pretended to lose interest. I could see she was relieved.

That was okay because by the time I was sixteen, I knew much more than my mother. As a young adult I found out the Grownup Club, or at least the one my mother belonged to, had not kept up with the times–or else my mother’s membership had expired. The only way to learn anything now was to find the experts, so that’s what I decided to do. However, since none of them lived in our old neighborhood, I was forced to turn to books. Although most of the books by experts were written by the Old Farts who lived long ago, thankfully their language had improved a bit since biblical times.

(Of course my mother had a book by the biblical experts, called the Bible, which she said was written by God, but she admitted that although all the words in it came from God, men had actually penned it. On trying to read it I couldn’t help but wonder if they hadn’t gotten God’s words wrong. But since my mother said it was blasphemy to question the Bible, I realized this was yet another question I was not supposed to ask).

I found the experts hard going as they tended to answer questions I wasn’t asking and didn’t answer the questions I did ask. But my real problem came after I married and had my first child. I got a book by Dr. Spock on raising children as he was the known expert on the subject. Then I made a mistake of buying a book by another childcare expert (I don’t remember his name). The second book disagreed with everything in the first book and I ended up throwing both of them out. If the experts couldn’t agree, then how was I to know whom to believe?

What did other mothers do? I consulted some in the neighborhood but that also fell through when I learned there was an early potty-training trend going on. Mothers were potty-training their babies at the age of six months by running to put them on the potty when their little faces turned red. Then they gathered for coffee and bragged about their successes in potty-training their babies before they learned to walk (some were carrying them to the potty even earlier than six months old, implying their babies were geniuses).

This didn’t make sense to me because I figured a child should at least be able to walk to the potty before s/he was trained. All these mothers were doing was hurrying to catch the do-do. Which, of course, did save on diapers.

But my disillusionment had truly begun. I finally realized I couldn’t depend on other people to guide me and every time I found an expert about anything, another expert came along to disagree with the first one. It came to me that, as much trouble as it would turn out to be, I had no choice but to try to figure things out for myself. And hang the experts.

Now I know why my mother kept quiet. Who wants to admit to a kid there are things even the grownups don’t know. And that even when so-called grownups gain a bit of knowledge they just fight with each other over who’s right, and confuse people like me who are trying to understand.

At my age I know people expect me to act like a senior member of the Grownup Club, but by now I’ve entered my second childhood. I would not even join the Club if they asked me. In fact, when I see the long sad face of a Grownup, my first inclination is to whistle Dixie and thank God for my escape.