Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Price of Beauty

The Price of Beauty

I had to go to Boynton to meet a plumber for a rental unit.  Barbara decided to come along and hang out with my sister, Regina.

I dropped Barbara off and I went to meet the plumber.  Barbara and Regina decided to go shoe shopping.  

Shoe shopping was necessary because Barbara needed a new pair of gold or brown shoes to match a dress she was planning on wearing to my cousin Rocky’s wedding.  

Two nights before she had tried on the dress and shoes she had to match it.  The dress fit fine, but the shoes hurt and she couldn’t walk in them.  

Since they were comparatively new shoes, having been bought when she bought the dress, I was a little taken back by the fact that they didn’t fit.

“How come they hurt you?”, I asked.

“They always hurt a little, but now they hurt a lot.  My foot must have grown”, Barbara replied.

“Why did you buy them if they hurt?  They must have hurt originally, your feet could not have grown so fast” I queried.

“Well, yes, but they matched the dress”  she replied as if that were a valid answer. “I will have to get a new pair.”

“Don’t buy shoes that hurt” I reasonably said.

I got “The Look”, so I let the matter drop.  

As I left Barbara and Regina, I reminded Barbara “don’t get shoes that hurt”.  They both looked at me as if I was an idiot.

I met the plumber and he successfully made the necessary repair.  I returned to Regina’s house to await their arrival after they finished their shopping expedition.

They showed up a couple of hours later, carrying a bag with a shoe box inside.

“Let me see the shoes” I asked.

Barbara showed me the shoes.  A gold sandal with a 3 inch heel.  

“Do they hurt, are they comfortable?” I asked.

“Of course they are comfortable, but I am still going to bring a pair of flats with me to the wedding, because they will probably hurt as the evening wears on” Barbara said.

“What?” I said, “let me get this straight.  You bought shoes you know will hurt you and you will bring a pair of flats to wear for most of the evening.  Is that right? Why didn’t you just buy a pair of gold or brown flats?”

“ I need to make a good impression at the beginning, and flats won’t do that.  Besides these sandals are perfect for the dress”, she said as if I was a complete moron devoid of fashion sense.  My sister nodded in agreement.

I shook my head in frustrated disbelief but refrained from further comments since I knew any appeal to common sense was fruitless.

We left to make the journey home (a distance of approximately 40 miles, a bit of information that will be handy shortly).

We were home for about an hour when my sister called.  Barbara answered.

“Hello. Oh, did I leave that?  No, no, you don’t have to do that.  We’ll probably come and get it tomorrow.  I’ll let you know” Barbara said into the phone.

They chatted for a couple of minutes and then hung up.  Barbara came into the room where I was.

“You’re not going to believe this.  I left my makeup case in Regina’s bathroom”,  Barbara informed me.

“Ok”, I said, “ she can bring it down Sunday (today was Monday) when she comes for the BBQ”.

“I can’t wait that long for it. Either we have to get it or I will have to buy replacement makeup”.

“Why can’t you go “Au Natural” I asked?

“Don’t be ridiculous”, she replied. “I can’t go around without makeup.  Your choice, go up and get it, or buy me more.  Which is it?” 

I thought of having to go with her to buy more makeup.

“Hmmm, maybe we should go up and get it tomorrow.  We’ll go early and have to postpone my previous appointment on Tuesday.” I grumbled.

“Don’t worry, I’ll owe you.  Or you could think of yourself as my Knight Errant, and or a Knight of the Round Table on a quest for  his lady fair” Barbara said.

“Yeah, and your makeup case is the Holy Grail?”.

The next morning, Barbara informed me she was staying home and I was going on this journey alone.  

I had expected something like this occurring and was not surprised.   I grumbled at her about the unfairness of it all, and the length and time consumption of the quest/journey (see how important the bit of previous mileage information is to the story). I might have mentioned how she would surely owe me for this.

Barbara said, “You’re never going to let me forget this, are you?“

A rhetorical question if ever there was one.



Monday, February 13, 2017

Elphaba Takes A Shower, Or I'm Melting, I'm Melting

Elphaba Takes a Shower, or I’m Melting, I’m Melting

I recently had to go to Royal Palm Beach to do some repair at a Condo I own.  On the way back I called my sister and Rocky, my cousin, also referred to here as Elphaba, to meet me for lunch at Brooklyn Bagel in Delray.

I met them there along with Rocky’s fiance, Norman.

We had bagels and egg creams for lunch (we had to show Rocky how to make them).

Norm told me that for a long time he thought my name was “Shellyyouasshole”, or “Shellyyoupieceofshit", loving, adorable pet names Rocky uses whenever referring to, or speaking with me.  I told him I earned those names.

While we were eating, Norm told me of an incident that had occurred the previous day.

Rocky had gone out to water her plants, a patch of dirt outside her front door, an area approximately 3 X 5 that has a few scraggly plants on it.  She came back inside and stood in the front of Norm, with her head down and her lower lip extended in a pout.

“What’s the matter?”, Norm asked.

“I got soaked”, she answered.

“How did that happen?” Norm inquired.

“I don’t know, but I am drenched in water”, Rocky replied.

“Show me what happened”. Norm said.

With that, the two of them went outside and Rocky proceeded to demonstrate what happened, with Norm staying a safe distance away from the demonstration.

Rocky carefully put the hose down near the plants, went to the outside faucet, turned on the water, returned and picked up the hose and with the hose and nozzle firmly clenched on the front of her chest, pressed the lever on the nozzle to spray the water.

Now Regina and I were picturing a gust of wind forcing the spray of water back at Rocky to explain the drenching she had experienced.  That was not the case.

As she pressed the lever on the nozzle, the water started spouting out in all directions from the seal between the nozzle and hose, thus drenching her twice.

Needless to say, Regina, I and Norm couldn’t stop laughing.  Rocky glared daggers at me and hit my sister, who was sitting next to her, on the arm.

“Why are you laughing?”, Rocky demanded indignantly.  “It’s not funny you asshole (directed at me).

“It is funny”, I replied, “and doubly so since you didn’t think to extend your hand with the nozzle away from your chest since you knew what happened last time.”

Rocky continued to glare, hit Regina and make rude gestures at me.  This made us laugh more, including Norm, which made Rocky more agitated.

“You’re lucky you didn’t melt”, I said.

“What do you mean?”, Rocky demanded. “Why should I melt?” 

“You know like, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz)”, Regina said.

“You better not call me that,” Rocky said to me. “Which one was she anyway, the one with the house on top of her?”

”No, the other one”, Regina replied.

“The GREEN one?” Rocky demanded. “I am not like her, am I?”

This caused more laughter.

“Why can’t you compare me to the other one, the Good Witch Glinda?” Rocky demanded.

“That would be inappropriate for you”, I coyly said.

That got more laughter out of everyone and more glares and inappropriate gestures from Rocky/Elphaba.

“You better not write a blog about this”, Rocky said.

“You know”, Norm said, a good title for the blog would be “Elphaba Takes A Shower”.

Rocky now glared at Norm.

“Yes” I agreed, “or maybe, “I’m Melting, I’m Melting”.  I obviously liked both, hence the above title.

“You know”, I said, “we should test out whether the same problem with the watering will occur if you did it again.  Why don’t we go back to your place and you can show me how the drenching happened” I innocently suggested.

Norm and Regina seemed ok with that but Rocky was having none of it. Making more inappropriate gestures when Norm wasn’t looking her way, since he is trying to get her to be more sedate.   

I announced it was time for me to head home.  Rocky was complaining to people at the next table what idiots we all were for laughing, embarrassing her and disturbing others in the restaurant.

“I”ll show you embarrassing”, I said. 

I was wearing my “fixit clothes” which consists of an old shirt and very torn jeans with large holes in the knees.

As I stood up, I exclaimed: “What do you mean there’s no money for me to buy new clothes?”.  And with that I fake stormed out.

Norm and Regina also left, but Rocky felt it was her duty to tell the tables around us that I had just gotten out of the hospital and was off my meds.

I returned to my house and Norm, Rocky and Regina did some errands and then went to Rocky’s.

About an hour after I got home, I got a phone call from Regina.  I answered and all I could hear was hysterical laughter.

“She did it again”, I said into the phone.

After Regina caught her breath from laughing so hard, she confirmed that Rocky, trying to show Regina what happened, had indeed drenched herself again. 

You know what they always say” “Third times the charm”.






Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ignoring My Horoscope

Ignoring My Horoscope

I was sitting reading the newspaper and had just gotten to the page that gives horoscopes.  It said, “Don’t lift anything heavy, you will hurt your back”.

Now usually, the advice in a horoscope is rather vague.  This was very specific, and while I am not a believer, its directness struck me as being good advice to follow.  

I was contemplating this advice, when Barbara came into the room and announced her agenda for the day.

It seemed that we were “scheduled” to go to Home Depot and get several bags of mulch for our front yard.

After contemplating pretending to be deaf, I instead decided to be honest and show Barbara the critical advice I had just received.

“I cannot do this today,” I replied, “my horoscope says I shouldn’t lift anything”.

“That’s just your interpretation of what it says,” she said. “You’re always twisting what it says to favor what you want or don’t want to do.”

“No, no,” I pleaded my case, “just look at it”.

Barbara ignored me

“Really, it’s very specific this time, not open to interpretation. It must be a message from the Gods.  How can we ignore this message?”

She looked at the horoscope.

“This is just like the prescription from Dr. Marks that said “No Ragu”, or the prescription from the oncologist’s office that said “no painting for cancer patients because they are sensitive to paint fumes.”   I don’t care what your horoscope says, we’re getting the mulch!”, she said adamantly.

I kept protesting, arguing about the specificity of the prediction.  Barbara was not to be moved.

We had to go out that morning to do some errands and Barbara insisted on stopping for mulch.  We wound up with seven bags which we then spread around the front garden.

“See,” Barbara said, “you didn’t hurt your back, did you?”

I seriously considered groaning and faking a severe backache, but decided telling people about Barbara’s blatant disregard for my well being was funnier. I await your sympathy.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Whip Cream Incident

The Whip Cream Incident

As many of you know, I am a friendly guy who likes to talk with people.  I always consider this to be a positive attribute.  Barbara doesn't always agree with my assessment of my better qualities.

The other night we found ourselves at Publix Supermarket near our home. 

I had baked a new recipe for a Cannoli Cheese Cake, which I was going to bring to a BBQ swim party at the beach.  The recipe called for covering the top of the cake with whip cream and chocolate chip morsels as a finishing touch.  Since I couldn’t make my own whip cream at the beach, I thought it prudent to buy a can of Whip Cream to take with me.

We both entered the store and I proceeded to the back of the store to get the can of whip cream.  We then approached the cashier with it.

The cashier, a woman of about 45-50 asked. “anything else?”

“No,” I said, “that’s all she asked me to get.  She’s a little Kinky”, I replied innocently.

The cashier was taken aback for a second, seeming to process what I had said.  She started to smile, then giggle, then laugh.  The bag boy, a young man in his late teens, also grinned and giggled.  Barbara turned bright red.

“He baked a cake!” she almost shouted.

“I did bake a cake,” I said. “But that’s only one use for the whip cream”.

The cashier kept looking between Barbara and I, and giggling.  Barbara continued to turn even redder.

The young female manager came over to see what the laughing was all about.  The cashier related what had just been said, causing the manager to laugh along with the cashier and bag boy.  Barbara kept getting redder.

“I’ll bet this is the most fun you’ve had with a customer today, isn’t it?” Barbara asked the cashier.

“I have to say. its the most fun I’ve had in a long while with a customer.  You guys are such fun,” the cashier replied.

“It’s for a cake,” Barbara kept insisting while continuing to blush furiously.

The cashier turned to me and said, “she’s gong to kill you when you get home”.

I laughed and said,“ I have the car keys.

“Well then, she’s going to kill you in the parking lot” the cashier said grinning at me.

“Probably” I said laughing.  Barbara who was still red started to laugh also.

We continued laughing as we exited the store and laughed about it for the rest of the night.

It’s a good thing Barbara has a sense of humor, or I WOULD BE dead.




Tuesday, May 3, 2016

When Is An Offer Not An Offer?

When Is An Offer Not An Offer?

When someone offers you something and you accept their offer, shouldn’t you receive what was offered?

I think so.  Barbara doesn’t, at least in my case.  Let me give you an example.

We often have people over to our house.  

Invariably Barbara will come into the room where we are congregating and say:  “Does anyone want anything, a drink, ice cream, anything?”  

Now if I want something, I answer yes or raise my hand in acknowledgement of her offer.  If no-one else has answered I am usually ignored.  

“Anyone else, anyone?” she will continue to ask in the hope that I am not the only one answering.  If I am the only one answering, the offer is withdrawn.

By her asking, isn’t there an implied contract between asker and askee?  I think so.

Barbara’s explanation of why I get ignored is:  But you’ll say yes to everything.  It’s not worth it to just get you.

Our friends have noticed her tendency to ignore me under those circumstances and our children and now our grandchildren have taken notice.  It is a family joke that I will get ignored, and they just laugh and roll their eyes at the “folie a deux” that takes place.  It is an almost automatic reaction between us.

My hope is that people will come to the realization that I deserve the “medal” they are always awarding to Barbara for “putting up” with me.  I am the one with the “reputation” of always being “difficult” to live with.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I am an angel.

I am easy going, friendly (Barbara says too friendly) and just a wonderful person to live with.  Why people see me as the “difficult to live with one” I’ll never know.

Recently, Barbara and I were sitting watching TV.  She was drinking lemonade.  She turned to me and said, “Would you like some lemonade ( an offer)?”

To which I replied, “Why thank you (acceptance of the offer).

Barbara offered me her cup, which happens to be plastic and you cannot see what it contains without looking directly into it.  I took the cup appreciating her generosity in sharing her lemonade with me.  Unfortunately, it was empty. “Guess you’ll just have to get us some” she said, smiling sweetly.

I started to laugh, and so did she.

She eventually got me some lemonade, probably because she realized how funny it all sounded.

It became a source of some amusement between us for the rest of the day.

Now of course, Barbara says she was just kidding and was going to get me lemonade all along. 


You and I know the truth.

Friday, February 19, 2016

When Good News Is Not Well Received



Let me start by saying this will probably be my fault.  I’m not sure why I’m at fault, but it is safer to take that responsibility than not.

Second, for those not aware (there may be one or two people on the planet), I am a dessert person.  I would gladly forego a main course for dessert any time.  

This all started with our upcoming blood test.  

Both Barbara and I were scheduled to get fasting blood tests to check on our cholesterol and triglycerides.  

There have been times when my numbers have been high, but that was due to special circumstances, such as my doing investigative pie eating when I was going to be a pie judge, and when Barbara moved the three bags of hershey bars into the kitchen refrigerator from the one in the garage.

This time, we hadn’t done anything special.  

I still cooked, following the ancient adage passed down to me by the food network: that everything goes better with lots of butter, and keep cookies, cakes, ice cream and gelato in the house.

As the time for our blood tests got closer, Barbara was convinced I was going to get a bad report based on my diet.  She was expecting me to get a tongue lashing from the doctor.  She was looking forward to it, and saw it as a vindication of her saying: we should cut down on desserts.  Although this never stops her from eating the desserts, as those who have had dinner with us will attest to.

We took the blood tests and awaited the results.

Meanwhile friends of ours from New York were staying with us.

Two days later, my phone rang.  It was the doctor’s office.  They had my results.

“Your numbers are good”, the lady from the doctor’s office said.

“I expect nothing less”, I answered.  “What were the numbers?”

She gave me the numbers.

“Great,” I said, “my wife is going to be really mad they are good”.

“Probably,” the lady said. “She’d be right to feel that way.”

I asked for my wife’s results, but the doctor hadn’t reviewed them yet, so they couldn’t be released.

I hung up the phone, and told my friends, who were eating breakfast, what the results were.  Barbara was still in the shower.

“Barbara is going to be pissed,” I stated.

“No she’s not,” our friend said, looking dubiously at me.

“Just wait,” I answered.

We continued eating breakfast waiting for Barbara to come in.

Barbara finally came into the kitchen.

“Who was on the phone?” Barbara asked.

“The doctor, I got my test results, yours weren’t ready,” I replied.

“So what were your numbers?” Barbara asked with a smile on her face.

I told her.

“Son of a …, how could that be?” she said with a frown.  “That can’t be right, are you lying?”

I assured her I was being truthful and turned to our friends for confirmation of what I said.

Our friends were looking askance at Barbara.  

Barbara has the reputation of being the better one of us.  Her disappointment in my good news was in direct conflict with her image.  I was glad they were witnesses.

“This isn’t right. You eat so much dessert, how could your numbers be good?  You just wait, my numbers will be high, and we eat the same things.  Its just not fair!”

I saw where this was going, I would be to blame if her numbers were high.  I would have to shoulder the blame, a burden I was prepared to accept.


In the meantime, put some rum raisin ice cream on that slice of tiramisu.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Kidney Stone Incident

The Kidney Stone Incident

For weeks I had been having intermittent pain starting on my left back and extending into my front.  I eventually figured it was a kidney stone and went to my doctor to confirm.

They told me it probably was and I should go see my urologist and get a Cat Scan to confirm.  I made those appointments for the following week.

A few days later, the pain grew so intense I couldn’t stand it and asked Barbara to take me to emergency.  She called my son and he drove us to the hospital.  On the way we found out my son had to be somewhere else and over his objections, called my sister to come down and stay with Barbara at the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital and without too much delay, although it seemed interminable to me, took me into a triage suite.  

The first problem was setting up an IV and taking blood from me.  At the best of times, it is difficult to find my veins, but this time was almost impossible.  It took two of the specialists and numerous “sticks” to finally get an IV and to draw blood.  Once the IV was established, they gave me a pain medication that worked quickly.  I returned to my somewhat jovial self and was able to see some humor in what was going on around me.

There was a very friendly man next door who was singing, talking excitedly, and being very friendly to everyone.  He was being Baker Acted.  Barbara insisted I not go over and talk to him, as the staff might mix up which one of us was Baker Acted and which was for Kidney Stones.  I was sure they could tell us apart, but agreed to stay put.

The doctor ordered a Cat Scan and told me I had a Kidney Stone and was to be admitted because of an infection accompanying it.  Fortunately they kept giving me pain medication, so I didn’t care what they did.  

I sent everyone home and waited for a room to open up.  

Eventually I was wheeled up to a room around 12:30 AM. 

It was incredibly noisy.

Not only was I across from the nurses station, but everyone on the floor seemed to have their TV’s on at full volume, including my roommate.  I wasn’t getting any sleep anyway, as the IV had me peeing every 20 minutes.  In the early hours of the morning, people were watching game shows, political commentary and Jerry Springer type shows.  Where are the Baker Act people when you need them.

Around 4 AM people started coming in to take vital signs, take blood and to see if I needed anything.

Breakfast was at 8 and shortly after a Doctor showed up. He was a Urologist and told me I had two choices.  Try to pass it on my own, or they could go in (you don’t want to know how) and remove it.  I opted for the former, which he seemed to agree to.  I had to wait til his colleague showed up to get discharged.

Meanwhile, Barbara and my sister, Regina showed up.  The day progressed with my peeing every 20 minutes, and not being able to hold down any food.  The pain medicine had a nausea affect on me.  

I took the opportunity to try to guilt my daughter into flying down to visit her “sick” father (didn’t work) and to post a picture of me in my new Halloween Costume: Kidney Stone Patient.

I was amazed at the response I got.  It seems everyone but me has had a kidney stone in the past.  Who knew?  I got lots of sympathy and I appreciated it.

Around 5 PM the other doctor showed up and tried to talk me out of going home.  He said I would most likely need the procedure and not be able to pass the stone on my own.  I agreed to spend one more night in the hospital and he changed my pain meds to eliminate the nausea.

It was just as noisy the second night, even with my getting my roommate to lower his volume.  No sleep for two nights.

The Urologist came in and instead of insisting on my getting the procedure, said I should go home.  I readily agreed but still had to wait for his colleague to officially do it.  I was fed up with having to drag around the IV every time I went to the bathroom.

The doctor came in around 1 PM and discharged me with a prescription for pain medication and an antibiotic.

Barbara and Regina drove me home. 

I spend the the rest of the day drinking water and tea, and peeing every 20 minutes.  The night was the same but when I woke up, I wasn’t in any pain.  I think the stone moved to where it wasn’t pressing on anything.

Barbara who had been extremely nice to me told me my time for niceness had passed, as I was feeling better and could do things on my own.  She had even let me snore for the 20 minutes I was able to sleep between peeing during the night.  Obviously that dispensation was over.

I posted the end of the niceness window of opportunity, and everyone seemed to side with Barbara.  Go figure.

As an aside, when Barbara tries to get me to stop snoring, she whispers my name until I wake up.  I asked her why she is whispering since her goal is to wake me up and using a normal voice would accomplish her goal quicker.  She had no answer for that but said she was afraid I would become startled and fall out of bed if she was too loud.  Really?  That’s the reason for whispering.

The day progressed with Barbara and my sister coming up with disgusting suggestions off the internet on how to get rid of kidney stones.  For instance, one site said I should drink Olive Oil, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.  I declined.  

I continued trying to guilt my daughter, but she seemed to take on her mother’s attitude that the crisis was over and I should drink the olive oil while filming my reaction to the taste.  I again declined.

That night, I again peed in twenty minute intervals and I think something came out, but I am not sure.

Anyway, I am feeling better and I am trapping what appears to be remnants in the strainer.  

Hope to never have to repeat this again, It wasn’t fun and I didn’t enjoy it, even with the pain meds.