12 Bizarre Behaviors Belonging to the “Blogger Bunch!” (Yes, Us!)

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The Blogger Bunch!

Here’s a story of a bunch of writer-folks, who’re once a strange set of girls and boys,
Growing up they had their journals and diaries, pretty much ignored all other toys.
Till the one day when these wordsmiths met WordPress, they knew they’d be just as pleased as punch,
If this group could somehow form a Blogosphere, and that’s the way they became The Blogger Bunch!

 

Ready? Here we go!

12 Blogging Behaviors You Might Recognize!

 

  1. We excitedly register for a free online WordPress URL, spend hours (no days!) setting it up, picking a perfect theme, arranging widgets, plug-ins, clever headers, tag-lines, backgrounds, and fonts — only to realize when the blog is finished . . . we must now actually write! (Wow, some of us were those brides who registered for china patterns, ordered imprinted napkins, centerpieces, catering, picked out the perfect gown, only to realize when the wedding was finished . . . we must now actually marry!)
  2. When tax season rolls around, we secretly fantasize all our “Wonderful Writer’s Write-Offs.” Surely our accountant will find ways to justify those long lunches in restaurants (how else do we get ideas for posts if we don’t eavesdrop on other diners?) extravagant vacations (bloggers have to experience new places in order to write about them!) and the latest computers (Duh!). Upon hearing our CPA say, “Actually only office supplies will technically qualify!” we go out and . . .
  3. We purchase 180 boxes of paper-clips, saving all receipts.
  4. We come up with an amazingly witty title for a topic we know will win us thousands of new followers — and then Google it, only to discover . . .
  5. We get very depressed to see our great blogging idea has already been done. 43 times. We decide this shouldn’t really matter. Everybody!s heard that there are NO new thoughts in this wide world. We’ll simply Tweak things a bit and it will be completely original. Tweak, Tweak, Tweak . . .
  6. Weeks later we are startled to find on the internet someone else’s post (that’s becoming a VIRAL SENSATION) which is essentially OUR tweak! We take to Twitter to announce our tweak is being savagely plagiarized. Tweet, Tweet, Tweak, Tweak . . .
  7. We contact an attorney to see about lawsuits, because something must be done about this grave injustice. The lawyer says, “Hmmm, this will be difficult to prove. All someone had to do was read your blog, make some tweaks of their own, and voilà! A new idea has been born. But can I phone you back tomorrow? I’m knee deep in a new case about a blogger using a photographer’s pictures from Shutterfly without getting copyright releases or giving attribution. Now THAT’S a slam dunk case!”
  8. We quickly delete every single one of the photographs from our posts in terror.
  9. We decide to take the focus off our own website and be a Good Blogger Samaritan — so we visit other people’s blogs to interact with their words, click “Like,” leave thought-provoking comments that will surely entice them (and all their many readers!) to follow our cute little remarks (Hansel & Gretel breadcrumbs anyone?) back to our own blogs where they will instantly become ensnared enthralled. (Gotcha!!!)
  10. When that doesn’t work, and still nobody is reading/following us, we think it cannot possibly be our writing. So we get to work changing our theme, header, tag-line, background, widgets, plug-ins, and fonts. Tweak! Tweak! And Tweet Tweet!
  11. “Ugh. Who wants to be married anyhow??”  We throw the bridal bouquet (made out of thousands of paper-clips) out to a sea of potential bloggers, raising high their eager, outstretched hands. Good luck to them! Good riddance blog.
  12. We turn on reruns of The Brady Bunch and call it a day.

Dear Bloggers:  Did I miss a common (bizarre?) behavior of yours?  Leave it in the comments section so we can all follow your clever words back to your own site and become enraptured! 😉

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We Interrupt This Blog . . .

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There may be an official ordinance about posting unfunny things on a humor blog, but I’ll accept a warning citation. Ironic short stories are my original genre of writing and several readers have encouraged me to share more widely here. Back to regularly scheduled chuckles soon! Thank you.

Going Up, Going Down, Going Thru, Going Under!

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Wow, I’m really going under tonight.

I’ve seen this hypnotist’s show before and figure I can trust him just fine to put me under. The only embarrassing part of the act was when he made the women on stage believe they were doing a striptease for their husbands. But even that I can handle, I reassure myself. Besides it might actually help Dennis see me in a new light. Lately he’s been restless, telling me I hold him back, I’m too safe, don’t take enough risks, and I’m not living life boldly enough. “Carpe Diem,” he’ll say as if mocking Robin William’s character in the movie, only I know he really means it. So in less than one hour, I will seize the day, and the night, and my husband’s respect.

All by announcing I am pregnant when it’s my turn in the spotlight.

“The rabbit died,” said that nasally nurse with the goofy sense of humor on the phone yesterday, and it had taken me a few seconds to reconcile her morbid, archaic expression with the fact that I finally had wondrous life growing inside of me after three years of fertility futility. No more temperature taking, ovulation kits, semen analysis, uterine biopsies, and standing on my head after lovemaking.

Dennis pays for our two tickets with a credit card that I strongly suspect will be declined. It’s the third one we’ve exceeded our limit on since he lost his job at the architectural firm. But I’m right behind him, expediently holding two twenty dollar bills so his red-face embarrassment will be short lived. That’s what a good wife does after all. But it’s dark by the box office and so I miss his grateful expression as we’re unexpectedly ushered into an elevator behind two perfectly proportioned blondes. The more platinum of the two drawls, “Going up,” while pushing a button with her fuchsia fingernail.

Both young women follow us into the theatre and meld their lithe bodies into chairs directly next to us. I notice the taller one lets her high-heeled encased ankle graze my husband’s pant leg as she deeply crosses her exposed thighs. But I turn my attention to the overhead banner that proclaims, “The Hip Hypnotist. Is it your turn to surrender?” And another sign to the right that advertises, “Enjoy yourself at our show… you ARE our show!” I squeeze my husband’s hand with affectionate anticipation knowing how pleased he’ll be to see me up on stage as a vivacious volunteer. And the grand finale when the hypnotist asks each participant to tell the audience something they would never guess, something shocking…well, I can’t think of a more fun and bold way to break the news of the baby. I only hope I won’t be too deeply hypnotized to appreciate Denny’s pride.

I’m immediately reassured when a slide show flashes on a big screen monitor explaining that being hypnotized is relaxing, enjoyable, and further elaborating that the subjects will be alert at all times to what is going on around them. And how it only serves to bring everyone into a deeper state of reflection where inhibitions will be tempered. This sounds like exactly what I need. Denny’s biggest complaint? I’m too uptight, too in control, and far too anxious. To have any fun.

I’m not expecting such a frenzied rush to the stage when the MC invites people up and I’m nearly trampled trying to grab a chair in the line-up. I’m relieved to see that I’m seated between two conservative, stuffy looking gentlemen so I feel very at home even though the lights are painfully bright. I glance back into the second row, my hand shielding my eyes as they strain to seek out my husband from the crowd. I am rewarded to see him nod appreciatively. “Just wait,” I say silently, “if you think this is good, you just wait.”

I gently flutter my eyelids closed as instructed and feel a certain warmth radiating from my toes on upward. I speculate if this is the heat the Hip Hypnotist suggests I’ll be feeling, or if I’m just flushing with embarrassment wondering if people think my hairstyle is dated. “Don’t analyze,” I chide myself, “Just go with the flow.” But what is that soft background music? It almost sounds like the instrumental part of The Doors, Light My Fire. I love playing Name That Tune.

All at once, Hip’s voice seems to come to me from everywhere and nowhere, soaking through my ears, dripping into my mind’s eye where it paints delicate pictures with watercolor words. “A river of thought,” he murmurs. “A stream of consciousness,” the voice drones, “a trickle of trivia…” Did we pay our water bill this month I wonder, and visualize the online automatic withdrawal system that I recently activated. But Hip’s gentle touch on my shoulder distracts me from this mundane image as he calmly states that each time he taps me, I will be filled with a deeper and deeper sense of tranquility. I crack one eyelid partway open, then quickly admonish myself in my former preschool teacher’s voice, “no peeking.” But now Hip is counting backwards from ten to one and when he’s done, we’re supposed to open our eyes and find that we’re in a fantasy field of flowers.

Someone lowers the lights and fades the music and I’m horrified to realize I feel no different at all. I am exactly the same. Three, two, one. A panicky sensation grips my throat and I begin to sneeze in succession, four, five times, something I always do when I’m edgy. But nobody says, “bless you” and I realize everyone around me is probably too busy frolicking in their lovely imaginary meadows. And here I am, stuck — trapped inside the same old self-conscious, timid, awkward wallflower persona on this stage while Hip heads toward me with efficient strides, probably to test my level of hypnotization, if that’s even a word. To add to my mortification, the prim looking man seated on my left lowers his face with drowsy oblivion deeply into my lap. Obviously looking to graze in MY greener pastures.

Hip the Hypnotist seems entirely satisfied to raise my arm up and watch it droop down again, apparently checking the “floppy factor,” a true litmus test for hypnotists. He then nods approvingly, gesturing toward me and egging the audience into rapturous applause.

“One more thing,” Hip adds when the clapping dies down, “If at any time during our show, someone next to you in the first ten rows appears to have gone under, please raise your hand and one of our lovely assistants will escort them on stage to join our act. It happens more than you’d think!”

Still alarmed that I’m not under some spell or feeling any different at all, I think back to when I saw this show before. What’s next? What the hell is next? Oh, we stink, we really stink. That’s right. I can fake that. I quickly remember all the things I’ve pretended in my life. Pretended to be asleep when Dennis came to bed, pretended I liked his mother’s obnoxious perfume, and pretended I had my doctorate degree when I was around the snooty women at my husband’s X-mas party. I begin to hold my nose and fan the air, looking suspiciously at the man to my right as Hip insists our neighbor hasn’t showered in weeks. The audience barely chuckles and out of the corner of my eye I think I see Dennis yawn and glance sideways at Blondie next to him.

Next we’re given the choice to be jockeys or thoroughbreds in the Kentucky Derby and I have to make a quick decision which one would be less embarrassing. I’m self-conscious about my size so I decide to be a horse rather than a rider (don’t they have to weigh under 100 lbs?) but once again I’m humiliated beyond belief as Hip proposes that the horses have just done the unthinkable! All the jockeys hold their noses at our imaginary disgusting stench. What is up with this guy and his obsession with odors? But the audience seems to really enjoy this and so I play along, all the while planning my seductive striptease where I can more than likely redeem myself in front of Dennis before I broadcast that I’m the expectant mother of his first child.

It dawns on me that everyone else on stage seems to be genuinely hypnotized as they prance freely around and I can’t believe I’m the only one held prisoner by my inhibitions and hang-ups.

“What’s your name and where ya from?” Hip closes in on me with his microphone and I try to make my eyes appear dreamy and awestruck, the way I imagine they should look in a trance.

“Sharon Henderson from California,” I recite zombie-like.

“That’s a strange racehorse name,” Hip persists.

F*ck I think, I’m blowing it. I quickly add, “otherwise known as Lucky Lady from Laughlin,” I toss my hair like a Clydesdale mane, but decide that actual neighing noises might be too over-the-top. And that’s when I notice Hip’s eyes narrow at me just a bit before he moves on.

Next we’re skiing in the Alps, only we’re doing it barefoot. Easy. Just shiver uncontrollably. After that, we’re at the beach and one of us, (thankfully not me) has a hole in a prominent spot in their bathing suit. Another cinch. I fake a shocked expression while the crowd bursts into bawdy howls. But now I feel my whole body tighten because it occurs to me that after this, it will be time for all us females to become x-rated exotic dancers. I scope out my competition and that’s when true despair sets in. I didn’t realize there were so many beautiful young girls up here. Is that one even legal, I wonder, knowing that alcohol has been served all night long. I can only hope that afterwards, Dennis will be so ecstatic over my pregnancy announcement that he’ll make generous allowances for a clumsy, horselike, foul-smelling stripper reject. I let myself glance at him momentarily, but he seems to be staring down motionless at his shoes.

A sudden prod on my shoulder and I’m introduced to the audience as “Cherry Jubilee,” direct from Paris. I recognize the bump and grind music from some old Broadway production. Great, he has to go and make me a French girl, I lament. I flounce around on an elevated platform twirling my sweater, then sashay stage left because I know Dennis sits off to the right. Hips. Swivel your hips and get your ass into it, I encourage myself and now I’m swirling and swaying pretty good for someone who’s seven weeks along. But the audience starts to taunt, “Take it off Cherry, take it all off!” and I know Dennis would want to see me loose and carefree so I fling the plaid sweater at some man in the front row and start to undo the top part of my silk blouse. I’m indebted to Hip for stopping me mid-button, but not at all grateful for what he spits out next.

“Why, you big ham you! You’re not really under at all, are you? Thought you could fool us fools? But let’s give Sharon a big hand anyhow for her participation thus far,” he says and gives me a hard thrust toward my seat as people hesitatingly clap. As I stare in disbelief wondering what about my dancing could’ve given me away, I hear Hip continue enthusiastically, “But it looks like someone in our audience is highly suggestive and has gone completely under. Let’s bring him up here, shall we? Audience?” Everyone thunders away and I notice Buxomy Blondie next to Dennis wildly waving her hands and pointing fingers at my lethargic husband who appears drunk and perfectly content to be accompanied up the steps of the stage by a stunning red-haired assistant.

It could be my imagination but it almost seems like both the blondes stick their feet out in the aisle to trip me as I try to squeeze by and return to my seat with some semblance of dignity. “Going Thru!” I whisper to them.

All eyes are now on the intriguing newcomer in the spotlight, and I watch as my husband, (now seated in the exact chair I just previously sat in) gregariously introduces himself as ‘Dennis the Menace.’ Hip snaps his fingers and in response, Denny instantly slumps forward in a genuine daze.

I look at my watch and realize the show is nearly at its conclusion except for the ending stunt where everyone makes a single outrageous confession. I’m sad not to be able to blurt out my amazing baby news, but I still feel a few eyes on me so I chortle along with the rest of the crowd as one girl proclaims her bisexuality. Another man dressed in Walmart garb surprises people by declaring he’s a multi-millionaire. One of the younger girls admits being hot for Hip the Hypnotist and everyone shouts, “Go for it!”

Dennis greedily snatches the mic out of turn and leans closely in, characteristically clearing his throat before he talks. I almost think Blondie next to me blows him a coy little kiss, but maybe she’s only swatting at a gnat.

My husband hesitates one suspenseful moment before speaking…

“I don’t love my wife Sharon anymore. I’m having an affair and I’m leaving her.” His burning voice seems to come to me from everywhere and nowhere all at once, singeing my ears as the words blaze into my mind’s eye; an explosive inferno of divorce papers, wedding albums, and abortions ignite together as blonde looks of pity smolder in my direction.

Wow, I’m really going under tonight.

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Listen up! If You Want More Readers, Just WHISPER!

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“Well shake it up baby … twist and Whisper!” Huh? Shhhhhhh, you’ve just entered The No-Shout Zone! Right HERE is an old perfume television commercial with the slogan, “If you want to capture someone’s attention, just whisper!”

And evidently our librarians knew what they were talking about, (and HOW to do their talking!) when they insisted we all speak in hushed tones — and thus eventually associate whispering with the pleasure of reading books. But did you know there’s now something called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) which is a very STRANGE phenomenon that has hundreds of women profiting from making online videos where they do nothing but seductively whisper as they role-play being flight attendants, hairdressers, party planners, eye doctors, and personal shoppers?

Now mind you, this is not supposed to elicit any kind of sexual response in us. Instead, it’s supposed to give a highly pleasant tingling or relaxing sensation like when you’d have a sleepover with a friend and the two of you would draw letters on each others backsides to guess what you were spelling. Some say it’s a “climax of the brain.” Okaaaaay….Here’s a much better explanation right HERE. But that depends on your definition of “better!” Crazy, right?

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO FINDS THIS KIND OF WHISPERING AS OBNOXIOUS AS FINGERNAILS ON A CHALKBOARD???

Forgive me for spoiling all your fun, but I can’t stand the way she forms those “wet” sounds with her mouth, her long pausing, (get on with it already!) and also the overly familiar way she behaves with her hairbrush. In general she’s bizarrely overly intimate with her listeners. My adverse reaction could possibly hearken back to grade school when Jenny Mayron would lean into my desk, cup her sweaty hand around my ear, (so the teacher couldn’t hear) and proceed to whisper some stupid secret that was completely obliterated by the disgusting feeling of her warm, moist, stale breath on my skin.

However an argument might be made that I’m just simply jealous of these Whispering Women because I cannot do what they do.  That’s right, according to my children, I lack the ability, and am utterly incapable of any discreet whispering.

In a movie theatre:

Me: (Whispering) Do you think he’s really dead? Or do you think he’s going to pop up later and attack his ex-wife? And will that be before or after he cuts off her child support?

Daughter: Do you think you could talk any louder? So next time the entire audience can hear you, and not just the six rows around us?

In a restaurant:

Me: (Whispering) Don’t look now but that kid from your football team who can’t catch a ball to save his life, just sat down three booths behind you.

Son: Oh my god, Mom. And you could be our announcer high up in the booth at our game without even using a loudspeaker!

So for the sake of getting some much needed practice with these skills, and also because I’d like to experience what it’s like to bring tingling pleasure to other people just by merely using my voice, I’ve decided that the following scenarios warrant whispering.

ROADSIDE

Me: (Whispering) Didn’t you see my brake lights? You teenagers shouldn’t even be allowed to drive. And it’s a brand new car! What are you going to do about this??!!?

Teen Driver: (On cellphone) Dad? I think I just rear-ended the Low-Talker from Seinfeld.

KARAOKE CONTEST

Me: (whispering Little Richard’s Song) 

We-eee-eeel….

You know you make me wanna (Shout!)
Kick my heels up and (Shout!)
Throw my hands up and (Shout!)
Throw my head back and (Shout!)
Come on now (Shout!)
Don’t forget to say you will
Don’t forget to say, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah . . .
Judge: Okay that was just plain odd. But just in case — hope you recover soon from your laryngitis.
Being Proposed To
Me: (Whispering)  Yes, yes. Of course I’ll marry you. I just wanna shout it from the rooftops, “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with a wonderful guy!!”
Him: Eh?? Pardon me? Was that a yes or no?
Announcing Children’s Report Cards to Hard-of-Hearing Grandmother For Monetary Reimbursement
Me: (Whispering)  You wouldn’t believe the GPA your grandchildren all demonstrated this year in school.
Grandma: Young people today! It’s disgusting how much kissing, hugging, and slobbering over each other they do in front of others. That kind of behavior should never be rewarded! Hmmph.
Kids: Grandma! Come back. NOT PDA! OMG, Great time to perfect your whispering talents, Mom!
And lastly I’ll leave you with a party planner who makes me just want to slap her silly! Give a short listen right HERE and if you have any other reaction besides, “Speak up, Sister!” I wanna hear about it in the comments. Meanwhile, I’m giving a “Shout-out” to Marian the Librarian in Music Man and tonight I’m watching, “Old Yeller” and cranking up the volume!
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Dealing with a NON-Jealous Mate

jealousy-cause-and-cureYou may reread that headline and decide it’s probably a typo. Or you may think having a NON-jealous mate is actually a good thing! And that may be true except … when it’s not.

Bear with me as I relate the following conversation:

Me: So I had lunch today with my publisher, Jamie.

Him: Nice. Whadya order?

Me: Salad. You know . . . Jamie IS a unisex name. Aren’t you suspicious that my publisher is a guy? And feeling a bit concerned that I had lunch alone with a male?

Him: Nope.

Me: Well he is. And he’s actually VERY male.

Him: That’s nice. Glad to know my gender values books.

Now stop right there.  I know, I know. This illustrates he’s perfectly secure within himself. Also it shows he has a ton of faith and confidence in me and our relationship, trusting I’m not going anywhere.

But what does this say about his perception of my potential value and attractiveness? He doesn’t bat an eye that someone else might find me worthy of coveting! jealousy

Metaphor Time:  Every Friday I drag my overflowing trashcans out to the curb. I never worry someone will come by and flirt with my garbage when I’m not around, or try to take it for their own pleasure. And it’s not because I have a trusting relationship with my rubbish . . . well the recyclables maybe. But now consider this – – parked in my driveway is a shiny, new red Mazda. And you better believe I installed an alarm system on that baby!

Aha! What does this tell you? That’s why I just had to find out more. So I told my best friend to call our home phone several times a day and hang up when he answered.

Him: Darn telemarketers.

Seriously?? So I bought myself some beautiful flowers.

Him: That’s so nice that your older kids would send you an early mother’s day bouquet.

Grrrrrr. So I made a big production out of carrying in a mysterious brown wrapped package from the front porch late one night.

Him: Wow. Who’d guess Nordstrom delivers after midnight?

Ugh. So I secretly opened it in my closet, then intentionally left its contents (a lacy negligee with tags still on) out for him to stumble upon.

Him: Ha. Someone actually believes you could wear a size extra-Small.

That does it.

Me: Haven’t you been the least bit concerned over the past few days? And haven’t you seen the amount of friend requests I receive on Facebook from men who look wild with desire?

Him: Yes. I meant to tell you to stop posting those graphic pics of your brisket and brownies.

Me: Sheesh. What will it take for you to feel threatened? To fight over me? To challenge someone to a duel?

Him: (looks around) Is that last question directed at me or did Sir Lancelot just ride into the room?

Me: OMG! Well, would you at least rescue me if I was tied down to the railroad tracks and a speeding train was imminently approaching?

Him: North or Southbound? Sorry. Absolutely. Of course. No question.

Finally! I decided to stop (the hypothetical questions) while I was ahead. He didn’t need to know that (in my mind) the reason I was tied to those tracks was because Jamie, (my VERY manly publisher) had shouted in a fit of jealousy, “If I can’t have you, then nobody can have you!”

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I love hearing from you. Tell me if you get jealous or if your mate ever does?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/rhythmic/

How to Guide (and Chide) From the Other Side!

tumblr_static_cs_theothersideidentity-1If I can just get organized enough, I’ll be able to communicate with all six of my kids (and by communicate, I mean nag) well beyond the grave.

And so will you! Because any self-respecting, obsessive control freak will admit if they could be assured they’d continue to exert the same level of power and control over their loved ones after they’re gone, death will be a highly enjoyable experience!

I’ve figured out a way to do it with the written word!

I’ve actually always used my writing for this purpose. The night before any surgery or cross-country flights, I print out letters “to be opened in the event of my unexpected death” ensuring nothing is ever left unsaid.

Yep I take the phrase, “Any final requests?” quite literally and boy do I make a lot of them!

This isn’t a morbid thing to do when you consider people have issues with “lack of closure” that are so prevalent, they put many psychotherapists’ kids through college.

But most challenging is who will distribute my abundant quantity of heartfelt correspondence? I can just hear my sister lamenting, “Who has time to properly grieve for Stephanie? I’m delivering more letters to her offspring than a U.S. postal carrier on Valentine’s Day!”

And I can’t ask any of my friends or neighbors to do it. One is already tasked (the moment she hears I’m dearly departed) to rush over, shave my legs, pluck my eyebrows, and lay my body out in some kind of Marilyn Monroe position. Another has committed to checking all toilets are properly flushed, sinks scrubbed, and confirming there’s no dog hair on the living room white couch. Finally, the busybody across the street guarantees she’ll make sure my children won’t wear white if my funeral is held after Labor Day.

That’s right – I’ve got Glamour magazine, Martha Stewart, Emily Post, Gladys Kravitz, and The Grim Reaper all rolled into one!

But now guess what?  We can all breathe a sigh of relief and check “Interventions From The Afterlife” off our To-Do lists because I discovered it’s as simple as composing well-timed emails and companies like THIS will take care of everything for you!

That’s right –there are online services that will facilitate sending your next of kin hauntingly beautiful messages (that you write!) postmortem.

My new plan is simple — anticipate all six of my children’s upcoming happy milestones, as well as all their problems, issues, decisions, shortcomings, downfalls, emergencies, divorces, illnesses, job losses, etc. (I can skillfully do this because I hold an advanced degree in Catastrophizing) and then pour out my unique motherly advice, suggestions, tips, guidelines, instructions, admonishments (And because I’m Jewish — brisket recipes and guilt!) to fill up their inboxes during all future appropriate moments.

But with this new age solution comes an age-old problem, namely money. Costs for these emailing services get calculated per word and that will never work for me. Mind you, Adele’s popular song; “Hello From The Other Side” doesn’t begin to hold a candle to the amount of one-sided conversation I intend to send through the years.

I’ll never be able to afford to speak my mind!

So because I plan to remain ever the frugal mother after my departure, (and until these companies offer coupons!) I’ve come up with an alternate no-cost option. It involves just relying on the simple every day world for crucial communication. You know, like “signs” that hold special significance?

I’ve even devised elaborate codes (with a witty deciphering key included) so now family will be able to interpret all my many future messages 100% FREE.

Examples:

If a Crow Soars Overhead = Work is for the “birds,” son. Tell your boss you need a vacation and book a “flight” to Hawaii to relax soon!

If a Train Passes By = “Track” down your sister right now for goodness sake, and take her to lunch before your relationship totally “derails.”

If the Cubs Get Into the World Series = Don’t even think about going to “2nd base” with that jerky new guy you’re dating!

If Your Apartment Gets Burglarized and then a Cop (which Starts with the Letter C) puts Handcuffs on the Robber’s Wrists = My diamond bracelet (Yes, the one you always begged me to wear to school dances) is now safely hidden inside your bottle of Vitamin C, which I knew you’d never take.

If The Sun Rises = Always remember your bright mother will love (and nag!) you for all eternity.

And on and on it will go (I have a completed ‘dictionary’ with equivalent meanings all spelled out!) so my kids are guaranteed to spend the rest of their dying days walking around observing stuff that contains messages from me — Yep, they’ll never rest in peace!

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“Guilty As CHARGED!” (But the Thief Lives in Your Own Home??)

0a3b2cd8fc3a57f55e82c17f42b70ac1And you probably already love this crook dearly! That’s right — If you possess a mobile phone and live with other cell users, a terrible crime occurs in your home at least several times a week.

Your phone charger is either being (A) used without your consent (B) swapped for a seemingly identical, but ever so slightly different charger (different in that the replacement one looks like a starved rat gnawed through the end of it) or (C) blatantly snatched right out of the innocent grasp of your usual friendly outlet, never to be seen or heard from again.

Hanging up posters like this will be totally ineffective.

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Here are some insidious indications that you’re either about to fall victim — or if you’re already missing your charger, it is NOT the result of your poor menopausal memory, which many would love for you to believe.

10 Tips To Detect Cell-Charger Foul Play

  1. Anyone who casually asks you, “Hey, have you seen my charger around the family room today?” is immediately suspect because if they can’t find their own, this means they’ve already set their sights longingly on YOURS, which you believe is safely sequestered behind your locked bedroom door.
  2. Careful of wrapping a piece of uniquely colored duct tape around your charger cord. Such “defective” tape can inadvertently slide right off in the slick hands of a CCCC (Charismatic Cell Charger Coveter) and suddenly you have no identifying mark to point to when trying to assert your position of ownership.
  3. And don’t get overconfident and think scrawling your initials on just the plug part will do the trick. The initial “P” can effortlessly be converted into “B.” And an “H” can easily morph into an “A” (in the right wrong hands!) and before you know it, your cell charger can justifiably be claimed by someone named “Benedict Arnold.”
  4. Think you’re safe because in all capital letters, you spelled out your first, middle, and last name (in Sharpie pen!) all over the darn thing?  Think again. Remember that “As Seen on TV Miracle Permanent Stain Remover” you ordered which failed miserably to scrub the tiny indelible ink mark off your leather sofa? That sucker suddenly works like a charm!
  5. Warning! Seemingly helpful children who regularly play the card game, “Old Maid” (skilled at palming off the ugly spinster woman with crossed eyes and multiple chin hairs!) are instantly experts at redistributing previously mixed-up chargers, making sure you end up with the one in exceedingly ill-repair.
  6. Beware! Your daughter (who often gains your sympathy) by showing you her home screen so you can affirm she has only 1 measly flashing bar left) will one day tip her hand, revealing a screenshot pic taken at 1% battery which she permanently relies on to strengthen her fraudulent case of a dying cellphone. She won’t intend for you to see this, and that’s why it’s known as a “Fraud-ian Slip.”
  7. Household members who know you’re deathly afraid of spiders will enthusiastically shout, “Wow! Would you get a load of that black widow crawling on the INSIDE of our window, right where mom does the dishes!” When you run screaming from the kitchen, that’s when the heist is adeptly pulled off.
  8. Anyone who is overheard using the term, “Frayed” and subsequently witnessed performing strange, delicate balancing acts consisting of holding their hands at weird angles or building a platform out of blocks or tupperware, while charging their phone with something that resembles this . . . icordrx-fixes-your-frayed-lightning-charger-cable-465051-2and the next day is seen strolling jauntily around the house, whistling a carefree rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In!” (while sporting a charger that’s miraculously healed) should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!
  9. Take a hint from often burglarized neighborhoods and form a “Bedroom Watch Program.” Have a designated individual patrolling unattended cords after dark so people can sleep soundly. Report unexpected “unplugging sounds” or “yanking noises” promptly.
  10. Resist the urge to show concern or compassion to anyone who frequently utters phrases like, “I’m running dangerously low and expecting a job offer to come in the next ten minutes.” And if they desperately whisper, “Oh my god, I think I’m about to die any second!” do not hesitate to put your finger on the inside of their wrist while sweetly responding, “You’ve got a good, strong pulse there, soldier!” Then demurely add, “But Bravo! Now go try your act on your sister because she already “borrowed” my cell charger an hour ago.”
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WHEN YOUR CELL CHARGER BREAKS BUT YOUR SIBLING HAS ONE THAT WORKS!

This Will Be the Worst Writing You’ll Ever Read!

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See what I’m doing here?  This is me playing with your anticipation level. You’ll read this post (hopefully!) and instead of hating it (like you are primed to do from the title) you’ll think, “Well, it wasn’t really all THAT bad. She kinda has a “loose cannon” charm to her. In fact, I think I’ll follow her and share this post everywhere!”  Okay that last sentence is me now playing with your suggestibility level.

But my point is that by my downgrading the quality of my writing in advance, you will have lowered your judgment criteria and therefore my chance of success will have increased.

We’ve all gone to see a movie someone raved to us about . . .

“Expectations and Disappointments and Reality…..oh my!”

A bit too much of a mouthful for Dorothy to singsong as she skips through the Cowardly Lion’s forest, but for me — this is something I chant everyday.  It’s how I cope.

Remember the book, The Secret?  Of course you do. The premise went like this: “Envision yourself living in an abundance of love, money, health, (or anything else you fervently desire) and you will automatically attract all of it.”

For months I walked around acting “as if.” I was this bestselling author, so utterly revered and famous that I couldn’t be bothered picking up the phone to deal with all the producers clamoring to adapt my latest intriguing novel into a thrilling movie.

Maybe I playacted this scenario a little too realistically and the frustrated filmmakers gave up on reaching me, contacting Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl!) instead.

Maybe, but somehow I doubt it.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t do well when my expectations are raised through the roof (because roofs can leak!) and the reality never lives up to the vivid pictures in my head.

A garage sale box was too good of a fate for my wretched copy of The Secret. That’s how much I detested its disappointing promising pages.

Besides deep down I believed there was somebody “up there” who had it in for me and made sure I never got what I wanted. I just knew this was true. The proof?  I always yearned for a daughter (the premise of my novel but don’t order it because it really IS the worst writing you’ll ever read. 😉 ) but I kept giving birth to sons (three in a row) so one day I decided to fool the Gender Granting Gods and instead I prayed, “Please bestow upon me just one more boy … so they can have a foursome on the golf course!” The result?  You guessed it!  My first daughter was finally born. Aha! I tricked you, Universe!

Therefore I will now write a sequel to The Secret and call it, “The Terces!” (George Costanza will be my publisher because he also believes in opposite thinking, remember?)

No I won’t write that silly book with the backwards title. But I will say this — I was recently in a very serious car accident (ahhh, you’re thinking — finally an explanation for why this post is completely all over the place!) where I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the truck about to barrel into my tiny red Mazda. In that millisecond, I braced myself to die. I anticipated it to be all over for me. When I opened my eyes and saw white puffiness surrounding me, I wasn’t thinking it would turn out to be airbags. For the first few days, I went around announcing to everyone that I was the luckiest person in the world to have come through an accident like that. Until someone said, “If you’re really so fortunate, why were you involved in a serious crash like that in the first place?”

Perspective.

Are we talking something as simple as optimistic, pessimistic, and realistic here? Do you drink from a glass that is half full or half empty? Or do you just believe glasses can shatter and reach for plastic cups instead? Are you Tigger or Eeyore? Oscar the Grouch or Elmo? Gilligan or the Skipper? Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton?  (Okay, that last pair was just to see if you’re still hanging around here, reading the worst writing ever!)

But now it’s time to take my version of the Stupidest quiz in the world.

Where are you on the Sliding Scale of Expectations?

  1. When you walk into your home after a long day of work are you expecting: a) Smiling guests to pop out from behind the furniture and curtains shouting, “Surprise!” because they missed your last birthday? b) Drawers and cupboards chaotically opened, jewelry missing, and your dog chewing on the soup bone that the burglars distracted him with? c) Ketchup, mustard, mayo, and tartar sauce to be all that’s in the fridge, but that’s okay because you have a craving for Condiment Casserole.
  2. When you post your new writing on WordPress are you expecting: a) These paragraphs are golden, baby! Stats are gonna spin wildly around like the increasing cents on the display when you put gas in your car. b) Nobody will read your words. c) Why do you assume everyone on WordPress is writing their heart out, Stephanie? I’m a photographer here!
  3. When you go out on a blind date, are you expecting: a) Chariots of Fire music to play as you race to the bed the alter. b) To be stood up. c) What era are you from? We date online. Besides there’s controversy over using the word, “blind” now.

That’s it. That’s my entire test. And I’m not giving you a key to interpret what your answers mean either. I warned you in advance that it would be a really stupid test!

And this time you’re inclined to agree, aren’t you?

Dear Reader: Do you have high expectations, (believing in the laws of attraction?) or do you lower them so you’ll avoid disappointment? And quick (no googling!) who said, “Reality . . . What a concept!”bfjznz7igaathtu

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Grounded From Your Own Cellphone?!

1e90696ff70a925f211d2c9e5d1d2b32It happens every single time.  I confiscate my teens’ cellphones (completely warranted and justifiable for their wrongdoings, believe me!) when inevitably I hear their incredibly plaintive (although there’s nothing plain about these dramatic waterworks!) wailings, “This is a fate worse than death. Not fair! Adults NEVER get their cell phones taken away from them — even though they abuse the privilege constantly.”

Never say “NEVER,” kids!

The next time I ground my kids from their electronics, I include myself in the same disciplinary action. Mainly to prove how much it builds character, but also out of curiosity and determination that I can survive it too!

After our three cellphones commune together in a locked trunk, (plus our laptops, iPads, notebooks, Kindles etc. because if you’re gonna build character you might as well go for constructing a superhero!) I hand the only key to our friendly mailman, (don’t ask!) and decide to keep a diary.

LIFE WITHOUT A CELLPHONE 

Day 1 – Dear Diary, the first thing I’ve noticed is that I really miss carrying a chunky, firm, substantial object that weighs me down in a reassuring self-important kind of way. How to fix? Easy Peasy Verizon Easy! I’ll just substitute a nice, shiny, heavy stone inside my jacket’s zippered pouch. Voilà!

Day 2 – Because it’s just after the holidays, today all my girlfriends show off their sleek, new gleaming technology stocking-stuffers at coffee . . . “I got an iPhone 7!” “I got a Blackberry Passport!” “I got a Samsung Galaxy.” All eyes focus expectantly on me as I slowly extract a stone-age “device” from my coat pocket and bemoan, “I got a rock.” I’ll credit Charlie Brown later, when I’m not feeling so dejected.

Day 3 – Today I announced I was going without a cellphone indefinitely to some other mothers at the gym. “Oh but your poor, pathetic family. None of them will ever be able to get a hold of you now!” pointed out one frazzled mom on a treadmill, obviously trying to empathize with my dire plight. I gave her my “seriously?” look, then burst into hysterical laughter while maniacally rubbing my hands together and gleefully repeating, “Yes, yes, YES!”

Day 4 – Tonight I silently remind myself what a newfound sense of freedom I now have! Like a little tyrant, a cellphone just barges into the middle of everything — eating, sleeping, important conversations, blogging, sex, cleaning, jogging, cooking… “You don’t clean, jog, or cook!” shout my resentful children from the hallway. How could they have heard my thoughts, I wonder?  Then I realize — even though I don’t have a silver rectangular gadget to dictate into, (out of force of habit) I must still be unconsciously talking aloud to myself. “That’s right! You are!” they retort again. “You’re not our mother. You’re like a wacky, homeless person now.”

Day 5 – Today I have been informed that even a wacky, homeless person’s children would have cellphones.

Day 6 – I was right. This experience IS building character for me!  In fact TWO very well-rounded characters! Because I suddenly have a new story idea where the antagonist grounds the protagonist from using her cellphone, causing her to lose her pics, her appointments, her to-do list, her friends, her lover, her memories, her mind, and her life! It’s a Sci-Fi Porno. The only problem is I have nothing to write it on. Normally I type my good ideas inside the little yellow notepad icon on my homepage screen.

Day 7 – Ha! All you other people out there are getting brain tumors, crashing your cars while texting, being eavesdropped on by Big Brother, and getting blackmailed for sexting — while I sit here innocently relaxing and eating some healthy fruit. How many calories are in Sour Grapes anyhow?

Day 8 – I prop myself up on my elbows and stare begrudgingly at our family’s two pet parakeets, blithely Tweeting back and forth to each other.

Day 9 – Does Facebook ever send out a search party when people go missing in action? Maybe it’s gone past that point now. A Facebook Funeral! Complete with a newsfeed obituary, eulogy comments, and privacy options so my burial won’t be broadcast live or made public. Just please “Poke” me first, Facebook — to make absolutely sure I’m completely lifeless before sending me 6 feet under with a musically accompanied slideshow of the highlights of my Posting Years.

Day 10 – What am I thinking??  “There’s nothing I used to do on my cellphone that I cannot still do in real life!” I console myself by endlessly repeating this mantra. Where’s that old cork bulletin board in the garage?  Here it is!  I viciously stab it with pushpins, hanging up scores of photos carelessly ripped from home decorating magazines. Take that! And that! Who needs Pinterest??

Day 11 – Today I couldn’t recruit a single soul to play the boardgame, “Scrabble” with me at our kitchen table. I wonder if I’ve been automatically resigned from my “Words With Friends” opponents yet?

Day 18 – Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written an entry in here, but I’ve been busy searching for things to put together for a Cellphone Substitution Survival Kit which will replace almost everything my iPhone 6 used to do!  Turns out I’m gonna be just fine, thanks to the fact that I still own: a landline rotary phone, an answering machine, a typewriter, a radio, 3 wristwatches, a pedometer, a polaroid camera, a bank checkbook (with deposit slips!) a Rand McNally folded roadmap, local take-out restaurant menus, a kitchen timer, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a calculator, a flashlight, a calendar, a compass, a do-not-disturb sign, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a cookbook, The Yellow Pages phonebook, and a tooth that’s blue — not to mention I have an obedient friend named Sari, which is close enough to Siri. The only thing I couldn’t recreate was having an object to put on “airplane mode.” Oh! And I still long for the sound and sensation of a gizmo that buzzes in my purse. However now that I think about it, I sense an even more enjoyable contraption to fill my “vibrating void” will be quickly (forth)coming. (Ahem, you didn’t just read that here on my G-rated blog!)

Day 19 – Today (and only for my poor, uncreative children’s sake, of course!) it’s finally time to put an end to this lifelong lesson and reclaim our cellphones. I triumphantly make the announcement and am immediately rewarded with lots of appreciative cheers. (The loudest of which are mine.) We all gather around the locked trunk to ceremoniously open it and retrieve our precious electronic “friends.”

Oh dear, I think to myself (but somehow my kids still hear me?) — our friendly mailman possesses the one and only key to our cellphone jail and he’s gone on vacation. We can’t even text or call him. That’s right, there’s only one way to reach a US Postal Service worker . . .

And to think I don’t even own a stamp, an envelope, or a pen to put in my Cellphone Survival Kit.

Dear Readers:  What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without using your cellphone? Disastrous or peaceful?

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Will You Participate in Your Life? Yes/No/Maybe

fullsizerender-40Are you bombarded with companies asking you to fill out customer satisfaction surveys, enter sweepstakes/contests, and even requests to call designated phone numbers to report your feedback?

It’s time to turn the tables with some unique variations for your own personal life! 

“HOW’S MY DRIVING??”

“How’s My Cooking?” Post this bumper sticker on the kitchen microwave with the number “1-800-INEDIBLE.” Forward all phone calls to your local Dominos Pizza.

“How’s My Lovemaking?” Leave this placard conspicuously under a pillow and only field the obscene phone calls giving off-the-chart glowing reports.

“How’s My Parenting?” Follow this up with the direct cellphone number to the parent of your child’s very best friend . . .  so they can finally receive the correct feedback you ALWAYS inadvertently end up hearing. “So & So’s mom always lets her wear short shorts with platform heels to school everyday!” and “So & So’s dad says buying a 16-year-old a brand new Mercedes reinforces taking care of nice things.”

EXCITING GIVEAWAYS! 

Punisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes!”  Cash, Prizes, & Trips! Motivate your child to think about what they’ve learned during their Time-Out discipline by having them submit a 300 word handwritten essay. Tell them last year’s winning entry was creatively titled, “Thank Goodness Washing Mouths Out With Bars of Soap is Now Considered Child Abuse!” In the small print, have a legal disclaimer stating there are a few minor typos and “Cash, Prizes, & Trips” is really “Squash, Pretzels & Chips” — AKA their after school snack — when they emerge from their bedroom as the lucky recipient!

“Enter Raffle To Win Giant Shopping Spree!” Darn that pesky keyboard. That should read, “Mopping Spree!” Sponsored by Swiffer, of course.

“You Could Be Holding The Next Instant Winner!” Sheesh, really need to fire that proofreader on this whole contest copy thing. This one is sponsored by Lipton Noodle Soup — just add water and you’re holding Your Next Instant Dinner!

SATISFACTION SURVEYS!

Instead of writing in the comment section about the food and service on the back of your restaurant check, give the quaint cafe a survey to fill out for YOU for once!

  1. What’s your favorite menu item listed under PASTA to cook for your patrons? Don’t you think $29.99 is a bit much to charge for just noodles and sauce?
  2. When did you first get the idea to keep your prices the same but slash the portion sizes in half?
  3. Do your chefs spit in our food when it comes back into the kitchen for a do-over or do they just drop it on the floor?
  4. When your waitress flirts with my boyfriend by touching his shoulder a lot, does she realize I leave the tip?
  5. On a scale of 1-10 please rate your experience with your customers regarding the following:

a) Knowledge of that old adage, “The customer is always right.”

b) Dietary Restrictions and how slappable our faces are in proportion to how many food allergy intolerances we actually have.

c) Weight Watchers wondering how many points your creamy caramel cheesecake is on our silly plan.

d) Regular diners who feel we’ve earned the right to pinch the bottoms of your cocktail servers.

Thank you! We’ll let you know how your answers modify our choosing your establishment on our next night out.

Social Media Marketing

Don’t just cozy up to random new buddies and pals in real life anymore. Ask them to go online first and tweet about how fun you are for a chance to register for monthly membership where you’ll explain how they can earn extra points by signing up for your Friendship Loyalty Rewards Program. After twelve months of swiping their card, they’ll earn a free invitation to your birthday party, a $100 value.

Let me know when you go to leave a comment here if WordPress asks you to rate them with something like this:

 

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They’re not allowed to do that on MY blog today!!

Santa says, “I’m Sorry!” But Why Stop There??

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Youngsters everywhere are getting apology letters from Santa because he’s unable to get his mitts on enough of those wondrous Hatchimals. Yep, parents have gotten smart and are making Santa take full responsibility for lazy procrastinating on buying the most sought after toy this holiday season.

BUT AS ALWAYS, I TAKE THINGS A STEP FURTHER . . .

Template: Santa’s Apology to Jewish Children PLUS A FAVOR!

Shalom Jewish Kinder,

Oy vey, I’m terribly sorry you’re not getting that latest meshuganah fad hatching toy but as you know, you’re not on my gift distribution route — so when I fly by on my sled, sadly I must pass over your house. (Perhaps this is the real meaning of why you celebrate Passover?)  Please know however that it’s the thought that counts and I think about you often. I also think about your poor, exhausted parents who must come up with a new and exciting gift on each of the 8 nights of Chanukah. That’s EIGHT! Non-Jewish children are also feeling slighted they don’t get to stretch out Christmas for a week like you do. A great solution to these dilemmas would be that on just a few nights (let’s say an even six) your gifts will be things like socks, underwear, toothbrushes, and those cool refrigerator magnets the local pizza place gives out. Thank you for your understanding and maybe in your next lifetime we’ll be closer buddies.

Happy Chanukah (or however you choose to spell that)

Santa Claus

BUT WHY STOP THERE?

Template: The Tooth Fairy is Switching Careers!

Hey there Toothless Tot!

Since I’ve now surpassed the age of Tinkerbell, I’m realizing in my line of work that having a good memory is important. Wait, who am I older than again? Anyhow tooth be told, I’m no longer collecting your pearly whites, but instead I’m into recycling glass and plastics so I can save up for a dream cruise to Europe. Each time you bring the bin out by the curbside every Thursday morning, I’ll leave you one of your old teeth under your pillow. When the new guy takes over my old position, you’ll be all set to start raking in the bucks again. It’s no skin off my teeth to make this offer and it’s a win/win for us both. Whadya say?

Also the Easter Bunny just texted me. The crux of the message was that Halloween infringes a lot on the whole candy concept, so he’s now gonna fill baskets with carrots instead. There’s an option for celery, but if he doesn’t hear a real strong preference, it’ll default back to those orange sticks that make your eyesight better.

Wistfully Your Winged Wonder,

The Former Tooth Fairy

AWW, WHAT THE HECK,  IT’S WORTH A TRY . . .

Template: A Terrible Crime Has Taken Place To Someone You Depend On!

To The Family Who Is Accustomed To Everything Being Done For Them,

Recently you may have observed that the contents of your refrigerator have dwindled down to eight fuzzy strawberries, a jar of mint jelly, and a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda. You may have also noticed your clothes not getting magically folded and neatly stacked in your drawers, but instead confined to a laundry basket downstairs. And what about the empty toilet paper dispensers, you ask? And the dust piling up on the piano? Why are there no more Post-It reminders surfacing on the front door, so you don’t forget to grab your pre-packed lunch as you slam out of the house each morning?

There’s a tragic reason for all these changes. We have kidnapped “The Labor Leprechaun” and are holding her captive in the lint trap of the dryer. Let this strange bulletin also serve as a cryptic ransom note. If you want order to be restored in your home once more — beginning this evening, a homemade dinner must be cooked (complete with table set/cleared and dishes washed/dried) nightly if you ever want to see another vacuumed carpet. Do not attempt to alert the authorities at Good Housekeeping magazine, or you’ll never see your beloved Labor Leprechaun again.

Sincerely,

Santa, The Tooth Fairy, and The Easter Bunny

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