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Author: Modesty

Modesty Fiona Blaise was born in Notting Hill, London. At the age of 14, she became a muse for Mary Quant and Vidal Sassoon, gave diet tips to Twiggy, and bounced back and forth between being a Mod and a Rocker. Upon dropping out of school, she became a magician’s assistant, until the tragic incident with the saw.

Halloween

I love Halloween. It’s been my favorite holiday for the longest time, which I attribute to being a distant relative of Bela Lugosi. Where most kids would shiver with anticipation for Christmas, I got the same way with All Hallow’s Eve. My mother used to say that she might not get a birthday card, but she always knew I’d send a Halloween card.
There’s just something delicious about having one night to be anything you wanted to be, whether it was a puppy, witch, clown, Playboy Bunny…and get candy to boot!! Homemade candy apples and popcorn balls! Glorious days…one year, my older cousin Karen did my makeup. I thought I looked glamorous, but more likely looked like a pint-sized hooker. (I later found out she was a “dancer” in a gentleman’s club.)
Then Halloween took a dark turn. People started tampering with candy…I still can’t fathom who would do this. If you were even still allowed to go trick or treating, you could still get candy bars in wrappers, but even those weren’t immune to sabotage…people started giving out quarters, or worse, pencils, small packs of crayons, and in adding insult to injury, toothbrushes.

But one day you’re an adult!! You can go to parties and drink and dance like crazy, and no one looks twice…being dressed like a “Lil’ Devil” or a maid takes on a whole different connotation. Dry ice in the punch bowl and glow sticks in your drink glass…hint: if you’re ever having a Halloween party, track down blue light bulbs. What a blue light does to food is hilariously disgusting.

The best is when everything comes together so perfectly with your costume that no one recognizes you. The joy that this creates is indescribable…it is an invitation to riot, and being completely honest, torture certain people a wee bit. One year I decided at the last minute to go to my neighborhood dive bar for a party. I threw a costume together of odds and ends in my closet/storage bin: tinsel wig, black leggings, high black boots, and a tee shirt with a filthy saying on it. Add a handcuff belt and a ton of well-applied makeup, with a slight Slavic accent…no one knew it was me. Oh, the lines I heard!! I never revealed it was me until long after the party. Then one day, you’re married and giving out candy, only now you find yourself on guard…to what might be on the other side of the door. I was in the habit of having a firearm by the front door on Halloween (just in case) and one night I was glad I did. Doorbell rang, and upon opening it, there were 4 young men…large young men, dressed like they were going to play baseball. Complete with bats. I said, “Aren’t you guys a little old to be trick or treating?” I was rewarded with a sneer, and was informed they were coming back from “batting practice.” I slid my Colt into my waistband, and said “Oh, I just came back from practice too.” They stared and quickly backed down my steps and took off…I yelled out the door “Don’t you want any candy?” The next morning we learned that every pumpkin on our street was smashed, until my house. Damn kids…

Have a happy and safe Halloween, kids!

Who Reads WTF?

Every once in a while, one of us checks our reader statistics. We have a counter that tells us when  someone logs onto WTF. Even more interesting, it tells us what part of the world they’re from…yes, WTF is now global. In the beginning, all our readers were from the US, but recently we’ve had readers from the UK and Australia; Moscow (I’ve convinced myself it’s Putin) and the Ukraine. Recently Beijing showed up! And a couple of provinces in Canada have been regular readers. Lately there’s been a big influx of readers from Brazil…Hello, President Bolasanairo! and there’s a crew in Latvia who have become readers. We find this amazing…it humbles us that our little blog has a global readership. It’s like a regular UN, except with no corruption and greed. I have my suspicions that a small cable channel in Estonia is using WTF material for a show called “Americans – They So Crazy!”

Right now we average anywhere from 500-800 views a day. Now in the vast space of the interwebbies, those aren’t huge numbers. To us, they are astronomical…we never thought we’d get more than maybe 20 -30 hits a day! So discovering that our readership is worldwide and growing is mind blowing.
Knowing this drives us to keep things rolling merrily along, having our readers engaged and entertained. So keep the comments coming and let us know what you think. You can consider it your contribution to Estonia’s television programming!

Going Gray

I’ve decided to go gray. Yep, you heard right: after 20+ years of hitting the dye pots, I’ve decided to let nature take it’s course. I’m going to be my “true authentic” self, words often used by transsexuals when announcing their transition, but I digress….

I was in my early 40’s before I dyed my hair. That finally happened when a much younger colleague said, with no malice, “You know, you’d look younger if you dyed your hair.” GASP! I was taken aback…and punched her. In the shoulder; not hard. I looked in the mirror closely. Yes, there was more silver in the gold than I thought. So I bit the bullet…and now I’m ready to stop.

 Why stop? There are a number of reasons: the expense, the time, and to me, the most important one.. why not? I’m not fooling anyone, nor do I want to. I am no longer working; everyone near and dear to me knows how old I am, and I think my hair will be healthier in the long run. Besides, my hair color does not define me. (What does is a different story for another day.)
This is not to say I’m without trepidation, I mean, let’s be real. It’s a process. What if I hate it, or worse, what if it really makes me look OLD? I mean, I AM old…older…old-ish. Not withered crone from the fairy tales, but “still rocking skinny jeans and black leather while collecting Social Security” old.
Men get a little gray and they’re “distinguished.” Women aren’t as lucky, but that has changed a bit now, with young women purposely dying their hair shades of silver, white, and gray.  I earned mine the old-fashioned way. And it’s going to look killer…

A Word About Flying with Firearms

Flying today is bad enough, but if you’re flying with a firearm, pack your patience. I’ve had to declare a firearm a number of times when flying, and for the most part, it hasn’t been too terribly bad. But one time sticks out in my head, and looking back, I can now find a modicum of humor in it.

When you check in, you have to tell the ticket agent you have a firearm, show it and the empty magazine, and show there is no round chambered. Put it in the case, throw the lock on, and pray it’s in your suitcase when you land.

So I am checking in and quietly tell the agent (a “wee” fella) that I have a firearm to declare, and I start to pop open the case…I look at him and the expression on his face is one of abject horror. He stammers “One moment” and flees, flapping his wrists. I half expected him to wail “I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies!” Well, I don’t know about babies (doubt he ever had to worry about that) but he sure as hell didn’t know his airline’s protocol for checking in a gun.

The next thing I know, there’s a supervisor, two other agents, and Butterfly McQueen standing in front of me…supervisor says, “I’m training these two…can you start from the beginning, so they know what to do?” Sure, I’m fine with that. Meanwhile, all the people in line are watching in fascination, much to my chagrin.

I start from the beginning, go through all the steps, show the gun, etc., lock it up, put it in my suitcase, and wait…then the questions to the supervisor begin. “What do we look for?” “How do we know there’s no bullet in the gun?” (Pay attention, Scooter – I just racked it back to show you) and the best: “Do we need a key for the lock on the case?” (That’d be a big fat NO, sweetie)

Paperwork finished, suitcase closed, and the supervisor says “Any last questions?” And I hear “Lady, what kind of gun is that?” I just smiled.

The kicker is I was coming home from my mother’s funeral, and in my carry-on was a very large amount of cash and her jewelry…gun, cash, jewelry…all I needed was a kilo of cocaine, and I was Scarface’s sister. Makes me wonder if I’m on some “list” with HSA?

My Favorite Aunt

Everyone has that favorite relative…it could be an aunt, uncle, or cousin. There was just something different and special about them that made them stand out in your mind. Mine was my Aunt Peg, who was married to my mom’s brother, John.
Peg was a petite woman with bleached blonde hair worn short, with loose curls on top. She wasn’t thin; she was what some would call “curvy” or if mean, “chubby.” Peg also had an eye condition, which caused her to wear tinted glasses at all times. Those glasses, paired with deep red lipstick, made her seem like the most glamorous person I ever saw up close.
But her best quality was she was funny…she was hilarious! And her humor was appropriate to whoever she was talking to, whether it was a 6 year old or a 40 year old. She was my role model growing up.

I’d often spend weekends with her, and she’d spoil me rotten…I was allowed to stay up late and watch TV with her into the wee hours of the morning, and when morning did come, I’d have coffee (with a lot of milk and sugar.) She smelled of coffee, cigarettes, and her signature Chanel No. 5. Peg’s preferred color was black. Black pants, black tops, black sweaters… Occasionally she’d go rogue and wear a beige top. I never saw her in a skirt; always pants, even at weddings. Looking back now, I see how she influenced my fashion choices, as my closet resembles a professional mourner’s.

One of her many quirks was her hair routine. I’m not talking about the bleach she’d apply every 3 weeks (which I started doing for her when I was 12) but her styling method. The woman used cardboard tampon applicators as rollers.
Yes, you read right: the cardboard housing for tampons. The first time I realized it, I was dumbstruck…why? was the first thing that popped to mind. Her answer: “I get two sizes – small and smaller, and they give me the size curl I want.” I howled…when she took the “curlers” out, she’d run her fingers through the curls, messing them up a bit,  then sprayed the hell out of it. Her hair could withstand hurricane force winds.

Peg was full of surprises. She was an incorrigible flirt – she could have guys 30 years her junior wrapped around her little finger. She loved Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, which was to be expected. But she also loved Elvis and David Bowie, which tickled the hell out of me. I think she envied his hair and makeup from the Ziggy years.

After my uncle died unexpectedly from complications of a routine surgery, her light dimmed…and not too long after, she suffered a massive stroke in her sleep. I arrived to the funeral home early, before the viewing, and realized her hair looked too neat. I reached in and tousled the top of her hair to more resemble her normal look. I felt it was what she would have wanted me to do.

See you on the other side, Aunt Peg…

 

 

Tupperware Hell

As a female of a certain age, I’ve been invited to all types of home parties: make up, candles, clothing, even wigs. But nothing compares to the Hell on Earth known as a Tupperware Party.
You receive an invitation…it promises to be a “fun” night, with refreshments. And there’s “no obligation to buy” anything. Bull…of course you’re obligated, after all, there’s refreshments!
Short of saying a relative died or that you’ll be out of town, you’re trapped. So after sighing heavily several times, you go. Upon walking in, you are hit with an array of plastic storage items; some that you never knew existed. After all, I’ve been reusing the plastic tubs I get my deli takeout in. There are squares for sandwiches; round containers of all sizes, from nuts to a cake (with a cover and handle!) and sectioned crudite containers for parties, butter dishes and pitchers. If you have a house at a lake or the shore, I’m sure this might be of use to you, but since I don’t have a vacation home, did I really need anything? I looked around wildly and took a large slug of the mediocre wine…what could I purchase and not look totally cheap?

The woman hosting the party was extolling the virtues of everything – look, you can transport a cake for the holidays easily! And this 9×12 will hold two dozen brownies, keeping them fresh! And they make great gifts (as if..) for loved ones! As I listened to the group ooh and ahh over the various items, I looked to make my escape – there wasn’t enough wine there to keep me. And then I saw it…it was too adorable. A lunchbox, with various containers for all the things you might put in a lunch…I fell in love. Never mind I rarely (if ever) packed my lunch; this was just too cute for words. So I bought it.
The reason I bring this up is I was cleaning my storage room in the basement the other day and found it, 35 years later. It’s still adorable….and still unused.