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Category: Odds and Ends

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!

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…

 

 

A Phone Call From A Lunatic

It’s 2:30 in the morning. It’s quiet here in God’s Country.

Too quiet.

Suddenly, the sounds of the late, great Jimi Hendrix’ “Purple Haze” blares from my night stand. It’s my ringtone because…why not? It was either that or a recording of me screaming: “THE PHONE IS RINGING! THE PHONE IS RINGING! ANSWER THE FECKING PHONE, YOU IDIOT!”

I move to answer my phone, only because I have left strict instructions to everyone on my address list NOT to call me after 9:00 at night unless they are on fire.

With that in mind, now I am interested. Is one of my family or friends ACTUALLY on fire?

“Hello”

“HEY MAN! WHAT’S GOIN’ ON?”

I knew that voice. My mind reeled through my past, images playing in my head: horrible weirdness, substance fueled, degenerate behavior, mind-numbing madness.

This phone call was going to cost me…

The voice on the other end of the line was Air Wreck Martin. He was born Eric Martin, but became Air Wreck after he spent one night in the 1980’s tripping balls on 27 hits of blotter acid. That was the night he decided he could photosynthesize…

He was one of the most talented fretless bassists I had ever heard. He could play Hendrix’ version of “The Star Spangled Banner”…on the bass…He was absolutely amazing. For almost three-and-a-half years, we toured the Western United States playing some of the best music I had ever played, and partying like the sun was never going to rise again.

I’m not sure what happened, but I think, one night, we partied so hard one of us stepped on my tongue.

We played together until, one day in 1987 I checked his hotel room in Oklahoma City and he was gone.

I hadn’t heard from him since.

ME: “Sleeping. It’s like two thirty in the morning. Where are you?”

AWM: “Sleeping? YOU? What the hell happened to you?”

ME: “Nothing happened to me! It’s late! People sleep at night! Where the hell are you?”

AWM: “Oh, no! You’ve gone to the other side! You’ve gone all NORMAL on me! You and I used to stay up for DAYS! This is NOT good…”

ME: “Wait…What? Where ARE you?”

AWM: “I’m out on my back porch, looking at the stars. Angie fixed me a spaghetti dinner with my secret “Magic Mushroom” sauce, and I came out to smoke a little and found a half full bottle of tequila.

ME: “So you’re tripping, high, and drunk on your back porch…and who is Angie?”

AWM: “Yeah, and I am in the middle of fending off an attack!”

ME: “What do you mean…”

AWM: “Hang on a minute!…”

(I hear the sound of him putting down his phone.)

“…BOOM!…”

(He picks up his phone.)

AWM: “Ha HAAAAA!”

ME: “What the hell was THAT?”

AWM: “Shotgun! Was it loud?”

ME: “WHAT? What are you…What is…WHAT? What’s going ON?”

AWM: “I’m shooting CHICKENS! You should SEE it! Feathers everywhere…looks like SNOW!”

ME: “What chickens? Why are you…”

AWM: “I told that neighbor of mine to KEEP HIS CHICKENS OUT OF MY YARD! NOW I have a virtual chicken STAMPEDE going on! I will NOT be INVADED by FOWL! Do you HEAR ME YOU BASTARD? Hang on a minute…”

(Puts the phone down.)

….”BOOM!”…

(Picks the phone up.)

AWM: “A TWOFER! You should SEE this! Anyway- I know you’re still playing. I’ve heard your music, it’s GREAT! I’ve got a couple of guys and I’m singing, and we want to work with you on an album! What do you say?”

ME: “Well, that’d be great, but you have a voice that’s a combination of Satan and a foghorn. When were you thinking of…”

AWM: “Fantastic! I want to do some REAL METAL! Really edgy. We will take off later tonight and we will be in your area TOMORROW!”

Me: “Tomorrow? Wait…I…”

AWM: “Hang on…”

(Puts the phone down.)

…”BOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!”…

(Picks up the phone.)

ME: “What in the HELL…”

AWM: “OK! I HAVE A SITUATION HERE! (Screams off phone.) ANGIE! GET THE HOSE! (Speaks to me again.) HOLY HELL, MAN!”

ME: “What WAS that?”

AWM: “Part of that was a stick of dynamite. Part of that was a can of gas I forgot was along the fence line. I GOTTA GO! WE HAVE A LITTLE FIRE HERE! I’LL SEE YOU TOMORROW!”

“Click”.

I was stunned. So many questions, and no answers. I still had no idea where he was, I didn’t know who “Angie” was, and I hadn’t had the chance to tell him where I lived.

Somehow, I knew he would find me…Like the CIA, or a stalker, or a madman.

Or the bird flu.
As I put the phone down, my wife rolled over, and in a sleepy voice, without even opening her eyes, she asked: “Who was that? Is someone on fire?”

Sarcasm. Even while half asleep…My wife is amazing! She still hadn’t opened her eyes!

“You remember that bass player I told you about? A guy named Air Wreck Martin?”

“Was he the one that thought he could photosynthesize?”

“Yeah,” I answered. “He and a couple of his friends will be here tomorrow to start working on an album.”

“Hmmmmm,” she said dreamily, rolling back over on her side. “Over your dead body, honey.”

Doomed.

I am truly and completely doomed.

Self-Tanning Torture

We all want to look healthy and golden in the summer…for some it’s easy, for others it’s an exercise in futility. I fall in the latter group.

Back in the 60s, Coppertone was the only game in town, and it didn’t do too much, as there was no SPF back then. Then they came out with “QT” = Quick Tan, a lotion that promised it would turn you bronzed overnight. It was almost too much to hope for…a tan without sitting in the sun and risking sunburn?? Be still my beating heart!
This sounded too good to be true. I was wise enough at that young age not to get sucked into the baby oil with iodine mixed in it, but as an almost albino, a little color seemed like an unattainable goal. So I begged my mom to buy it…please, just so I didn’t feel so Casper-ish.
Big mistake…big, big mistake. Long before Donald Trump became “Orange Man,” I turned into “Orange Modesty.” Not Cheeto orange, but a sickly, melted creamsicle orange. It was disgusting…and it didn’t scrub off. Also it didn’t help things that I basically slathered the whole bottle ALL OVER me. It stained my hairline, my eyebrows, my nails…argh!

You would think after that experience I would have learned my lesson, but noooooo…even to this day, I search for the perfect self-tanner. Some have come close, but each had a drawback: the smell, the sticky feeling, the transfer of color to sheets/clothing, the cost…some made me tan, until I showered and watched it go down the drain, others streaked or left me some weird flesh color, like the old flesh colored Crayola crayon.
I even went to a professional spray tan location to get a tan for a wedding. You get a paper thong and strapless bra thingy (if you want it,) put a shower cap and goggles on and let it rip. Then you stand there for 15 mins to dry before getting dressed. I went home and went about my business, until I had waited long enough before I could shower. I looked in the mirror…and my jaw dropped. I was GRAY, like I rolled in newsprint. I jumped in the shower and scrubbed until I thought my skin would come off. Thankfully, I wasn’t gray when I got out. Regretfully, I wasn’t tan either.

So after all this, I’ve decided it’s my lot in life to look like a sickly Victorian housewife…pale and anemic looking; living in SPF 30.
Oh.. but hang on! QVC has a new self-tanning product on right now!
Let me check this out..

Filet Of Jockey Shorts

So… about the time my ex-husband came home from work to say, “Hmmmm, something smells gooood, what are we having tonight?”

Watching him gaze at the blue granite roasting pot on top of the stove with the most wistful expression on his face was one of the better highlights in my failed marriage of twelve years.

“What time we gonna eat?”

“In about an hour.”

“Damn, that smells so good, can’t I just taste it?”

“Sure! But it’s hot as hell.”

“I love your cooking, honey; I can’t wait!”, as he’s in the bedroom rustling through his underwear drawer.

“Where are my shorts? All my shorts are gone!”

“Hey, I’ve cooled this off enough for you to have a taste.”

I know women don’t boil their whites in a pot full of Clorox anymore, but do it just one time and you’ll remember it forever.