What a perfect Halloween Day it is! The sky is dreary and even the birds refuse to sing. I went to the store last night and considered buying candy for the kiddies but quickly abandoned that plan. The large bag of chocolates was $13.98! Whatever happened to penny candy? Being the frugal person that I am I have decided to pass out sarcasm. I’m sure the kids will appreciate my efforts. Sarcasm is the gift that keeps on giving. No one says “Oh, I already have one of those.” You can re-gift sarcasm without fear of hurting anyone’s feelings. Ok, so it can hurt a little. What do I care? I’m sarcastic. Here are a few comments that I’m passing out today. Feel free to re-gift as often as you like.
- People say I’ve got no taste but I like you.
- I’m not insulting you, I’m describing you.
- I don’t really hate you. It’s just that if you were on fire I’d roast marshmallows.
- I was hoping for a battle of wits but you appear to be unarmed.
- I’m not arguing. I’m explaining why I’m correct.
- Aww that is cute! You actually think I care!
- I’m not stubborn. I’m just always right.
- If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do that for you.
- Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.
- I am not young enough to know everything.
- If you ever become a mother can I have one of the puppies?
- Every time I look at you I get a strong desire to be lonely.
- You can be anything you want when you grow up. In your case though, you should probably aim low.
- Don’t be humble. You’re not that great.
- Today I have successfully beaten my all-time record for most consecutive days lived.
All Hallows Eve is quickly approaching. It’s supposed to be a time of remembering the dead but I’ve never seen anyone actually do that. We dress up in costumes and beg candy from our neighbors but no one actually sits down to recall dearly departed Grandma. No, at this time of year we prefer to pretend that the dead are unknown to us and have only come back to frighten our pounding hearts. We go to haunted houses where maliciously murdered dead ones walk towards us with evil in their eyes.
Spiritual beliefs in this country are extremely random which makes this holiday a bit confusing. First you have to believe that a soul can be stuck in purgatory before you can properly celebrate. Unless you believe that Uncle Fred is hanging out in that mysterious place between heaven and hell then singing him into heaven seems quite silly.
I think we should bring back the practice of “Souling”; the custom of baking and sharing “Soul Cakes”. How can this be bad? We get to eat cake and the tormented soul is released. Somehow Americans have turned this into trick-or-treating which is not nearly as much fun if you ask me. Besides, have you priced candy lately?
The mystery of the afterlife has many scholars though I’ve never met anyone that has actually been to the other side. I know there are the few that swear they saw God in the middle of open heart surgery but I find this hard to believe since they are still here. We do have the Bible for reference but no two denominations can interpret it the same way so it seems it is still a guessing game. (Insert lecture about being guided by the spirit here.) I do have some very definite beliefs of my own but I do not have tangible evidence of their existence.
For this All Hallows Eve I think I’ll have cake and wine just in case. I wouldn’t want to disappoint any lingering spirits. It’s for the good of the dead you know.
Traditional Soul Cake
8oz butter or dripping;
1lb black treacle;
12oz fine oatmeal;
12oz 85% extraction flour;
8oz soft dark brown sugar;
1-2 tsp ground ginger;
1 tsp salt;
1 tsp cream of tartar;
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda;
4 fl oz milk
Set the oven to 325 degrees F / 160 degrees C / Gas Mark 3. Grease two 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 inch Yorkshire pudding tins or one larger roasting tin. Warm the fat and treacle in a pot in the oven to melt them. Mix all the dry ingredients except the bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Mix the bicarbonate into the milk to dissolve it.
Pour the melted fat mixture into the dry goods, and add the bicarbonate and milk. Stir thoroughly, turn into the tin(s) and level the top. Bake in the smaller tins for 1 1/4 hours, in the larger one for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Cool in the tin(s). Keep, well wrapped, in a cool place for at least 2 weeks before cutting. Serve cut into squares or bars.
I fear I may have married a pig. His messes have become unbearable. There is clipped beard hair on the bathroom sink, something sticky in front of the refrigerator, a half drunken glass of tea on the end table, shoes pouring out of his closet and I can’t even explain what is going on with his dresser. The drawers are always open with things strewn on top and around it.
Losing my mind
Dear Losing my mind:
You obviously have no idea how intelligent pigs are. It is clear that you are unappreciative of your husband. You really should take stock in what a great man he is. It is an honor he bestows upon you in allowing you to straighten his things. You are just lucky he lets you stay there. Try to be more obsequious. He is doing his best to make you feel needed and you have the audacity to complain! I am so disappointed in you.
Being a man is very hard work with many responsibilities. He does not have time to waste with dishes or laundry. Yes, he is thoughtful enough to allow you employment outside of the home to keep you enlightened. He even allows you to pay some of the bills with your income so that you won’t feel totally useless. Have you taken the time to thank him for this? I think not!
My advice to you is to clean up after him without so much complaining. No man wants a woman who bitches all the time.
Home is where you can color on the walls and nobody freaks out. Just take my word for it. Never color on your friend’s wall.
Scrumptious meals are made with loving hands to nourish all that choose to enter. Really anybody, y’all just come and I’ll feed you. Not having children has never stopped me from cooking for an army when I have more of a tiny squad at my disposal.
It’s a place for feet to be propped and troubles to be forgotten. Just don’t put your dang muddy shoes on my coffee table or harsh words will be slung in your general direction. Seriously, your Momma don’t live here.
Sanity is never questioned here. These people know your lineage. It’s just assumed you’re a few bricks shy of a full load. If you do by chance say something coherent we’ll celebrate by rubbing it in the neighbors faces. Maybe that’s why they wont speak to me? Sure, one little naked jaunt around the house in the rain and everybody freaks out.
Do you ever think about dropping random things into women’s purses to see if they’ll notice? Nothing mean, just things to make them scratch their heads. I’m thinking maybe some jock itch cream would be funny. A Ziploc bag of marshmallows or a crescent wrench could do the trick. You could do it at a party and then go around the room asking for lotion. When they search their purses for the lotion you get to be present for the confusion.
These are the kind of ideas I have when I am without adult supervision. When my Mother turned 60 I had one of my ideas. I bought a birthday card and took it around to all of my co-workers. I had them all write a wish for her in the card as if they were her friends. Some of them were kind enough to write remembrances of the time she did _______. No, she didn’t know any of them. When I had the card covered in memories that never happened I wrote a reminder for her in the card. “It is a proven fact. One of the first signs of Dementia is when you don’t remember your own friends.”
I’m such a good daughter.
Judgmental Kitty says you’re evil
Where is the denim skirt clause in the bible? There has to be one. Why else would all those women choose to wear them? It’s not because they’re pretty or comfortable. People do some strange things in the name of religion. Don’t try to make sense of it because there is no logic there.
The strangest churches I ever attended were the “Full Holiness” or “Pentecostal”. Those people are freaky. As a teenager they scared the hell out of me. Apparently certain ones of them can see the evil in you and will start trying to cast it out of you if you’ll just come to the alter. First they have to put some olive oil on your head. I’m not sure how this scares the devil but it does make your skin and hair soft. Then someone grabs you as if you were trying to escape and begins to speak gibberish. There is lots of yelling and sweating. Casting out demons requires much spitting as you expel the holy words that sound a bit Chinese. If you think “The Exorcist” is scary try attending one of these churches.
Looking back I don’t know why I didn’t run away screaming. The whole thing is just bizarre. The preacher yells at you first so you know just how evil you are. He spends approximately one hour pointing out your faults and making you feel guilty. He’ll inform you of how unworthy you are as you sit in your pew trying to remember what you did that was so horrible. When he is done yelling at everyone the pianist will play a somber tune so you can confess your evil doings. The preacher and the deacons can see your evil aura and begin intimidating you into walking down the aisle. Whatever you do DO NOT go down that aisle! Sitting in the pew is pretty darn scary too. The people that God favors start chanting in an unknown language. Their hands are raised in the air as if they are trying to grab something. Maybe they just have a question and are trying to get Mr. Screaming Preacher to answer it.
During somber tune time you can be healed of any physical ailment. No need to go to the doctor. Just head on down that aisle. They’ll put oil on your head and pray for your healing. If you believe then you will be healed. If you are not healed it is because you did not believe enough and are therefore exhibiting your evil again. You’re going to need more yelling at.
Had don di, Econ di, El Shaddi – that’s what he used to say when he was speaking in tongues. Please forgive me if I have spelled it wrong but I do not know this language. I never could speak in this tongue nor could I understand it because I was too evil. You can’t get filled with the Holy Ghost unless you’re pretty darn near perfect. I’m not sure why you want a ghost to get inside you but this is the ultimate goal at these functions.
In one particular church the older women get the ghost inside them every Sunday. They would begin their chantings while flailing their arms about and sprinting around the church. Then when the Holy Ghost got in them they would pass out in the floor. The first time I saw this one of the women hit her head on the corner of the pew on the way down. Knocked her out cold but no one was concerned. Since she had the Holy Ghost it couldn’t cause permanent damage. I thought about sticking a mirror under her nose just in case but I would have to walk down that aisle to get to her and that just wasn’t going to happen. People were stepping over her to get to the alter. The service went on as usual while I’m shaking in my pew because I’m pretty sure she’s dead.
I think I’ll skip the haunted house this year and just go to church. They’ll scare the hell out of you for free and when they follow you to the parking lot you’ll run away screaming even if they don’t have a chainsaw in their hands.
I am not a huge giver to my community. Let’s face it; there are some weird folks out there. That guy who walks his dog all over town creeps me out. Not that dog walking is creepy. I do it all the time. It’s the inordinate amount of time he spends grooming the large furry mammal in public. It borders on worship.
Then there’s the backpack wearing bicycle guy. I’ve watched him for the last two years and I don’t think he’s ever changed clothes. I’ve heard people say he lives in town but I’ve seen him coming out from under the bridge on more than one occasion. I can understand how someone can become homeless but it’s not a career and yelling at yourself while biking down main street does put people off.
So, the dilemma is how do I give back to my community without worrying about creepy dog guy slashing my throat? Well, I chose UMCOR this year. I’ve done it before but this is a great way to help others without fear of losing a limb. We leave on Sunday for a week long stint in Baldwin Louisiana. We’ll probably work in the warehouse assembling items to be distributed to those that need them. It really is a great program and I will have done at least one good thing this year. I’m actually looking forward to the physical labor. We stay in a dorm like setting and our meals are cooked by Cajun gals though we do have to wash our own dishes.
This will be the first vacation I have had in six years. I know, you’re supposed to run to the beach or some tourist trap for your great escape but I’m not a beach person and responsible me needs to save money for a new roof. Oh, the joys of adulthood.
So, what do you do to give back? What makes you feel good about yourself?
I don’t want to grow up. I know, I’m 40-ish now but this whole “adult” thing just isn’t working for me. My bits are moving about without permission from me. I don’t want two chins. If I stopped being responsible I could run and play. Then this extra chin wouldn’t be here because I would be skinny from all the exercise I was getting. I would never be anxious if I could only ride my bike more often. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with humanity. We just don’t play enough.
When can we call a recess? I think we should have time-outs for adults. Not the kind where you have to sit in a chair and be quiet. We do that anyway. It’s called work. I think our time-outs should be an order for silliness.
- You yelled at a coworker for not meeting deadlines? Well, that will be two laps across the monkey bars for you young man!
- You got pulled over for speeding? I think a game of kickball is in order here.
- You didn’t make your bed this morning? You’re going to have to jump on it for at least 15 minutes.
- You’re behind on the laundry? Build a fort with it in the living room.
- Late for a meeting? Skip all the way there.
Being grown up was supposed to be fun. This is the time when we can do what we want. Why aren’t we doing that?
I keep reading that you should omit adverbs from your writing. These things are utterly useless and don’t contribute a thing. (Crap, even some strings of words are considered adverb phrases.) As a lifelong adverablist (Yes, I just blatantly made up a word.) this is rather hard to do. I had no idea how often I use adverbs in my everyday speaking. Since I carelessly write like I speak I am now considering how many poorly (Give poorly a chance. How else will you know I wasn’t speaking well?) spoken conversations I have had. Don’t adverbs punctuate and emphasize (Yes, I know you were not necessary.) your statement?
I cannot let them go! I will not let them go! I am an adverbalist! My jauntily written words are hastily typed and somewhat absentmindedly penned. (Dang phrases!) Take your obnoxiously judgmental attitude elsewhere. How can proper grammar possibly reflect my emotions? My head hurts now. I fear I may have nightmares about redundant phrases. Punctuation is not far behind. Why must the English language be so difficult?
I am dead to adverbs; they cannot excite me ….Mark Twain- “Reply to a Boston Girl,” Atlantic Monthly, June 1880
I ran into a little traffic jam this afternoon. Actually, this was the second one I ran into on my way home.