February 22, 2013


           It seems that telephone psychics are on the rise yet again, at least where I live.  I must confess that I’m amazed by the growing number of these people littering the airwaves.  You've seen the ads, haven’t you?  People call in, the psychic gives them a reading over the phone, and then the callers pay for it . . . hoo boy, do they pay for it!
What I don’t understand is why anyone has to call them.  They’re psychics, aren’t they?  They should call you!
I think the ads should be more like this:
Psychic City!  Learn about what’s going on in your life (in case you haven’t been paying attention).  We can tell you your child’s name!  We can tell you if you’re married or single!  We can tell you if you if you’ve recently become engaged!  PLUS, we can make dangerous, relationship-ruining guesses that your husband is cheating on you or that the child that’s on the way isn’t yours!  We can tell you that your girlfriend doesn’t love you, with no evidence whatsoever!  This way, you can stop at the hardware store on your way home and buy that marked-down machete and take care of the problems you didn’t know you had until you talked with US!  We can destroy your life and reduce you to a hollowed out husk of a human being, and the first three minutes are free!  Naturally, we’ll keep you on hold for those three minutes, but after that, the call only costs $11 per minute, with the average call lasting 25-30 minutes.  But isn’t that a small price to pay for someone to completely shatter your peace of mind and send you screaming into the streets?
Of course it is!
Wouldn’t you rather know that your husband is contemplating an affair with his cheap slut floozy secretary?  Though he may not ever follow through on it, he definitely won’t if you poison his oatmeal.  And isn’t that better than tripping through your life in blissful ignorance, with a false sense of happiness and well-being?
Of course it is!
Our psychics are waiting to talk with you now!  Just pick up the phone.  You don’t need to dial anything.  Just pick up the phone!
Psychic City is brought to you by the American Bar Association.


February 15, 2013

Ya Wanna Coke With That?

           This seems to be my week for getting trapped.
This time, it was a pay toilet at a McDonald’s.
Now, understand, I don’t actually eat there anymore.  I just stopped, on my way to eat somewhere better than McDonald’s, because the Montezuma’s Revenge from hell had finally caught up to me from the last time I had eaten there.  I had to either stop or plan on dying my upholstery brown.
I did not want to dye my upholstery brown.
So, in I dashed.
I deposited the requisite quarter in the slot, yanked the door open and, ahhhhhh, blessed relief.
This relief was short-lived, however.
When I concluded my communing with the porcelain god, and prepared to be on my way once again, the door would not budge!  And it was one of those stalls that had an eight-foot door that was flush (no pun intended) with the floor, so crawling out underneath was not an option.
I tried calling for help.  You know . . . at first, tentatively.
“Hello?  Is anybody there?”
Yeah, right.  As if anybody would sweep to the aid of an unknown, disembodied voice emanating from a toilet stall at a McDonald’s in Brooklyn, New York.  What in hell was I thinking?
At any rate, my pleas soon became more urgent.
“Hey!  Someone get me out of here!  I’m locked in!  Help!  Help!”
The only thing this accomplished was to clear out the restroom completely.
So, I did the only thing I could do.  I sat back down to wait for a sympathetic soul or a police officer . . . whoever came first.
 I am a writer by profession, and I have never yet been oppressed by the demon “writer’s block.”  I can find something to write about in almost any given situation.
This one was no exception.
At the time of my entrapment, I was in the middle of writing a novel and was mentally chewing over some pivotal plot details that didn’t seem to be working.  As I sat, my mind set of humming and, low and behold, the solution came to me.
But I had no paper – only a pen.  And the toilet paper was far too thin to use.
This will never stop a writer.
I pulled out my felt tip and proceeded to jot my next seven chapters on the wall of the restroom.  It was brilliant, and I was ultimately thankful for my unwilling incarceration.
By the time an employee (who wanted to use the stall I was in because all the others were occupied) finally bailed me out, all four walls were covered with my scribbling, and it was the finest work I’d ever done.  I strutted out of the stall, proud as could be, until I came face-to-face with THE MANAGER.
“Hey, lady, what the hell ya think ya doin’ writin’ all over the wall like dat?  Ya know how long it’s gonna take to clean it all off?” he demanded.
“I don’t want you to clean it off!  This is the final seven chapters of my novel!”
“I don’ care if it’s the final seven chapters udda Bible!  It’s gonna be washed off and youse gonna pay for it!”
I told him that I would be happy to wash it off after I’d transferred it to a pad.
“I ain’t gonna wait that long!  Customers’ll complain!”
“Well, if your customers are getting stuck in here on a regular basis, they might just be glad of something to read while they’re waiting!” I retorted.
“Read?  Read what?  Why would they wanna read?”
“Look at it this way – you could start a whole new trend.  Entire books on the walls of the stalls at McDonald’s!  Why, people would come from far and wide just to eat your food, then go rushing to the toilet, as they usually do, immediately afterward.  But you’d have something for them to focus on besides the gut-wrenching pain tearing through their digestive tracts!  You’d be a legend!  A pioneer!  Just think of the repeat business,” I cried.
Though unaccustomed to the agonies of coherent thought, this seemed to give him pause.
“Awright, it stays.  We’ll have an experiment,” he said, proud of the fact that he knew a word over three syllables and could pronounce it correctly.
“Great!” I cried.  “I’ll be back tomorrow to transcribe it.”
“Oh, no, lady,” he said.  “Dis is the property’a McDonald’s.  If youse write it down and publish it anywheres else, we’ll sue youse for copyright infringement!”
He wasn’t as dumb as he looked.  Then again, he couldn't be.
So, friends, the upshot of the whole deal was that I had to pay McDonald’s a ridiculous sum of money in order to use my own work in my own book!  And if you know of anyone who would like to own an authentic souvenir pay toilet from McDonald’s, please let me know.  I have all four walls!


February 8, 2013

What Your Pets Do Behind Your Back

         Do you ever wonder that your pets get up to when you’re away from home?
I have my suspicions.
My cat, Tango, is a secretive little creature, as are most cats.  However, mine is not only secretive but, I think, also possessed by demons.
Oh, she’s good at pretending to be a docile little house cat, but lately, upon returning home from work, I’ve noticed cigarette burns in the upholstery, and I don’t smoke in the living room.  There are also rolling papers and catnip scattered everywhere, and the water and food dishes are both empty.  Add to that the paw prints of varying sizes all over the handle on the refrigerator door, and it doesn’t take Stephen Hawking to put it all together.
She has parties with what appears to be (if detritus is any indication) about sixty other cats!
Observing my look of irritation upon my arrival in the den of iniquity that used to be my home, she puts on her most innocent expression and summons up a mournful little “mew.”  This translates to:  “A whole crowd of bandits broke in here and messed up the place and ate all my food and drank all my water, and I was so scared I went and hid, and where were you, anyway?”
“I am not fooled, Tango,” I said, bending down to wipe up the 47 barfed-up hairballs that dotted my oriental carpet.
 “Mew,” she replied.  This translates to:  “No, no!  Those hairballs are mine!  If you brushed me more than three times a day, I wouldn’t be having that problem!  It’s all your fault!”
I looked at her in disgust.  “You know, you can’t go on like this, Tango -- having wild parties all day, and eating catnip like it’s cat food!  You’re going to damage your health, not to mention the woodwork,” I said, indicating a newel post that had been clawed so much it was now a newel toothpick.
“Mew,” she shot back.  This translates to:  “Yeah, yeah, get off my back.  I’m four years old, and I can do what I want.  I don’t need your permission!  Pardon me for living!”
“And, Tango, there have been complaints from the neighbors about loud music during the day.”
“Mew.”  Translated:  “Geez, what CAN I do?!  Am I breathing too loudly for you and your sainted neighbors?  Do you have any idea how boring it is all day around here?  And those toys you give me?  What a joke!  Why don’t you bring home a live mouse once in a while, Ms. Big Shot Writer?”
“And just look at your litter box!  What a mess!  This litter was fresh this morning and now it has about 20 pounds of poop in it!”
“Mew.”  Translated:  “If you’d buy me some decent food, my furry little colon wouldn’t be acting like a Play-Doh Fun Factory, moron!”
Sighing, I stood and threw away the last hairball.  If you leave your cat alone during the day, I strongly advise you to lock up the milk!