Sunday, March 29, 2015

From The Logic Files Of Farmer H

I have a stack of magazines on the living room coffee table. Right where some people would keep their coffee table book about coffee tables. I don't keep the magazines there for reading material. They have already been read. I put them there about a month ago, and told Farmer H to burn them. No use clogging up our trash dumpster that the waste management people see fit to dump one or two weeks a month as they feel like it, the snow or rain in the forecast leading them to cancel at the drop of a pleated clear plastic rain hat in a little flat pouch.

Farmer H walks past those magazines several times a day. Yet they remain. So when he instructed The Pony to harvest the cardboard from around the Mansion so he could burn it, I again pointed out my magazines. "I can't burn them, Val. They won't burn."

Indeed. So sayeth the arsonist who burns a dead goat on a funeral pyre of sorts, and is partial to a phrase about rich people that goes: He has enough money to burn a wet mule. Yet magazines, made of paper, will not burn on his burn pile. Go figure. Maybe we should coat infant and toddler jammies with magazine pages, so very flame resistant are they. And when a fire breaks out in a restaurant kitchen, the grillmaster can shout, "Quick! Toss me a magazine so I can smother the flames!" Perhaps doctors' offices could donate their magazines so that helicopters can drop them on forest fires.

Yeah. That's how ridiculous Farmer H is about doing something he doesn't want to do. Of course the magazines won't burn if you drop the stack onto the fire. You have to set them up on end, or lean them over, with their pages ruffled.

Paperly-challenged nincompoop!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

What Are We Going To Do About Juno?

Somebody needs to jerk a knot in my sweet, sweet Juno's tail. She's getting a little too big for her britches. I, of course, bear no responsibility for her actions.

Lately, when I come to the side porch to pet her after school, my sweet, sweet Juno is...how you say...rambunctious. Okay. Not so much rambunctious as jealously hyperactive. She will not stand still and let me pet Ann, the poor dimwitted black german shepherd. My sweet, sweet Juno seems to think it's all about her!

Oh, I try to trick her by trapping her muzzle next to my neck, laying my arm over her shoulders, and secretly patting Ann on the head. But my sweet, sweet Juno is too smart for that. She yanks her head back and sidles against Ann, shoving her out of reach, all the while whining with excitement and anticipaaaation of her handful of cat kibble. Several times, my sweet, sweet Juno has thrown her head back and clipped my chin with her snout. Sometimes she points her head at the white-spotted black roaster pan and leans the whole side of her body against me so I am incapacitated in petting either dog, and can only grab the kibble with my left hand, while clinging to my purse and bubba cup of water with my right.

The next-to-last straw was last week, when I had grabbed the handful of cat kibble intended for my sweet, sweet Juno, and was in the process of putting it down on the porch boards at the feet of that second suit-of-armor metal guy that Farmer H got at the auction for The Pony. Just as I was beginning to open my fingers to drop the kibble, my sweet, sweet Juno bobbed her greedy head down to partake of that delicacy. Her mouth knocked my hand onto the porch, where, for some Not-Heavenish reason, we have a strip of asphalt roofing shingle laying cattywompus on the boards.

My middle finger first knuckle was scraped raw by my sweet, sweet Juno's antics.

I might have to cut her snack rations.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Suiting Him Right Down To The Ground

We went to get The Pony's tuxedo for prom today.

As you might guess, The Pony doesn't really care what kind of tuxedo he gets. Doesn't even care if he has shoes to wear, since he will be walking on air beside his paramour, and maybe even holding her hand! I don't know that. I suspect he would dearly love to. But I'm not sure he would make such an advance, because if there's any human on the face of the earth whose feelings matter to The Pony, it's the feelings of his little gal.

I had been looking for tux rentals on the innernets. The only one I could remember was over in bill-paying town, from when both boys were in their brother's wedding. I saw one very close to Newmentia, with the unfortunate distinction of having "flower girl" in the name of the establishment. You know what that means. The Pony had no desire to go there and ask about tuxes, even though it showed the line they carry on their website. "Mom. I've never heard of anybody getting a tux there. I thought they only did flowers."

So today on our way to the third of our seven listed stops, but the fifth of our actual nine stops, we passed the flower girl. "Oh Mom. Did you see that? They had a sign in their window that said "Tux Rentals."

"No. I did not see that. We're already past it. Going to where you want to rent your tux." In all actuality, I had consulted my BFF Google, and then asked the #1 son about where he had gotten his two prom tuxes, and made my decision. It's right next door to my eye doctor that gave me the worst glasses I ever paid for. Which is not, I hope, an omen.

The place looked deserted. "I think it's upstairs for the tux rental. You drive around to the side." That Pony sure knows a lot for being ignorant of the ways of prom. That side of the establishment was also deserted. The Pony jumped out and galloped to the door to read the sign. "It says they opened at 10:00." Since it was already after 11:30, we went in. #1 said the people there were super nice. He was right.

The counter girl showed us a slanted countertop area much like the ones where you sit down to look at dress patterns in The Devil's Playground. Not that I sew a lot of dresses. Or even know if they still have that counter. But as a child, I spent many a minute sitting on those stools browsing through McCalls pattern books while waiting on Mom to make a decision.

"Oh, we already know what we want. I named off the collection, the tux style, the vest/tie color, and The Pony looked where she gestured at shirts, and picked the plain one (that costs $15.00 more) and the shiny shoes. All that was left was the measurin', the payin', and the cryin'.

And as an added bonus, they had a bathroom in the vestibule between the outer and inner doors.

I highly recommend this place. Unlike the optometrist next door.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Justice Is Meted Out To The Little Slacker



The honor of the slacks has been besmirched! An embarrassing stain appeared Tuesday evening on the upper right thigh, in a dribble that could be misconstrued by those wanting to cast aspersions upon the toileting accuracy of one Pony Hillbilly of Hillmomba, USA.

The khaki slacks! Jake from State Farm would have a tremor in his voice if he knew he was wearing stained slacks. I felt bad for The Pony. He did, after all, stop by the dispensing station of the faculty feeding frenzy on conference night to pick up our meals and deliver mine to me. Therein lies the problem.

We always order out on the night we have to stay until 7:00. We’ve tried different vendors over the years, from Chinese to Mexican to Subway to a local bar and grill. This year, we changed Chinese restaurants in favor of a new one, rumored to be less oily, where one of our students works. It goes a little like this.

All morning people are wondering if we’re going to order out. Not wondering enough to take the initiative and send around an order sheet. But wondering just the same. At lunch, one of the shifts decides where the food is coming from. They discuss their order. Sign up and pay. Then through the afternoon, the teachers from the other lunch shifts grouse about being left out. Soon enough, whether by design or out of shame, a student is sent up and down the long hallway of Newmentia to show a menu and take orders from other faculty. It is considered polite to give extra money for tax, and not be a miser about getting your exact change back. A tip for the driver who goes to pick it up, even though the chance to leave the grounds and puff a smoke are usually incentive enough that the delivery job does not go begging.

Since The Pony had to stay all that time with me, I ordered a dinner for him as well. I’m sure many a comment was made about Mrs. Hillbilly Mom ordering TWO dinners. Teachers can be so cruel.

So…the food arrived. Before I even knew it was there by the announcement over the intercom, The Pony was carrying my food into my classroom. “Oh. I heard the teachers talking about it down on my hall when the food got here. So I left the ATV room (that’s what I call it, but it really has a different name) to get my meal. Somebody there asked if I was bringing yours to you, so I said, ‘Sure. Why not?’ And here it is.” Yep. That Pony sure has no interest in helping people.

“I’m sorry about this mess on your desk. It was leaking when I picked it up. In fact, it got all over me.” He grabbed a Puffs and started wiping it on his slacks.

“NO! That will leave tissue crumbs all over your slacks. Get some Germ-X and dab it with your finger. I’ll scrub your slacks before I wash them. Until then, you’re just going to have to walk around with a stain on them.”

“Eh. I’m just going back to the ATV (not his words) room. I’ll be okay.”

Poor Pony. We know how he loves his slacks. But he loves sweet-and-sour chicken and internet access more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yet Another Sideline For My Proposed Handbasket Factory

You get a line and I'll get a pole, honey

You get a line and I'll get a pole, babe

You get a line and I'll get a pole (and a bucket full of worms that I found on the Newmentia parking lot this morning after a rain)

And we'll go down to the fishin' hole

Honey, baby mine.


Every time it rains, the blacktop parking lot of Newmentia is covered with worms. Not big fat earthworms as thick as Farmer H's pinky finger. Not writhing red wigglers like my dad used to pick up after turning over a piece of tin in the back yard. Kind of in-between. Three to four inches long, about the thickness of three strands of spaghetti, with pinkish ends. All over the place. I could pick them up and stash them in a plastic garbage can with dirt and crushed leaves and newspaper and garbage, and start my own worm farm.

That way, I could sell live bait off the counter of my proposed handbasket factory.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

He's A Real SHOW Pony

I am pleased to brag report that Newmentia's Scholar Bowl team placed fourth in the conference tournament on Saturday. Let the record show that there are more than four schools in the conference. Eleven, to be exact. Many of them are bigger than Newmentia. Like the ones who took places first, second, third. But that's okay. We are competitive.

The Pony won a medal for third place in individual scoring. The kid who got second is a National Merit Scholar finalist, and a senior at the school that finished third. Not too shabby. I read about him in the paper. I don't know the pedigree of the kid who got first.

After the tournament, The Pony was off to the bill-paying town with his cronies to play some D & D at a game shop. Let the record show that he was NOT driving. Farmer H had been to the tournament to watch him, and was staying to bring him home. Then he was left holding the back passenger seat when The Pony ditched him to ride with his friends. He gave permission, though.

I went to pick up The Pony after gaming. He was at a drive-in restaurant by the park where we always picked up my mom for our bill-paying trips. When he came out, that giant medal on its red/white/blue ribbon was thumping against his chest, and he was smiling from ear to ear.

"Oh, Mom. I won third place individual. The medal is really cool, but they didn't put the place on it. Just the tournament. Look at the back! It's like a rainbow."

My little Pony. I think he's ready to leave the paddock.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mayhap A Sign...Mayhap Just Faulty Wiring

This morning on the way to school I told The Pony about an article I read in the paper. Just because, you know, I'm sure he has nothing better to do than be my captive audience while he sits in the passenger seat behind me, where I can barely see a corner of his face in the rearview mirror. As opposed to the frontview mirror, I suppose. I don't know who came up with that name. Probably the same folks who made "new baby" happen. And not Gretchen Wieners.

"Hey! I read that the funeral home caught on fire. There was supposed to be a funeral later than afternoon, but they had to move it to a church. The electrical panel burst into flames, and the worker dumped powder on it. I don't know if that's a good idea, because I know powder can start a flash fire. But that's what the paper said. I don't know what kind of powder they'd have in a funeral home."

"Oh, they do make a powder to put out fires. Because, like with a grease fire, you can't use water or it will spread."

"I guess they had some at the funeral home. The fire department called the electric company to come shut it off at the transformer, and another fire department from the next town covered the firehouse while they were watching the funeral home. Now nobody can have a funeral there until it gets inspected and declared safe again."

"You mean safe enough so a dead body won't get hurt?"

"I don't think that's what it means. That people can't have a funeral there. Wouldn't that be terrible, to have your family member there, getting ready for the funeral, and then it catches on fire?"

"That's what you'd call a bad omen."

"Yeah. Hopefully not a foreshadowing of where they're going."

"Exactly."

We are not socially acceptable sometimes, The Pony and I.