My brain appears to have a doppleganger. That is a scary sentence, you guys.

I believe this [Ed. Note: severely edited and condensed for your sanity] conversation will provide the required evidence to show that my brain has a twin. And that leads me to believe that there are other hosts out there walking around with a grey, squishy skull resident who behaves in the same way as mine and, apparently, Jon’s. Yikes. We are all clearly siblings separated at birth and ruled by our skull residents. Shhh, don’t let them hear us.

Greg, you should probably be weighing in on this one.

JDud:   

I need to capitalize on more of my ideas. I mean, I saw this this morning and was, like, SMH. Brilliant! http://goo.gl/sKOOHD

SScott:

Jesus, man what the hell happened? Why weren’t you on that?

wait your talents should be going in the other direction — liquor prep

picture something similar yet it’s in the bar area

maybe with a dude attached

JDud: 

hmm

SScott:

so he can be all “Yes, sir” and stuff

JDud:   

I’ll call it “It’s 5 o’clock, NOW”

SScott:

See? So, let’s flesh this out.

It’s your clock again – you’ve designed that already

JDud:   

yep

SScott:

The one with the REDACTED Trademarked material

Now, you have Jeeves standing there all official. I’m not sure of his purpose. But I think he needs to be in the mix. Maybe he’s a robot

But he needs to be very subservient

JDud:   

Classic Jeeves would be great but no one is going to get a Wodehouse reference these days.

SScott:

Hmmm – i’d agree – philistines

JDud:   

luddites as well

SScott:

damn this is good stuff I’d like this to be my new job

JDud:   

Them: “What do you do for a living miss?”

You: “Ideas, lots of ideas. For instance, do you have a minibar at home?”

T: “Why, of course not. Why would I need a minibar at my abode?…Wait, that’s amazing!!”

Y: “See. That’s what I do. Bye.”

SScott:

Yeah. It’s starting to look a little thin when it’s typed out like that.

The School Nurse: Part the Second

I mentioned some weirdness around my kid’s school nurse. And people, the story continues.

My kid noticed the nurse strolling around at recess. She may have been sniffing the air around the kids. I can’t say for certain. I’m guessing she didn’t notice if any of the kids were holding their privates in agony with an obvious need to use the facilities. (That part will make sense in a bit.) The purpose for the nurse’s recess visit became apparent later as the teacher relayed the following message, paraphrased only slightly, if at all:

Just so you know, the nurse would like you to bring deodorant to school, if possible. And if you don’t wear deodorant every day, I suggest you do.

I would like to point out something very interesting. When the kid gets home every day, she has a bladder so full that talk is impossible until the restroom has been visited. Because the kids are only allowed to pee once during the day. Unless it is a DIRE EMERGENCY. Which is when you can beg and plead for the bathroom pass. And you may not be awarded that pass unless it is quite clear that you are about to pull a Kristen Bell and pee in a jar. (I could have used Howard Hughes, but he seemed to be a little more into the urine storage biz.) But, anyway, smelliness will not be tolerated!! Pee on your neighbor if you must, but don’t stink up the air. Pollution of the B.O. variety is expressly prohibited.Your kidneys mean nothing to us. Your bladders may become filled to the brim with urine, and we couldn’t care less. If they (your bladders) resemble giant parade balloons, may the force be with you. Enjoy that bus ride home. But we will not abide the unholy stench of your underarms. You have been warned.

Now, I hear what you’re thinking. No, really. I do. Yes, I’m in your head. You think I’m overreacting. But seriously, these kids can only go to the restroom once a day? What’s up with that? Are they afraid that they are in there throwing some sort of wild party to which only one person is allowed to attend at a time? And if so, do they not realize how very sad such a party would be? I would not want to attend that party. I’m standing there talking to myself? I do that every day. What’s the difference, huh? That’s not a party. That’s everyday life. So, as I was saying very longwindedly, they aren’t allowed to pee (a clear hygiene situation), but oh man, let’s make sure we address any stench that may emanate from their pits after playing on the playground. I think this nurse has a button, and I think we know what it is. I have a hypothesis. I believe that when she was a child, she was Mommie Dearested in a very strange way, and instead of “No wire hangers!” it was “No deodorant!” And so she was tormented by the other kids in school for being the stinkiest kid in all the land. There’s no other possible explanation. [Ed. Note: Yes. There are plenty of other possible explanations. Many of which are even plausible explanations. Let’s go with this one. It’s a touch more imaginative.]

Life is a bowl of cherries consumed while riding a rollercoaster.

[Ed. Note: Don’t grade me on this one, people. There was no editing AT ALL. There’s usually SOME editing. A smidge of editing. At least a glance at my completed post before I actually publish. This time? Nothing. There will be blood mistakes.]

Yeah. I could have just used a sarcasm tag at the end of “cherries” in that title, but I really needed to get the image of a rollercoaster in your head to explain that there are highs and lows around these parts. And, people, every low is a real shit show. But enough about the lows. I’d rather talk about the fact that at some point relatively recently, I regained the ability to succumb to the giggles. I’d lost that for a while. A really long while. As in years. You know the giggles I’m talking about, right? Those really great belly laughs where you finally regain your composure only to be triggered again, and you’re off and running for an unbearable (to anyone unlucky enough to be a part of your surroundings) period of time. Helpless to stop the madness until it’s runs its course. The people around you are either: involved in the joke and are crying with laughter as well; slightly amused at your inability to control the snort that slips out from time to time; puzzled; or rapidly losing patience. Two of my best friends from back in our Cisco days — (Hi, Kathy! See you tomorrow!) (Hi, Vicky!) — and I were often reduced to stumbling around doubled over with laughter and tears of epic proportions. Ah, the good old days. I can’t even remember the things that would set us off, but I remember so many days spent laughing together with complete abandon, and with utter disregard to any spectacle we might be making of ourselves. Laughing until my stomach hurt so badly, and I’d have to grab a seat to regain my composure.

And those days are apparently back. I’m desperately hoping I’ll never lose them again. Conversations with my daughter are the genesis of many of these fits of uncontrollable and prolonged bouts of laughter. She is a loon. Like me. I worry about that sometimes, but she’s much more together than I ever was at her age, so I think she’s going to be all right. I subjected one of my other really good friends to one of these terrible fests of hilarity on a phone call recently as I was trying to recount an earlier laughing spell and triggered an entirely new one when I used the wrong word and basically spent stupid amounts of time laughing helplessly and trying desperately to regain some measure of control so we could continue talking. He was not similarly amused. Which helped me get my shit together enough to continue our conversation, and I allowed myself full privileges on prolonged laughter later in the day whenever I remembered what I said along with his deadpan response.

I went out to dinner with some friends recently, (Howdy, Stephen! I know you read this, so I’m calling you out, man.) and I found myself back in the laughter zone when my brother recounted a story about his mailbox. If I told the story it would sound about as banal as a story could get (mailbox?!), but my brother’s delivery is spot on every damn time and typically has a way of hitting that sweet spot of making it impossible for me not to laugh uproariously, regardless of my current circumstances. Like, if I was in the middle of a restaurant, and it would behoove me not to be quite so loud and obnoxious. Eh. Whatever. That story was funny! And it could have been tears, people. Like I said, rollercoaster. I’m thrilled to be spending this much time howling with laughter these days.

Hey, it’s time to get to the point of my story, and it’s going to be so damn weak after all that. I work in a tall building, and I attended an emergency response training. Something I’ve never done before. It was pretty fascinating. I’ve worked in a number of tall buildings. Never considered much of any of the things we covered in that meeting. Yay, I’m stupid. It was interesting to note that when the security guard asked if anyone had felt the building move in strong winds, some of the people looked a little weirded out. Even though they were on a high floor in the last location. I think it’s because you get used to the sensation and don’t realize what you’re experiencing. I notice it often and find it oddly cool. Why? I have no idea. I’m one of the biggest chicken babies you’ll ever meet. Would I find a fire in that same tall building cool? I would very, very much not find it cool. I would find it beyond terrifying because a lot of people have to get out of that tall building in a very short period of time by descending a narrow and terribly long stairwell. Did I mention that we are on one of the highest floors? That spells trouble, people. But I also have a bit of a dark sense of humor. Therein lies the problem. Couple the ability to anticipate how terrifying that situation would be, and add in a dash of dark humor while your charming security guards are demonstrating the handy safety travel seat that’s available to transport those who are unable to navigate the stairs in an evacuation because they are incapacitated in some way. Et voilà. During the demonstration, the security guard said something about the safety travel seats being a real slowdown in the evacuation process. And mentioned that an alternative to taking the poor chap strapped into the seat all the way down to the first floor and out of the building would be to leave that same unlucky dude stationed by one of the stairwell doors. He very emphatically stated that it was critical to come and tell someone in charge that the fellow was without transport and would need a lift out of the building. I believe this is when I chimed in with, “Well, this got very dark pretty quickly.” And I laughed heartily. Please understand that this was a group of like-minded people, and everyone was dark humor-equipped. It was not only me. Stop judging.

And as we strolled back into our offices after the demonstration, I said that our lesson of the day was that you either needed to make sure you were always capable of navigating the stairs in the case of an evacuation, or make sure you were well-liked. I mentioned to everyone that my only chance of scoring a ride all the way down to the first floor would be to offer a bribe. I began with $400 but immediately upped it to $1000. And as I mentioned it to one of my friends, she said, “Exactly. The minute they deliver you to the exit, you hand them the cash.” I confessed to her that I had foolishly pictured in my head handing them the fat stack of cash at the TOP OF THE STAIRWELL. You know, like a boss. Which means I’d be up there all strapped in to my neon yellow safety travel seat parked at the stairwell door awaiting the firemen to come and collect my stupid ass. Because my co-workers would be downstairs already planning all their new purchases with my $1000. And this is when the giggles came. Because I couldn’t get the visual out of my head. My look of surprise as they accepted my money with looks of pity mixed with a healthy dose of barely-disguised disdain. My look of disgust as they parked me by the stairwell door of 17. And, finally, my look of chagrin as I realized I had no one to blame but my own damn self. Come on, firemen. Please save my stupid, sorry ass. And on and on, the images swirled through my head. I couldn’t stop laughing. But then it was time for the security guards to wrap up the training. Which meant it was time for me to pull my shit together. Stop the giggles. But I can’t control them! And DEFINITELY DON’T SNORT, STEPHANIE!!! Slight snort squeaks out. Did anybody hear that? Damn IT! I don’t know if they heard it, but the giggles are now out of control. Hide your face behind a tissue. They think you aren’t taking this seriously. DUDE! They have guns!! Well, I mean I don’t know if they have guns at the current moment, but they have access to guns. They told us so. They might have a baton. They are going to knock my ass out. I’m going to be laid out unconscious on the floor because I’ve got the giggles. Is my bladder full? For real?! Am I going to have a bladder control situation as well? Silent laughter is the bulging bladder’s killer.  Oh hell no. Why are you doing this to yourself??? You know the tears are falling now, right? You are laughing that damn hard. Sure, it’s silent laughter, but you look completely nuts. I mean, seriously?! Tears? OK, casually wipe your eyes with the napkin while continuing to try to suppress the giggles. Pull yourself together, woman!

I hope I continue to struggle with giggle suppression. Because it means that I still have the ability to laugh with abandon like this. Nothing beats uncontrollable laughter in my book.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day which means it’s time for kids in elementary school to pretend they like everyone. I’m here to assist.

So your kid wants to write a personal message on all her valentines this year, but that one kid keeps calling her miscreant and she’s not really feeling the love on that one, huh? No worries. I’ve got some very nice entries below for your kid to use. No charge. Seriously.

  • You are a person that I know. Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • You’re dressed in clothes. That naked dream didn’t come true today. Yay! Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • The girl that sits next to you is named Callie. Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • It is winter. Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • Your pet appears to like you. Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • You rode the bus to school today. Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • You’ve never peed your pants at school. That I know of. Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • One whole day you traveled the entire school with your zipper down. You displayed an enormous amount of fortitude that day. Everyone in school was immensely proud of you. We wanted to tell you, but we didn’t want to negatively impact your act of courage. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Now get out there and write those cards, kiddos! They’re due tomorrow.

ICYMI: Just in time for flu season, I got to travel in a germ-tube. So stoked, you guys!

So, look, I’m freelancing and very delighted to be doing so. Don’t get the wrong idea, people. That post title is between me and the germ-tube, and me and the germ-tube ONLY. Hey, germ-tube, “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” Anyway, as I made my way through the germ-tube of derision that stood between me and my place of glorious biz (come on, you know that germ-tube is so totally mocking us as it makes us mince ever so slowly through to the other side), I realized it was a splendid time to revisit this post. And here we are.

You won the first round, but it’s not over, revolving security door. OK, you are a machine, and I’m merely a human. So, I guess it’s probably over.

Published on October 15, 2013

The revolving security door at my office rejected me last Friday. It flashed green when I swiped my badge tricking me into entering its little tube of contained crap-air, and then halfway through my journey to the other side, it stopped completely, trapping me with nowhere to go, and started belting out an alarming noise to alert people from miles away that I was unwanted. AND THEN IT REVERSED DIRECTION AND EJECTED ME. In front of a line of 10 waiting people. That dastardly machine lured me into its embrace, then deemed me unworthy and booted me in front of my colleagues. I stumbled dejectedly to the back of the line to wait my next turn, afraid to meet anyone’s eyes while clamping my lips tight against my rebellious mouth that kept wanting to loudly assure everyone that I had indeed bathed today and was most definitely not afflicted with some frightening virus that would soon bring them all to their knees. Then the little shit let me in again the next time I swiped my card and ushered me all the way through when there was no line of people left to witness my exoneration. I got in after it gave me the green light giving it the stink eye during the entirety of my slow shuffle-walk because, you know, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Anyway, that time I was escorted all the way to the other side. Technology likes to mess with me, I guess. It’s just like Google Maps punking me.
So, to the creator of the revolving security door*, I know what you were up to when you created your little spinning torture chamber. You wanted to mess with certain types of people, didn’t you? My suspicion is that you hate germophobes, claustrophobes and those likely to make stupid mistakes. I am all three of those people, so thank you sir/madam.

  • For example, the germophobes. I happen to be one of those, though I fight it with all my might. And one time I had to follow a coughing and sneezing man into one of those tubes of germy air. I counted the line of people in front of me and guess who got to enjoy his tube when he exited after having his coughing and sneezing fit inside? That’s right, me. It’s not the poor man’s fault. Dude’s sick. He was just trying to get through his work day while dealing with the nasty flu or cold. But before he could start his work day, he got to enjoy a little rotation in his private tube which he filled with sneezes and coughs. I bet he was pretty glad to exit his tube on the other side. And then I got to get in there. I tried to surreptitiously hold my breath. But you would not BELIEVE how slow those damn revolving doors move, and I have the lung capacity of a gnat. My breath ran out about halfway through, and I was forced to choose between presenting the security guard my dead carcass which she would have to drag out of the way so that others could pass, or to just suck it up and suck up the germy air. I chose option B because I love my family, and it seemed like a pretty shitty way for the security guard to start her day. So you’re going to call me a liar, but I got sick a few days later. I’ll give you a moment to call me a liar now. Feel better? But yeah, I really did get sick. Am I sure it was the same virus? Yes. No. Yes! At the very least, it seems a bit suspicious, don’t you think? I shouldn’t have asked you. You aren’t a germophobe. Moving on.
  • Next example, claustrophobes. Clearly I was lucky to be ejected from the revolving security door because it’s obvious that its underlying malicious intent (yes, I’ve now included the door in the conspiracy) is to mess with people who are claustrophobic by trapping them mid-cycle and letting them panic in their little see-through tube while bystanders point and stare. I suppose you, sir or madam creator, described the reason for trapping an unauthorized person in mid-spin was so that they could be interrogated by security personnel as to their nefarious plans. Ah, but then why did your little trickster door flash green and admit them entry in the first place? If they are an unauthorized person, shouldn’t your little invention have stopped them? Huh? Huh? You’ve got no answer to explain that one, do you? I’ve exposed your vicious purpose.
  • And finally. The last group of people. Those likely to make stupid mistakes. That’s me. Those little tubes are of course meant to be single occupancy. Yes, I know this. But my attention can wander. Particularly when I’m talking to someone, and we are having an entertaining conversation. And maybe that person has a bit of a wicked streak. I don’t blame that person. I have a bit of a wicked streak, too. And let’s say I’m talking to that person, and I wander into a tube with a gentleman and things get a bit awkward as the tube is quite overloaded with the two of us. And I find myself spooning him. And if I was that other person with whom I was conversing, would I try and stop my friend from entering the tube? I most certainly would not. You do not interfere with a situation such as this when the result is going to provide you with side-splitting laughter for years. I’m laughing so hard I’m tearing up as I type this, and the embarrassment I experienced as a result of it was off the charts. Anyway. I’ve blocked some of this incident out, but I’m certain that the doors blared their alarms, and the poor man and I were forced to exit. Still sorry, sir! And I’m certain we were able to make our way through again successfully the next time. I also feel certain that the man gave me a wide berth every time he saw me after. I know I would have. But I would imagine that sir or madam designer of the revolving security door may have foreseen some of these types of situations and thought, “I cannot WAIT to visit this kind of misery on people.”

So, now here I am. Dueling with this revolving security door. Who do you think is going to win this battle? Exactly. I have no chance. That stupid door is going to mess with me, and there’s nothing I can do about it, because now it has my badge code.

*Yes, I know I can google it. I did a little sleuthing, and I found it all started with a German man who invented the revolving door and got no glory. Then, some Philadelphia dude did it because he hated holding doors because he’s lazy as all hell. But the security part came later of course, and I think that is the key component to all this madness. Then, I lost steam and here we are with sir/madam.