TIPSY TURVY

As I ignore the implication of massive martini usage, even though the thought does cross
my mind several times in a twenty four hour period, I’m hardly what I would call a heavy
drinker. Being a full time loadie would only qualify me a membership with the Rat Pack.
Seeing as they aren’t around to hold me up, I’ll proceed to fend for myself.

As a woman with a need to unwind, this responsible merrymaker does not need to relinquish her many cork crafted art pieces and Vodka bottle vases. And why should I be targeted anyway when there are about three trillion other women walking this earth who adore the fermented sedatives themselves. I don’t know what more I could possibly do to not be port, pilsner, or Patron possessed. I can’t help it if people say I’m wide eyed and bushy tailed when they reference my falling into some shrubbery. I lost my balance. Perhaps I lost my balance after being out with my happy hour girlfriends. And of all the liquor licensed joints in all the towns in all of north San Diego county, my neighbor had to see me out-shining myself, and left me dumbstruck by some of her sentiments. My friends love me no matter how much I embarrass them, because they appreciate my gosh darn brilliant style of expression. As for divulging those rather genius qualities, because I don’t need to do it through a thesis and attending four years at Brown University, I’m going with the off chance that I’ll not run into my neighbor again when I moonwalk on her lawn.

I totally believe in the detoxification system. That’s why I began the regime of sloughing
off dead skin cells and moisturizing more often, but had to stop that when the street light
in front of me turned green. I’ll be perfectly honest here. People have seen me silly, and almost never sloppy. My parents had cocktails every night. But they had ten kids. I would have a cocktail every hour on the hour. Now if you find me asking to borrow your phone and I start singing Walk Like An Egyptian while dialing Cairo, then I’d say it’s cause for concern.

Let me tell you a little story about when some alcohol saved me…

It was a beautiful summer weekend with not a cloud in the sky. A gal pal introduced me
to the island of Catalina. Now since I was native Michigander, I wasn’t accustomed to this much water. Even the Great Lakes don’t have this much water. On the day we were to return home, we weren’t able to take the first boat back and had to wait for the afternoon ferry. In the few hours we waited, the winds picked up and the sky turned dauntingly deep gray. A humdinger of a rainstorm let loose, as did the surging of the sea displaying gigantic swells. It ignited the fear that we would be embarking on the ride of our lives. I kept visualizing myself either submerging into the intense darkness of the Pacific never to be found again, or becoming the next stranded castaway on Gilligan’s Island. We, the landlubbers, went to the boat dock and asked the experts if any of their seafaring ships ever sank. They said, “Not in fifty years.” They could have said NEVER. One girl told us to go to the pharmacy and buy Dramamine and we would be fine. Now I’m not advocating drugs mixed with alcohol by any means, unless your life depends on it. We bought the motion sickness relief, AND looked for a place that sold anything spiked. We found one such a place, and were satisfied with our double dose of remedy relief HECKWITHITOL. Because we almost didn’t make the ferry after having too much fun straining our vocal chords by trying to stay pitch perfect with Billie Holliday and her ever so appropriate rendition of Stormy Weather. After Name That Tune, we became unscathed mariners and boarded the vessel as it swayed to and fro with waves flying high on each side. We rocked the whole way home pretty happy while watching attendants pass out puke bags. I felt the urge to further strain my larynx by singing, “How dry I am, how wet I’ll be, if I should die, within this sea.”

Another voyage that caused an arrhythmic heartbeat was a Boston trip I took with a
different girlfriend. Her job gave her such perks as extravagant all inclusive trips, so in
turn I had the perk of being her friend who could go with her. At one point we were
waiting for a Hyannis Harbor cruise, sitting outside a pub with the President of American
Express himself who generously bought us drinks. I wondered how coherent he was when he pulled out a Discover card to pay the bill. We weren’t plowed, but we sure were smiley sailors among the hundreds ready to ride this ferry. We got to our seats and began the water tour when somebody got their hands on the ship’s microphone. I heard a man’s voice say, “Patty Clark?” I looked around in astonishment. “Patty Clark, don’t you remember me?” What were the odds of another Patty Clark? I’m looking rather puzzled at this point as the voice continued to razz me. After several minutes of trying to connect a face to the voice, I realized the trickster who just happened to pick me out of the crowd, had seen my name on my name tag when I boarded ship. He was just a teasing sea captain trying to jumpstart his comedic career. I’m sure Nat King Cole would have given me three thumbs up for playing along with my off key response of, “Yes, I remember you, you’re the one who made all my dreams come true a few bedrolls ago!”

What can I say. I like to unwind, AND sing.

HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A WOMAN UNWARNED

Being descendant free gives me other freedoms. I am free to skip a meal and enjoy a cream puff. Free to go wherever I want. Free to roam around in old undies with the utmost faith that I won’t kick the bucket in the hours I’m dressed. The first order of the day is to research my many travel options, like transiting to a store to buy new underwear. But every time I go somewhere I run into life surprises. Like when I transit to my gyno, because no one warned me early on how fun that trip can be. Especially when my MD of small talk always asks how I’m doing. I figure he should be telling me how I’m doing after the exam. I think I should shake things up a bit and offer another response rather than the same routine answer of “fine” when I’m clearly not fine lying naked in front of someone I’m not having sex with.

I try to go with my parents same belief not to dive head first into stupid ventures. Not visiting my gyno would be stupid. So next time I see my doctor and he asks what I’m up to, I will snicker and say, “I’m time traveling at the moment. Wanna come?” Or should I ask, “Will you show me yours since I’m showing you mine?” As long as he doesn’t stumble and fall within striking distance of me while holding a sharp utensil in his hand, I’ll be good to go about traveling to many other places as well.

Every morning my head flies off the pillow in anticipation of a daily excursion. I seek out scads of different locales because I’m just that adventurous. Yesterday I got adventurous and had a BLC. I made a bacon lettuce and cucumber sandwich since I didn’t have a tomato. One place I’m scared of journeying to is a bowling alley. I am afraid my fingers will get stuck inside the holes and I’ll go racing down the lane right along with the ball then conclude the game with a concussion. But I would go trekking along any glorious ocean bordering highway only if I can be notified three days ahead of a tsunami. And I would definitely use MapQuest again if I don’t mind that my final destination could be in a lake or another state.

The next time I get the impulse to blast through the skies backed by the finest winged technology, in the event of lost cabin pressure, I want a parachute ready. Not an oxygen mask. I have already felt the gravitational pull when I was yanked into Walt Disney World by my children and rode the Summit Plummet. Though I did attempt to appease their satiating desires for castles and carousels, their thirsts for Splash Mountain however had my body soaked with megatons of wetness. Nobody advised me that I would be automatically entered into a wet t-shirt contest and have to journey home looking like a drenched dish rag. Then I shuffled into the Tower of Terror. I’ve taken trips to crazyville, but this was close to insane.

Since I didn’t come west in a covered wagon like my children would say I did, I have never really seen middle America. But I like dangerous rock and cliffy plateaus as much as I like long stretches of deserts with megathermal climates. The pulsating need for visiting vast chasms carved from solid mineraloids in oven temperatures I can leave for other risk loving canyon climbers. And my lack of good seawoman skills will be a relatively good argument in whether or not I should take a cruise. Strong is not a word I would use to describe my desire for ocean swells and heavy blocks of ice. The only iceberg I need to chisel away is in my freezer. It’s enough being around saltwater dangers without somebody noticing my Ked’s and trying to talk me into Sperry Top-Siders. The musical group Every Mothers Son never had me with their Come On Down To My Boat Baby. I can be nautical at home sailing bathwater and slip knotting the rope handle that’s on my loofah. Besides, getting fitted for a hat is the only way I want to be capsized.

When I travel far from home into any remote wilderness location without warnings of what lurks behind redwoods, I’m left with choices. It would take pulling from the thrill seeking sanctum of my soul the better decision to just drive to the end of my street and back. If one choice means lugging the whole contents of my home to go play house in the wild, that’s about ninety more steps to irritation. Not to mention I’m easily affected by deer dung. I might have to shoulder a rifle after seeing Deliverance. Because again, nobody informed me that I would actually have to enlist in the Swiss Army to acquire a Swiss Army Knife. Unlike hotels, forests are not interested in my comfort, my allergies, my preferred brand of cooler drinks, or how I like my omelets. It doesn’t take much pleading on a bear’s part to get what he wants in terms of food and winning an argument. And there’s no complete privacy if I have to squat in the woods to pee. But with my fervid connection to nature, I can rest easier by surrounding my home with weenies, artificial poison ivy, and pictures of badgers, while spraying Febreze into the exterior fan for the added exhilaration of outdoor wholesomeness. And in case of a fire, I’ll have S’Mores ready. Not only can I look around at all the lovely God-given gifts that surround me, I can be patio productive and breathe in some good fresh smog. I just need to be forewarned of monsoons.

EVERYTHING HURTS

I feel french baguette and butter good. I feel french baguette and butter, and olive good. I really feel french baguette and butter, and caper berried olives with my martini ecstatic. And I’m usually as joyful as a student seeing an A after an exam, unless I’m testing positive for TB. It’s when I exercise my joints moving furniture and faux painting a vaulted ceiling that I should feel Richard Simmons good. Instead, everything hurts.

Pain, pain, go away, come again some other day. It’s even difficult talking about the subject without grabbing ten Tylenol. Life is enough of a rascal without extra strains to the lower back and hits to the heart. Seems I just get a paper cut then turn around and put a nice gash in my thumb while cutting an apple. And if I could just aim a Philips head in the normal direction of a screw, or not run my toes into end tables, I wouldn’t be nearly in need of painkillers. I don’t know about you but I need both my fingers and feet. Having uninvited and universal animals pee on my petunias really hurts my vocal chords. And ladies, how about those breathtaking nipple clamping mammogram coming out parties? I can only hope a nine magnitude quake doesn’t come along and traumatize me even more. Even the truth hurts. Add some other calamities and we could end up with broken hearts along with bones and vertebrates.

Being a robed and bench sitting member of the judicial court system can be a rather painless position unless you miss hitting your gavel by a few inches and pound your other fingers by mistake. Although, I can’t see Judge Judy doing this. And no one knows more pain than a stuntman. It makes me wonder why an actor makes a few million more dollars than the person who risks their life. Then there’s the killer job of being part of a soap opera cast where someone is always offing someone else and leaving viewers with quivering emotions. Then a dame gets dumped. Or some doctor botches somebody’s botox. And some would say it’s awfully painful being a suburbanite with the pressure of having to be the first of your friends to own a top of the line Thermador.

The IRS taunting me at tax time is a real pain in the neck. I want to say, “I didn’t expect this to be the American woman with a touch of crackpot Inquisition!” My audit-ory system fails every time I’m provoked by interrogators, and makes me want to fill in their forms with a bit of Francis Scott Key rephrased. “Oh say can you see that I’m broke? Living with broad stripes and bright stars is truly a perilous fight. This may be the land of the free E-File, but still home of the salary slave.” Recalling labor pains and its aftermath, where was the painless camaraderie by the time I had teens? Mothering a rebel is so dang heartwarming that most of the time I kept a steady supply of Tums. And yet, it also hurts to see the big nippers leave the nest. It’s like watching Buzz Aldrin get misty eyed if he has to part with his space artifacts.

I am also recalling one past pain filled incident when I went for a simple spin with a guy on his motorcycle. He pulled a wheelie and I fell flat on my tush in the middle of a four lane boulevard. Had the roadster actually kept his one tire grounded, I may not have skinned and scarred my whole backside. So I learned 1. Never hitch a ride with silly boys, and 2. STOP myself from accepting any offers that could potentially be
hazardous to my hiney, even if it is IN THE NAME OF LOVE. Because the iodine sting on a sore hurts far worse than the actual injury sustained from such a silly boy.

To loosen the old tear ducts once more, all I have to do is rub up against a cactus. Except I love being in beautiful garden settings, surrounded by succulents and morning mists. Which is why I spend most of my weekends in the Home Depot Garden Center. And I certainly need tissue relief when it comes to prowlers and carjackers. Although, my vehicle isn’t stealable. But let’s just say if it was a Cadillac Escapade, there are fool proof anti-theft systems such as putting a blow up doll in the driver’s seat holding a weapon. I don’t want to cry a river with anyone else, plus feel their pain when they can’t find their hotrod in the mall parking lot.

Speaking of malls, I saw a woman crying in an outlet breezeway. I presumed her toddler had disappeared which was why she was yelling olly olly oxen free, or she lost her credit card. She was upset because the ice cream store went out of business. Now that IS suffering. So I ask you, who can take a rainbow, wrap it in a sigh, soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie? The Candy Man can. Surely all of us need a little sweet tooth and dark cocoa singing sensation healing now and again to take away the agony.

Did the pain subside after Pearl Harbor got bombed? And what about the Titanic catastrophe? What if Rose had never met Jack? And really, what if Harry had ignored Sally? I know I profess to be a DAMSEL IN DIS MESS living under such futile living conditions with all the DIScomforts, DIScombobulations, and DIShpan hands. I keep marshmallowing my way into the chocolate and graham cracker layers of life only to be held over heat and eaten alive. Just because I’m on my billionth layer of cold cream doesn’t mean I won’t end up with wrinkles. And just because I woke with the sunshine doesn’t mean we won’t have a torrential downpour this afternoon.

Another day, another restful period ruined by bellyaches and bellyachers. Chronic pain is no laughing matter. But chronic complainers about pain could point themselves towards an offshore rig headed for a very secluded island. An estimated 100 million people are afflicted with suffering each year, and the normal pain threshold should not exceed 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Then pain turns to third degree burns. I would hate to start an opioid, otherwise known as opiate dependency. You know, that little narcotic derived from the resin of an opium poppy that dulls the senses. Much depends on the ache tolerance. It’s tempting though, since I have always loved that flower. The only other solution would be not getting out of bed in the morning. But I love french baguettes and butter too much to do that.

FOGIES SCHMOGIES

Whoever said aging was dullsville never met my dad and all his cronies. I’m happy to say that they are far from being the general population of curmudgeonly company often found in Florida, a place better known as the final frontier to those in their golden years. Living there doesn’t necessarily mean you have one foot in the grave. The lives of these kings and queens of condos consist of teasing each other unmercifully and carefree rounds of golf whenever they darn well feel like it.

The joyride began when I scheduled a Florida vacation. It was either a visit there, or take a chance on a trip and fall, and possibly plummet to my death in the Grand Canyon. Truth be known, it was a long overdue stay with both my dad, and my sister Martha, who now lives with him since moms passing. So I took the chance that I wouldn’t run into any alligators, hurricanes, or other forms of probable fatalities. To hear my father’s excitement on the phone before my arrival, and see the nice smile on my sister’s face at the airport, warmed my innards. Because being with kin means everything, unless you’re an active member of the Manson family.

The first night there, nine of us went to dinner followed by a game of Farkle at Joe’s house. We weren’t even into our first sips of cocktails when the shenanigans began. Pat proceeded to tell us about the red ants that bit him on the wrist that left a long red line up his arm. He told the doctor that amputation was not an option if he can never play golf again. Gentle giant Bob said with all Pat’s ailments, he would be looking for a younger crowd to hang out with. The inquisitive Pat asked Bob, “Why weren’t you at the clubhouse breakfast? I thought you died!” Leaving the restaurant one of them yelled, “Race ya to Joe’s!” Feeling fairly comatose after the big meal with drinks Joe yelled, “Have we all settled down after that rowdy dinner?” The dice was thrown and one landed in my sister’s lap. Excited Joe screeched, “I’ll get it!” With signs of the sniffles, Pat sneezed and said, “Geez, I almost blew my ears off!” Joe pronounced, “I’ve only been sitting near you for three minutes and I think I’m catching your crappy cold!” Joe gave the dice the sign of the cross and was quick to tell Pat not to get boogers on the table. I was glad he knew the proper medical terminology for mucus. Martha leaned into the pre-occupied Pat saying, “Pay attention to the scorecard will ya and not your disease!”

I can’t remember my ninety year old father acting so happy-go-lucky. And his compadres were comprised of the most vibrant bunch, gallivanting around with such gusto. I get winded just thinking about his itinerary. M, W, F = eighteen holes. Mon night gin rummy. T, W, TH = bridge. Dinner with friends Thursday nights, and Friday night Euchre. He fits in crossword puzzles when he’s not watching tournaments on television. And on top of it, he joined a gym. Bulging biceps combined with wit and charm could be the reasons why women want to show up at his door with casseroles. But I’m sure Martha will be chaperoning any Spin the Bottle playing in their living room. And my sister has a rope ready to hang dad with if he climbs anything higher than a Stairmaster. I caught him transcending into the grocery store cooler trying to reach that last hidden in the back Lean Cuisine. With that sort of enthusiasm, I thought for a minute there that the freezer section sold golf balls and he was climbing halfway to heaven for Titleist Pro V1x’s. I guess I was also an April fool for coming to his aid by mountaineering the deep freezer myself.

We all have immeasurable concern for older drivers. My dad would probably bring up the ten thousand seemingly benign reasons why his age isn’t a factor in road safety, especially if he ends up driving six miles down the middle of a heavy highway in a golf cart. I haven’t seen him do that yet. But if Martha, or the head honchos of the highway commission strip him of his coveted driver’s license, I’m sure dad would consider it a stranglehold, put in a major plea to restore his one form of freedom, then “borrow” some sporty recreational vehicle. Martha does provide our dad with everything he’ll ever need except a good card hand, golf swing, and restraints.

Since my fairway fanatic father forgot to book a tee time and there wasn’t an opening, then got a cancellation call, he was out the door faster than a woman racing to a year end sale. And in his world, a highball isn’t only a cocktail. But my creator and I do have some genetic similarities. Absolut is his official mascot too. Although neither of us have any plans of enduring icy stares from overindulgence by imitating the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
I attended an after golf tournament dinner led by my divine dad the prince, hero, eternal optimist, and Metamucil master of ceremonies. Not to disregard my sister the Martha Stewart of party planning, Joe the magnificent marinade man, Pat the grilling guru, and the rest of the filet mignon eating entertainment. It’s just a matter of time before the motion picture industry gets involved in the non stop schtick.

When you’re an out of towner, inquiring minds want to know where you are from and what you do for a living. I didn’t know a simple introduction would quickly turn into a marriage proposal within two minutes of meeting someone. And from an ex pastor to boot. I guess for the elderborn, there’s no time to lose. It got me thinking. To be, or not to be betrothed, then go live in the land of humidity with no-see-ums, and a lifetime of penance. I had to regretfully decline. Because no one loves me quite like mosquitos. It doesn’t mean I didn’t have some of the most memorable times of my life in the palmetto state, if you count flying cockroaches hissing at you. And bites have had me looking rather pretty in pink all lathered in calamine lotion. Anyway, some like retiring there. I don’t want to make a lifelong commitment of perspiring then expiring there.

By weeks end, dad told stories of his past, another highlight of my visit. He talked about his friends who are long gone and mentioned, “Sometimes it’s not so good being the last man standing.” I can only hope I lead as gripping a life, with the exception of Fixodent. In my younger years with friends, life revolved around killer weed. I’ve turned my focus to weed killer, and know the other things I don’t want in my upcoming seniority is to sit around sedentary with postprandial sleepiness discussing bowel movements. When I turned sixty, I wanted to know where I signed up for the rocket ride to the pearly gates. But after one week in the resorty Club Med(icine) I can honestly say that I’ll be not coy anymore in using my time, even though I’ve lost my prime. I’ll be more proactive with my remaining stay in standby.