Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Pranks & Funnies

Christmas time is great. With all those relatives around, it's not only warm and fuzzy, but it's also a great time to do a little joking around. Here are a few of my favorite Christmas pranks:

As kids we used to gather at Grandma & Grandpa Sever's house with all the aunts, uncles and cousins on Christmas afternoon to celebrate with a big dinner and a gift exchange. There were so many of us that we cousins drew names to see who we'd get a gift for. The year I was 18, I drew my cousin Mikey's name. At the time Mikey was about 10 or 11 years old. He found out that I had drawn his name, and for weeks beforehand, every time we saw each other he pestered me with "What are you getting me for Christmas." My standard response was "a Barney coloring book." which, of course he didn't believe.

I decided to have a little fun with Mikey. I went out and bought every gag that I could find. I searched for weeks in a bunch of different stores. It was the kind of thing I would have wanted at his age. I bought a fake arm that you can shut in a door, a bug in the ice cube, fake gum, etc. I don't remember what all I found, but I did my best to get every possible joke out there. Then I stuck them in a big box, wrapped it and hid it in Grandma's basement. Under the tree was a fake gift. I'll never forget the disgust and utter revoltion in his voice as he shouted "You really DID get me a Barney coloring book!!!!" and threw it on the floor. Oh it was hilarious!!! Then I had to prod him to find the first of many clues hidden just inside the front cover. This led Mikey all over Grandma's house from clue to clue until he finally found his real gift, which he seemed to really like.

That was so much fun that I decided to pull another one on Mikey a few years later. Now, it was a long standing tradition that you got two presents at Grandma's house: one from our grandparents, and one from the cousin gift exchange. That was it. All your other Christmas presents were given at your own house. This particular year I did not happen to draw Mikey's name. However, I decided to get Mikey a little gift anyway. When I brought my gifts in, I made sure that the small package was almost hidden at the back of the pile. It worked perfectly. My then 14 year old cousin had already opened his expected two gifts when he was handed a small third package with his name on it, from an anonymous giver. "Look! I got an extra present!" he shouted, drawing everyone's attention to him. Then he opened up a package containing a small, red, lacy pair of thong panties. Yeah, it might not have been in the best taste, but it was darn funny.

Then there was the year that John and Bruce stayed up late putting Carl Sagan EVERYWHERE for Trent (who HATES Carl Sagan.) There was a large Carl Sagan replacing Trent's picture on the wall, a little Carl Sagan on every single one of Trent's presents with things like "Come live on Mars with me, Trent." written on them. That was pretty hysterical.

What else, the year that I bought John the fake arm (they were big with me for a bit then). It somehow ended up being stuck in the front door and ignored until Ashley (who was probably about 4 years old at the time) spied it. Then she flipped out!!! We told her that Santa Claus must have gotten stuck. She was terrified of that thing for years to come. If you wanted to get rid of Ashley, all you had to do was to mention "the arm" and she would run away screaming. I was a meanie. John found another one and put it under her pillow a few years ago. She just laughed this time.

One year Mom laid down on the floor next to the Christmas tree. Aside, Mom loves Christmas trees. I went over there yesterday morning and found a sleeping bag and pillow on the living room floor in front of the tree. When I asked Mom about it, she said "I just love sleeping in the room with the Christmas lights!"

"So you slept on the floor?!" I asked.

"No, that was Ashley. I slept on the couch."

ANYWAY, one year Mom laid down on the floor to admire the Christmas tree, and feel all Christmasy, only to get up and find cat poop stuck to her shoulder.

Alright, I've got things to accomplish. I've got to get off of this computer. See yas later!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

You're a Deacon

As Lydia just turned 12 years old, it reminded me of when my brother John turned 12 and became a deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood. I was going on 10 years old at the time. My cousin Ginger and I having heard somewhere that part of a deacon's duties was to care for the church grounds, ("Deacons help the bishop look after the temporal needs of the Church. This could include gathering fast offerings, helping to care for those in need, and helping to care for the meetinghouse and grounds." -I just now lifted that from the official LDS Priesthood manual.) had a good time throwing gum wrappers and little bits of paper on the floor at church in front of John and pointing at him singing "You're a deacon, you're a deacon!"

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Embarrassing Mom at Church

When I was about 10 one of my favorite things to do was to go to my cousin's house out in the country. So I was really excited about the fact that I was going over to spend the night at Becky & Ginger's house after church on this particular Sunday. To prepare for this upcoming adventure, I had packed all kinds of things, most of which were out in the car. However, I had sneaked a small alarm clock (one of the old wind up kinds with the metal hammers) and brought it into sacrament meeting with me, in my purse. By some coincidence of a twisted humored fate, my mother was giving a talk that day. In the middle of her talk, the alarm (which I had taken out of my purse and was playing with) went off. I had no idea how to shut the thing off. It rang and rang and rang, REALLY LOUDLY! I was slapping the thing, sitting on it and trying all kinds of things, all in vain. My mom was so embarrassed! Eventually my grandma came to the rescue and figured out how to turn off the ringer.

On another occasion, my sister Ashley was asked to give the scripture in Primary (where our mom was the president at the time). Ashley (aged about 5-ish??) got up to the pulpit, in her pretty frilly dress, stood up on the little step stool thing, and waited for the adult in charge to whisper the scripture which she was supposed to repeat, into her ear. Then like an utter lunatic, she screamed into the microphone at the top of her lungs, "HONORTHYFATHERANDTHYMOTHER!!!!!" LOLOL!!!

On yet another occasion, while Mom was still in the primary, it was Mom's turn to be the monthly spotlight person. This means that you get your picture, with a list of hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. hung on the bulletin board out in main hall just outside of the primary room. They had this nice smiling picture of Mom hanging out there. Wickedly, my friend and I decided that the display needed a little improvement. We replaced the picture with this AWFUL extreme close-up of Mother's face wearing these gigantic horrible glasses and sticking out her tongue and making a really ugly face. -he, he, he!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Francis, Other Crabby Old Ladies, Hair Dissolver, and The Lab

The other day, Mom, Dad and I were talking about our childhood neighbor, Francis. She's the one who stole our sign.
You've seriously never met a crabbier old lady. We were TERRIFIED of her. If we accidentally kicked a ball into her yard, it was a very bad thing. A lot of the time, we just left them there. We had to seriously contemplate whether it was worth it to risk our lives for a ball by entering her yard.

Once Mom brought her some homemade jelly. Francis scowled at her and said "I don't eat that stuff!" as she refused to take it.

Mom said that she was all mad at Mom and Dad because they wouldn't let her put up barbed wire to keep us out of her yard. Seriously... barbed wire... as if we wanted to go in her yard. I'd have rather spent the night alone in a graveyard, than to purposely set foot in her yard.
Mom said we accidentally broke her basement window with a stray ball. I vaguely remember something about that. Maybe it was John and Brad that did it. That must have been the most frightening day of our lives. Maybe that's why I don't remember it. Apparently she refused to let Mom and Dad fix it. She boarded it up and called it good enough. Mom said she felt a guilty pang every time she saw that window.

Once Dad was playing tag with us in the yard. It was about 7pm. We ran by her window and saw her glaring, shaking her fist, and yelling at us for daring to make such a racket so late at night. She was positively terrifying!

Speaking of crabby old ladies, there were several in our neighborhood. None of the others were nearly as scary as Francis, but you didn't want to go into their yards either.

I was the younger, tag along little sister, so John and Brad had all kinds of schemes for getting rid of me. The most effective was hair dissolver. You see, Brad had a "lab" in his garage. The boys NEVER allowed me to go into that mysterious place. I couldn't tell you what they actually had in there, but I was always curious as heck. Those two would go into "the lab" and lock me out. I'd hang around the outside trying to find some crack or a keyhole to spy into, listening with my ear against the wall, or just bang on the door and beg them to let me in. To me, Brad was something of a mad scientist type. I didn't put it past it him to have developed a hair dissolver potion in his "lab." So anytime they wanted to get rid of me, they just threatened me with "hair dissolver" and I'd usually run away. I wasn't sure if I believed them, but I never wanted to risk baldness.

Anyway one day John, Brad and his older brother Dennis (who I loathed) were hanging around in the alley near "the lab." Apparently little sisters were not welcomed that day. Dennis threw me over the fence into one of the crabby old ladies' yard. I had to run to the complete opposite side of her yard to get to the gate. Crabby Old Lady caught me and yelled at me for being in her yard. I tried to explain that Dennis had thrown me over the fence, but she didn't seem to even hear me. I had to run halfway around the block to get back to the alley where the boys were. As soon as I got back, Dennis threw me over the fence again! Out comes the crabby lady and yells at me again! Back I run around the block, back to the alley. Again I get thrown over the fence. Again I get yelled at, only worse because I was a repeat offender. Over and over it went. I just kept coming back for more. Dennis was so mean! At least it wasn't Francis' yard! I probably wouldn't have survived to tell the tale.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Marsha & Reid's House

When we were in early grade school we had an aunt and uncle that lived about a block away. Aunt Marsha (my dad's sister) and Uncle Reid had 4 girls: Becky- about 1 1/2 year older than me, Ginger- within a month of my age, Amy- a couple of years younger than Ginger and I, and Katie- a year or so younger than Amy. Their son Mikey was a toddler when they moved to the country, and David was in the womb - I think.


Ginger was one of my best childhoods friends. That and the fact that we had no TV and they did meant that I spent a lot of time at Marsha & Reid's house. I wasn't the only extra child that their house harbored though. Marsha was so extremely nurturing and loving that her house was one of those houses that just attracted all of the children in the neighborhood. In fact, Becky and Ginger used to complain that their mom was too nice. My friend, Christy lived down the street from them. She had a bit of a phobia about thunderstorms. I remember many a time when a storm would blow up, she would get scared and instead of calling for her own mother, she would say "I want Marsha! I want Marsha!"


Uncle Reid was a character! Once Becky and Ginger were having a sleep-over. We were sitting up late in their bedroom telling scary stories. We were just in the middle of one about a robber when we heard a noise outside the open window. It scared us a bit, but we continued with our story. All of a sudden, the screen flew off of the window and a terrifying man with pantie hose over his head thrust his upper body in through the window and started grabbing at us. It was of course Uncle Reid, but he scared the poop out of us.


On a different sleep over, we girls were in bed and had been told numerous times to be quiet and go to sleep. We kept being loud and goofing off. Apparently Reid had had it with us. He stood in the doorway and hollered "I told you to be quiet and go to sleep!!" For emphasis, he slammed his hand into the wall. To our shock, his hand came all the way through the wall. I think we were quiet and went to sleep after that. The funny part is that they never fixed the wall. Instead they hung this picture over the hole:

LOL!

(Forgive me, Uncle Reid! I hope you don't hate me for posting this, but it is a funny story! Love you bunches Reid and Marsha!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Miss Gooberface

When I was in college, there was one particular teacher that NO ONE liked. Not that that makes it okay for me to be ugly to her (I never was - well not to her face - well not on purpose), but she did kind of deserve it. For the sake of anonymity, I'll call her "Miss Gooberface."

Miss Gooberface was probably the worst teacher I've ever had. I think she only lasted one semester, in the which time she managed to whittle her class that originally had 30 some students down to about 4. Nearly everyone dropped out because her class was impossible to pass. I hung on till nearly the end. She kept making these homework assignments that we had to complete on a CD ROM. The problem with that was that the only computer that we could do the assignments on was the computer in Harlan's office (the head of the music department). These assignments took a couple of hours to do too. It was ridiculous. We were always tieing up Harlan's computer trying to get our homework done. Miss G. even kicked us off of his computer once while we were trying to do our homework, so she could make up the next assignment. She had other shortcomings, but that was a biggie.

At the time, I worked in Harlan's office, which was set up in such a way that it was almost divided into two rooms. When you walked in the door, what you immediately came upon was a copy machine (which all of the music staff used) and his desk. Behind his desk was a large filing cabinet that made a kind of wall cutting off most of the rest of the room from people using the copy machine. On the other side of the filing cabinet was his computer, several keyboards, various other things.

One day Miss G. came into the office to make some copies for her class. I was sitting at the computer (behind the filing cabinet wall) typing up something for Harlan. After exchanging a few pleasantries, Miss G. started badgering me about some assignment that I hadn't turned in yet (probably one of those stupid CD ROM things that were practically impossible to get done). Since she was on the other side of the filing cabinet making copies, I started pulling horrible rude faces at my computer screen while she was griping at me. I was sticking out my tongue, rolling my eyes, flailing around like I was having some kind of silent fit, and making rude hand gestures (all the while keeping my eyes on what I was doing on the computer). After a couple of minutes of her griping and me being silently RUDE, I looked up to see her peering around the file cabinet at me. OOPS!

A few weeks later a friend of mine and I were in the office talking to Harlan, when he asked us if we intended to give blood at the blood drive they were having at the school that day. We said we would, and then Lisa says "Why don't we just take Gooberface down there and drain her!" No sooner had those words escaped her lips when Gooberface herself walks in the door (which was open) no doubt having heard every word.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In Honor of the Day

Being Mother's Day, I thought I'd dedicate a post to my mother. Though I'm sure if I put my mind to it, I could think of some ROTFLOL kind of story to tell, right now nothing terribly funny is striking me. So, you'll have to pardon me this time while I just wax sentimental.

When I think of my mother, I think of creativity. My mother seemed to be endlessly at that sewing machine (and playing Obe One Kenobi at the same time). Many a time, in my childhood, I thought (as I'm sure all children have from time to time) about running away. When such fits struck me, I would plan to run away and go live with Aunt Marsha. However, the thing that always held me home was the thought that if I lived with Aunt Marsha, I would not have such pretty dressed to wear. Silly reason to stay, but there you are. Mom was always sewing me pretty dresses that were the envy of all my friends, she also made us several costumes for make believing, and I had many many a home made and treasured doll.

Mom was the one who made the best Christmas ever happen for us with pretty much no money involved. John already told all about it, but in case you missed it, here's a link.
Mom also made up treasure hunts for us. They were the inspiration for a few of our own, as parents ourselves.

I had a friend who used to tell me that she wished she had a "50's mom" like mine, who did crazy things like make breakfast everyday. Back then, I didn't see what all the fuss was about. I thought it was a treat to have cereal for breakfast for a change. - HAH! When Trent was younger he'd complain if he spent the night at my house and I made pancakes for breakfast. Mom made pancakes from scratch all the time!

Though our house was always neat and tidy, Mom never seemed to mind if we kids did such things as melt down crayons in her pots on the stove, or build forts in the living room. Mom always encouraged creativity. She didn't have TV as a crutch to make the kids go away and leave her alone - and that was her choice. BRAVE WOMAN, we commend thee! I remember many, many a day when Mom would spend hours reading to us things like The Chronicles of Narnia, or Little Women and Little Men.

Mom could also nearly always be counted on to be a room mother at our class parties, or to go on our field trips with us. I always loved having Mom come to school. I guess you could say that her most treasured contribution to us was that she was always there. Though at first that statement might not sound too complimentary, think of it this way: She gave her life literally by living it for us. We were not wealthy; my mother stayed at home and took care of us. Instead of going off to some job where she would only provide us with some meaningless stuff, she gave to us her time, her talents, all of herself. She was ALWAYS there when we needed her. Always. I can't thank you enough Mother. I love you bunches!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Shopping With Ashley

When Ashley was getting ready to graduate from High School, Mom gave me a largish sum of money, and asked me to take Ashley shopping to buy her a nice, new dress to wear to graduation, and an awards banquet. We went to the mall, and after a couple of hours, we found just the right dress and a new pair of shoes to go with it. The dress must have been on sale or something, because we still had about $50 left.

We decided to play a little trick on Mom. We stopped off at Wal-Mart on the way home, to find an alternate outfit. We picked out a skirt and blouse that when combined, the effect was truly hideous. The fabrics were light and floaty, so it would look like someone could possibly actually want to wear them to something nice maybe, but NEVER together. Our skirt was a shade of pink, with a pattern on it. Both shade and pattern clashed nicely with our floaty, pink, patterned blouse (which was literally about 10 sizes too big). Cackling to ourselves, we headed over to the shoe department where we found a pair of sandals with red lights across the top, and on the bottom, that flashed when you walk (like the kinds that kids wear all of the time, except they were actually in Ashley's size).

When we got home, we left the nice outfit out in the car. Mom of course wanted to see what we'd bought, so Ashley changed into the UGLY outfit. Out she came, like a smack in the eyeball - all clashing, with that blouse so big that it looked like she had borrowed it from Harry Potter's Madame Maxine, and those shoes just a flashing... Ashley played her part perfectly. She acted all excited like she just loved her new outfit! She was especially excited about the shoes.

"I want to graduate with a bang!"

I just played it off like "...well, that's what she really wanted..." Mom was trying not to panic, and not succeeding in her efforts to hide the fact that she thought the outfit was horrible.

"Isn't that blouse a bit big?" Mom asked.

"I really like it! You can take it in, can't you?"

"um ... well, I guess so... if that's what you really want... are you sure...?" Mom replied, looking a bit queasy.

Oh, it was just too funny! Eventually we let Mom off the hook, and showed her the real outfit. She was immensely relieved! The hideous outfit was of course taken back to Wal-Mart.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Belching Contest

Have I ever told you how much I adore my piano teacher Harlan? Well, the fact that I named a child after the man should give you a clue. He is the best teacher ever (next to Jesus), and just an all around terrific person. He definitely makes my top 3 list of people unrelated to me.

Anyway back in the day, I was a music student at the local community college. (Harlan was my piano teacher, the music theory teacher, the head of the Music Department, and all of us students were in total awe of him. We used to call him the "god of music.") At a particularly difficult time in my life, school was definitely my bright spot. I had lots of good friends and was learning things I loved. In the music building, there was a tiny conference room where we music students hung out between classes, did our homework, and goofed off in general. In this room, there were 3 stalls with doors not unlike the kinds in bathroom stalls (except these were wooden). These stalls were equipped with computer things designed to help you with things like ear-training, sight reading, and reading rhythm. I don't think anyone ever used them much.

One day a bunch of us were sitting around in the conference room, not doing much of anything, and one girl let out a tiny burp. One guy (who was a bit of a moron) said something like "Don't you just love it when a girl burps. Of course, none of them can do it very well."

Well, being accomplished in the art of belching, I couldn't let a remark like that go unchallenged. I had to prove him wrong. Out I rip with a prize winner of a belch, that anyone would have been proud of. Then commenced a string of belching back and forth. I was in the middle of a whopper of a door shaking belch when out walks Harlan-Hock-Head-of-the-Music-Department-God-of-Music-and-Every-Music-Student's-Idol from one of those small stalls where he had apparently been the entire time. Oh the shame!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Colonel Sanders is Who?

Incidentally, whose idea was it to spell "Colonel" that way? It makes no sense.
Let us revisit my parents' generation. The year was around 1964. A new Kentucky Fried Chicken had just opened up near the house where my dad and his family lived. To get to this KFC, you'd have had to go through my grandparents' backyard, across the alley, past the buildings on the other side (of the alley), and across the road.

Marsha, my dad's younger sister who was around 13 years old, was in the bathroom getting ready for bed one night. She glanced out the window and received quite the shock. According to Dad, she ran out of the bathroom all excited shouting "Jesus is coming back! He's here! Jesus is here! Come and see!"

From the bathroom window, the trees and the building across the alley blocked the view of KFC except for the lit up plastic Colonel Sanders on top of the KFC sign. In the dark, it looked like a glowing man in white standing above the trees. Who else would it be?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Dressing Races

Yeah, we need to update this here blog more often! So, I've made myself a list of things that I want to post on here. I'll be posting them on here, say once a week for a while, so keep up folks!

Here's one that I think John finds a bit embarrassing (I don't really know why though, he was a kid, and it's funny). So, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for putting this out there for the world.

Mom had this plan to encourage John and I to get ready for school faster. She would have us race each other to see who could get dressed first. John found a way to cheat, however. He just left out certain items of clothing that he deemed as unnecessary. Underwear was at the top of that list; no one ever saw it, so what's the point? This worked well for him, since it helped him to beat me. That is until the day that his jeans zipper got stuck in the down position at school. John had to walk from the bathroom, all the way to his classroom to have his teacher help him with his zipper. Mom got a phone call from Mrs. Pendt "Did you know that your son is not wearing underwear to school?"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Castle Christmas

The king of all Renae and I's kidhood Christmases was 1982 (Renae, correct me if I am wrong in the year). It was the one we talked about for years after, the yard-stick Christmas by which we measured all the following Christmases. It was also the year that Mom and Dad were just about the poorest they ever were, what with Olin having laid Dad off for a large portion of that year.

No, we didn't have one of those wierd "no gifts, just focus on the true meaning" Christmases... maybe that works for some people but it just sounds bad to me.*

We were 9 and 7, I think. We didn't know, and I still don't exactly know how poor we were, but we knew there was alot of stress at the adult level in the house. Looking back, I am sure that there was not much money available for presents. We were blessed, however, with a creative and upbeat Mom. Christmas morning we woke up to find the living room transformed into something like a mideval village. Castles, Towers, and even a peasants hut filled the living room.

Our mom had gotten a hold of half a dozen cardboard appliance boxes, and with some paint, a box knife or two and some skills from her art major days, she turned these boxes into castles. They were big enough for me and Renae to stand up in, walk around in, sit down in. Standing up we could just see over the battlements of the castles- just like in a real castle!

We were jazzed! They were the coolest presents we had ever had!

Hidden inside the castles, hut and towers were our other presents. I got a telescope- a real one- I was into astronomy at the time, and so was my dad. And I got a book- The Forbidden Castle- a choose your own adventure- and a few other odds and ends that I don't remember.

I remember every day during that Christmas break dragging one of my castles (they were open to the floor on the bottom, open to the sky on the top) to surround one of the heater vents and sit down inside my castle to read "The Forbidden Castle". The castle would get all kinds of toasty on the inside. It was pure comfort!

Later that year, we wound up using the castles as props/set for a play that our cubscout den put on. We were the envy of all the other dens.

We had an awesome childhood. We got lucky when we were born. I wish every kid could grow up poor, but with a clever mom. 1982 ended, Dad's job unlaid him off, money got a little better- and evantually alot better- but for shear Christmas morning ZOowwieeeeee! the no other Christmas ever passed up the Castle Christmas.
**************************************************
*(after all, Isaiah 9:3 - just three verses before the more famous Christmassy "and his name shall be called Wonderful..." reads: " Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil." Christmas should include dividing some spoil.)

Dennis the Menace

That's what our next door neighbor, Diana used to call Todd (our younger brother) when he was a little tyke. He not only looked somewhat like him, with his blond hair, but he acted a bit like him too. Even though Todd was 2 or 3 years younger than Diana's twins, Missy and Mindy (who I babysat for at least once or twice a week for years), Diana was constantly calling me on the phone to tell me to go and make Todd stop terrorizing them.

I remember one particular phone call very well. Diana was having a little party in her backyard for her grown-up friends. Todd was in our backyard, and apparently thought that our neighbors needed some excitement. He got the hose out and started spraying Diana and her guests. She wasn't too happy. It was soon after that that Diana put up a partial privacy fence.

He pulled the hose prank on Mom once. As usual, we were running late for church. Todd was playing out in the front yard. Mom came out in her nice dress, with her make-up on and her hair all fixed up. The idea was just to bring Todd in, get him dressed, and rush off. However, it was not to be so easy. Todd mercilessly hosed her down, ruining hair, make-up and dress.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Me and My Hair

My son, Mark said something to the effect that he couldn't understand how it was possible for gum to get stuck in your hair when you were sleeping. "Wouldn't it just fall down to your belly?" he asked. I think he must have been thinking of how gravity works when you are standing up. I assured him that I had plenty of experience with gum stuck in my hair. Here's my best gum in my hair story:

I was about Jr. High age at the time. I fell asleep with the world's largest wad of Hubba-Bubba bubble gum in my mouth. For some reason, there were either no sheets on my bed that night, or they had just come undone at the top of my bed. I must have rolled around and got the stuff glued to every single follicle of hair or something, because when I woke up, my head was absolutely stuck tight to my mattress. I could not get out of bed, no matter how hard I tried. I remember laying there in bed for literally about a half an hour hollering for my mom, whose bedroom was a floor down from mine, and who was evidently still asleep. I don't remember precisely how long it took her to get me unstuck. Then we had to get that huge mess out of my hair. I was having nothing to do with scissors. We must have used a whole tub of shortening on my head. I was very late to school that day. I wonder what I told the secretary when I went in for a late pass. Did I tell her the truth? I don't remember, but I bet I made up a dumb lie. I was probably too embarrassed, plus she might not have believed the truth.

Now fast-forward about five or six years. I had just finished my first year of college, and was working in an office. I had hair halfway down my back. My parents had left for a couple of weeks to visit family in Utah. I was the only person left at home, and relishing my independence. Unfortunately, that would be just the time I chose to accidentally lock my keys in my car. No one was home to bail me out, and my house was also locked. I eventually got that sorted out and headed off for work an hour late. After I'd been there for an hour or two, I was getting ready to send a fax somewhere. I was bending over the table next to the fax machine, writing out a cover letter. Unbeknownst to me, my hair had fallen into the fax's tray. Thinking my hair was a piece of paper, the machine self activated and started rolling my hair up inside it. It was like in the movies where the guy gets his tie stuck in something, only it was my hair. Down I went, as the machine kept on rolling my hair up. I couldn't get it to stop; I got sucked in to my ear. My co-workers thought I was just joking around at first, and laughed. They ended up having to unplug the machine and open it up to get my hair out. At the height of all the excitement, our boss came in the room. He nearly had kittens! I don't think I was his favorite employee that day.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Teasing a Little Girl

Back when we were 20 somethings, before we had so many children that we out grew it, Bruce and I lived in a cute, little, blue, 2 bedroom house. Those were good days! Ah, memories of my early motherhood. Dang I'm going to be such a mess when my children really do grow up and move away. They're only 10, 8, 6, 2 and 3 months, but I just can't seem to get enough of my older kids these days. It's hurry up, go to school, hurry up get your homework done, hurry up to this and that. I'm missing them like crazy. Makes me want to home school, just so I could hang out with them more. I just don't know if I'd be any good at that. Okay, now I'm a big bawlly mess. This is NOT where I was going with this post!

ANYWAY! There was a girl named Chelsea who lived next door to us, in our little blue house. She was a sweet little girl, but she always seemed to be in our front yard. You peep your nose out the front door, and there was Chelsea, "Hey! How are you? Whacha doin?...Guess what I did today? Did you just flush the toilet?" etc.

You go somewhere, and you practically kick her out of your car, just so you can get down the road. You roll the car window up on her nose. She chases you down the street. "Where are you going? When are you going to be back? My mom shaves her back." (No, she never said that, and I'm sure her mother doesn't need to shave her back. It's just the type of thing she would say.)

You come home, and there's Chelsea sitting on your porch. "Where did you go? Did you go to the grocery store? Are you going inside?" She really was a nice little girl, just always there.

Anyway, one day we went to Six Flags, and John came with us. (Chelsea loved John. She would ask me about my "crazy brother" from time to time. She thought he was hilarious!) I'm going to guess that Chelsea would have been about 7ish, at the time. As we were loading up the car, there was Chelsea bouncing around with her usual questions, trying to help put the cooler in the trunk, etc. When we were getting ready to drive away, she came up to John's door and was in the act of shutting it for him, when John said "Don't do that. We always drive with the door open!"

"You do not!" said Chelsea

"Yes we do! That way we can jump out quickly if we get into a wreck." replied John.

"Nu-uh!"

"Yes, it's true."

"No it isn't!"

So it went. We drove away with the door wide open until we were out of sight. Chelsea was laughing and screaming after us. It was funny.

Another time, when Chelsea was probably 10ish, she came over and had me buy something for a school fundraiser or something. She asked me how I spelled my name, so that she could write it down on the form. I spelled it something like this (as she was writing it down):

"Remorqnzlobjhmprenl...." Until she caught on and said "No it isn't!"

So I started again: "Renlreqzj..."

We carried on like that with her writing and erasing over and over again for several minutes. (She thought it was funny too, so I wasn't just being mean.)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Maverick

Our parents are probably the best at penny pinching of anyone I ever met. I've seriously known my dad to cut open a tube of toothpaste in order to spoon out the last little bit. His motto is "Waste Not, Want Not." I must have heard him say that a google of times growing up. Along with this penny pinching mania, they also don't seem to care what-so-ever how they look to others. Doesn't matter how dorky others might find them, if they like what ever it is that they are doing / wearing, it's all good. My dad is famous for wearing bib overalls that are just a bit too short. I have even known him to fasten them with diaper pins when the buckle falls off. When his socks get holes in them, does he dream of throwing them out? Heck no! He'll sit there and spend an evening darning his socks with green thread, even though he has a drawer full of unopened packages of socks. "Waste not, want not!" That's my dad. We could all do with a bit more of this attitude, could we not? Anyway, you get the point.

All of this penny pinching, and non-caring for what the rest of the world thinks lead my parents to drive the worlds most ugly, beat up Maverick ever. The thing ran like a champ (except for it's habit of dieing at red lights.) This was the family car from before I was born, until after I was in junior high. I don't ever remember it not looking like a total piece of junk. Once I got to be about 9 or 10 years old, and I realized that we had the ugliest, most beat up car of anyone I knew, I became more and more mortified to ride around in the thing. My mother reupholstered the seats several times. I remember riding around with no seats when she was in the process. The ceiling was made of some kind of cloth that was ripped in about a million places, and sewn back up with green and orange thread. I used to hide my face behind the pieces that were hanging down, so as not to be recognized in that hideous car. Once I was angry with my parents, and I kicked the car in a rust spot. My foot went all the way through to the trunk. I thought I'd be in big trouble, but no one ever even noticed.

One time when I was about 10 years old, my mom took me shopping at the mall. It was super hot outside that day. While we were in the mall, the heat melted the connections inside the steering wheel or something, and the horn wires got stuck together. I remember the sheer humiliation I felt as we drove the 20 minutes home with the horn blaring non-stop all the way home. As if riding in the car without the added attention being drawn to us wasn't embarrassing enough.

This reminds me of all the trips we used to make to Utah, to visit family, when I was a kid. I remember an uncle saying "So, you've come in the faith-mobile again?" They always seemed surprised that anyone would dare a 3 day drive in that car. I loathed that drive, long before I became embarrassed of our car. This was long before the days of TV in a car. John and I had to find ways to amuse ourselves for three days of driving through endless miles of corn fields.

Mom would take us shopping a couple of days before the trip to buy toys for the "cooperation game." She would keep the toys in a bag. If we were well behaved for a given amount of time, we would earn a cooperation coin. Once we earned enough, we could buy the toys from her. I remember one trip when I had picked out a wonderful kiddie make-up kit to earn. That was the one thing I coveted more than anything else. John must have realized how much I wanted the thing, because he kept whispering in my ear that he was going to buy it first. He'd tell me all about the plans he had for the different kinds of make-up. He was going to use my finger nail polish to paint a boat or something. This, of course upset me terribly, so I think I threw a fit, which caused me to lose the coins. John, undetected would keep on earning them. A fact that he flaunted to me. "I'm ahead, so I'll be able to buy it first." O the torture.

Then there was the time we were driving next to a church bus. We'd been keeping pace with them for some time. John and I, out of boredom took to making fun of the kids on the bus. We'd thump pretend bibles, and preach sermons at them. We must have been really annoying, because when we finally pulled level with the driver (the only adult on the church bus), to our great astonishment, he flipped us the bird.