Category Archives: Just for Fun

A Little Whimsy

Given my tendency to lose things, mishandle situations, and in general come up short, I wonder, if I had been in the sandals of these Bible characters, what I would have said.

If I had been Noah: “The chimpanzees! Where are the chimpanzees? They were hanging in this tree just a minute ago. Shem, go find those chimps, and don’t come home without them!”

If I had been Moses’ mother: “I just saw that jar of pitch yesterday. Miriam, have you been playing in the tar again?”

If I had been David: “I would love to go to the palace and play for the king but I’ve lost my harp. I know I had it in the pasture yesterday but today I can’t find it anywhere. I’m thinking maybe a wolf or bear carried it away.”

If I had been Solomon: “Does anyone know how to create a spreadsheet? How can I be expected to keep tract of all these women? I’ve misplaced twelve just this month!”

If I had been Jael, Heber’s wife: “Where is an extra tent spike when you need one?”

If I had been Gideon: “Where is that fleece?”

If I had been Samson: “I can find a thousand jawbones of donkeys when I don’t need one but now that I do, I can’t put my hand on a single one!”

If I had been Delilah: “Where did I put my scissors?”

If I had been Daniel in Babylon: “Where in the world is that piece of cauliflower? I was saving it for my dessert.”

If I had been Jonah, “What have I done with that listing of ships’ arrivals and departures?”

If I had been John the Baptist: “My mother told me if I didn’t take better care of my clothes one day I would have nothing to wear.”

If I had been Mary in the stable at Bethlehem: “Joseph, have you seen those swaddling clothes? I thought for sure I packed them in the saddle bag before we left home.”

If I had been Peter after Jesus’ death: “I knew I would one day regret throwing away my fishing nets.”

All the Best

I never wish evil for anyone, but sometimes I don’t wish the very best for people. For instance, when some lead-footed driver whizzes past me on the highway, I hope later to see that driver sitting in his car on the side of the road while a police officer writes him a ticket.

I also withhold best wishes from people who appear to be perfect. You’ve seen them: those highly intelligent, exceptionally successful, always confident folks with perfect hair, skin, teeth, and bodies.

I wouldn’t be disappointed to learn that one of these exemplars of perfection flubbed up in some way. I’m not wishing anything bad for them. A stumble when stepping onto the stage to receive an award maybe. A dryer sheet sticking out the neck of a shirt during a public presentation. A burnt piecrust at a family picnic.

Maybe I am displaying a sour-grapes attitude, but why must I be so flawed while other people glide through life with the finesse of an Olympic skater?

I’m tired of being the one who tells her friend she will meet her at Chili’s at 6:00 and then spends half an hour waiting for the friend to show up at Applebee’s. I’m tired of being the one who sprinkles garlic powder instead of cinnamon on top of her apple pie. The one who routinely lets pasta boil over on the stove, erases holes in her checkbook ledger, and searches frantically for her phone while she is talking on it and her glasses while she is wearing them.

I want to know the secret of the non-blunderers. How do they do it? Is it possible they occasionally make mistakes but only in the privacy of their own homes? Do they excel in the art of the cover-up? Have they learned, by watching people like me, how not to do life?

My friends assure me I am no more flawed than most people. They confess to making as many boo boos as I do, and I believe them. Good friends these people are, but paragons of perfection they are not.

Maybe that is why I select them to be my best friends. When one of us confesses to accidentally spraying her hair with Glade air freshener instead of hair spray, we laugh with her. When another shares that she had a Just My Size pantyhose label stuck to the back side of her skirt for an entire workday, we can relate. When I admit to tucking my phone inside my bra so I won’t lose it, one of my friends pipes up with, “What? You too?”

I couldn’t have such conversations with perfect people. They would have nothing to contribute.

If achieving perfection status will cost me the companionship of my imperfect friends, I will pass. Those friends are the people I like best.

Besides, if I join the ranks of the picture-perfect crowd, some knucklehead will be wishing for me split ends, embarrassing hiccups in church, and an angel food cake that caves in on itself in the oven.

What kind of shallow-minded person would wish things like that on anyone?


Late Night Learning

Often, late in the evening when my husband is watching a sports program on TV, I indulge in two of my favorite activities: solving murder mysteries and working crossword puzzles.

I get into my pajamas, complete all my pre-bedtime routines, prop up several pillows on my side of the bed, slide between the sheets, and get to work.

I turn to a new page in my crossword puzzle book (a spiral-ringed one, with good paper, not newsprint), pick up my pencil (a sharp one with a good eraser), and turn on the bedroom TV to a pre-recorded episode of Dateline, 20/20, 48 Hours, Forensic Files, or Columbo.

My goal is to fill in the blanks in the crossword puzzle on my lap and identify the guilty party in the murder mystery on TV.

Murder mystery shows notoriously move at a slow rate. Critical scenes are shown and re-shown in order to make sure viewers follow the storyline. It is at these times during the show that I ponder crossword questions.

This pondering has taught me the answers to some hard puzzle questions. For example, I now know:

  • A four-letter word for a West African republic is Mali.
  • A four-letter word for a river in Eastern Europe is Ural.
  • A five letter word for the capital of Morocco is Rabat.
  • A five-letter word for a small Eurasian willow is Osier.

Of course, this knowledge will serve me in the future only: (1) When I am solving other crossword puzzles or (2) If I land a spot as a contestant on Jeopardy.

My watching of murder mysteries has also not been a waste of time. I have learned these important guidelines for successfully committing homicide:

  • Do not take with you to the murder scene your cell phone or any other electronic device associated with your name.
  • Do not drive to the scene in a vehicle equipped with GPS.
  • Shave your entire body and wear a scuba diving suit in order to avoid leaving hair, dandruff, or skin cells at the scene.
  • Study the scene beforehand and locate all security cameras. Disable every one of them.
  • Don’t drive your vehicle on a dirt road when traveling to the murder spot because the pattern of your tire tread can be identified and traced.
  • Don’t drive off-road on your murder route because if you do, some rare weed found in only one location on earth will attach itself to your car’s bumper and nail you as the perp.
  • Never return to the scene of the crime.
  • If a detective interviews you, show no interest in the crime. For goodness sake do NOT try to throw the detective off your scent by suggesting other possible perpetrators or motivations or whacky reasons why the murderer acted as he/she acted.

This information will serve me in the future only if I decide to kill someone. The odds of that happening are about the same as the odds of my being chosen as a Jeopardy contestant.

I recently discovered that offers what may be the perfect puzzle book for me: Crossword Murder, a book that allows readers to solve a crime and complete six crime-related crossword puzzles at the same time. Imagine that!

Utopia can be achieved after all.

Do You Remember

. . . when your grandpa sharpened your school pencil with his pocket knife?

. . . when your mom gave you and your siblings half sticks of chewing gum?

. . . when you wore bread wrappers for winter boots and stomped down in the middle of oil cans to make clogs?

. . . when you could tell if a doll was a real Barbie or a fake one by the way her legs worked when you set her down?

. . . when you used Big Chief writing tablets?

. . . when girls wore those cross-shaped necklace pendants that had a jewel in the center that you could squint into with one eye and read the Lord’s Prayer?

. . . when soda pop bottles had crimped metal lids with cork inside?

. . . when your mom poured warm sweet oil into your ear or your dad blew smoke into it when you had an earache?

. . . when mean kids ripped the fruit loops off boys’ shirts?

. . . when you made long paper chains out of gum wrappers?

. . . when girls often heard the words “It’s snowing down south.”?

. . . when you turned on a ceiling light by pulling on a piece of cotton twine?

. . . when your school class was divided into reading groups called the Blue Birds, the Red Birds, and the Yellow Birds?

. . . when teachers handed out test papers that were ice cold and smelled of mimeograph ink?

. . .  when teenage girls rolled straight hair on empty frozen orange juice cans and ironed wavy hair with a hot iron?

. . . when your mom and grandma unfolded and wore those tacky plastic head coverings that tied under the neck when it rained?

. . . when the school cafeteria always served fish sticks on Friday?

. . . when you used concealed rubber bands to keep your knee socks up?

. . . when kids put those metal clicker things in their shoes and made loud noises every time they took a step?

. . . when your mom dabbed red merthiolate (stung like crazy) or mercurochrome (didn’t sting at all) on your scrapes and cuts?

. . . when girls dipped a comb into water, ran it through their hair, and put in brush rollers that they slept in all night?

. . . when teenage boys thought they were cool when they flipped the back of a girl’s bra through her blouse?

. . . when kids made paper fortune tellers out of paper and could tell you whom you would marry and how many kids you would have?

. . . when you made craft projects using that mucilage glue that had a rubber top with a slit in it?

. . . when ice cream came in those little individual cups with a wooden spoon taped on the top?

. . . when you made up silly names for students who were “absent” when a substitute teacher asked the class if anyone wasn’t there?

. . . when you were sure you would be able to see the minute hand on a clock move if you focused hard enough?

Ahhh, the good old days.

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