Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Winner winner chicken dinner!

I've been dealing with two separate issues at work, both of which were resolved in my favor today. Yay me!

The first had to do with a vendor overcharging us for equipment we ordered. It boiled down to my word against hers. She told me one price and then charged me $100 more. There was no agreement as to price in writing so all I could do was keep saying, "But that's not what you told me over the phone." In the absence of any other evidence which supported my side or hers, she eventually agreed to refund the money as a gesture of "good will." (She made it very clear she still thought I was wrong, but since she's a better person that I am, she will graciously refund the difference. Call it what you want, sister, I still win!)

I can only describe in vague terms what the other issue was. A company was refusing to uphold their end of a contract because the initial person who processed the paperwork got confused. As the problem worked its was up the chain of command it became more and more convoluted. Something that could have been solved very easily was blown way out of proportion, I think, because the higher-ups figured it must be a very big problem if it had made it all the way to their desks.

After I had wrestled with the underlings all day, eventually a big-wig muckity-muck from the company called and said, "Ummm, yeah. I see the problem, but now that it's been hashed and re-hashed so many times, we're not comfortable accepting this without additional documentation." Not comfortable? This is a business, not a Lazy-Boy. I don't give a fat crap what you are comfortable with. I also don't think it's a coincidence that the additional documentation you are requesting is not available and you darn well knew that.

I opened up a can of jerk-sauce and poured it all over this lady's head. I argued with everything she said. I interrupted her over and over to tell her how ridiculous their made-up-on-the-spot-for-this-situation-only policy was. I cited examples of similar transactions which had gone smoothly. I pointed out again and again that it wasn't my fault that their person got confused. I accused her of treating us like shady people when we'd been doing business with them for 15 years. Every time she would try to speak I just ran right over the top of her with my tirade. I didn't care about raising my voice, presenting a logical argument, or acting like a total nutjob. I might have even insulted her mother.

I didn't figure it would change anyone's mind, but it made me feel better to unload. I was shocked when she called back a few minutes later and said they would be sending us money promptly, no further action required on my part.

HA! I win again!

These two victories are for all the times I have been screwed over by big companies. Take that Comcast, AOL, Capital One, Sprint, Nextel, AOL, Audio Express, Merchant Services, AOL, County of Sacramento, Sears, and AOL!! Don't mess with me again.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A sunBEAM! A sunBEAM!

I wouldn’t have believed it, but I think I like Sunbeams even more than Nursery. There’s less crying (but still some), fewer messy diapers (none, yay!), fewer toys to clean up (by about 3000%), and fewer clingy parents to pacify. Most of the children can talk fairly well now and because they can express their feelings better, there’s less frustration when they are feeling sad or hurt.

The most difficult part, based on our one week of experience, is Sharing Time. Our ward has an excessively long Sharing Time. Junior Primary attends Sharing Time right after Sacrament. When the first hour ends, the Senior Primary comes in and there’s a combined birthday/visitor/spotlight segment which lasts another 15 minutes. Well, the Sunbeams can only sit still for about the first 5 minutes of Sharing Time, so the rest of the time is spent trying to get them up off the floor and engaged in the lesson or songs. I just don’t think their Nursery teacher did a very good job of teaching them to sit quietly in their seats last year. Darn her! I shake my fist at…uhhh… myself.

When it’s all over, we have seven restless little souls trying their hardest to walk with their arms folded to the classroom just so they can dance and flail and bang their heads into walls to their hearts’ content.

I was most worried about the lesson time. Our lessons in Nursery were, well, to put it kindly, quite brief. It we were lucky, we could have a prayer, say 3 sentences about the topic during snack time and then color an appropriate picture. Now we have about 40 minutes for class time, 20 minutes for playing and 20 minutes for the lesson and related activities.

So our lesson last week was “I Am Thankful for Birds and Insects.” We talked about birds and butterflies, spiders and crickets. We talked about how Heavenly Father had made them all and they each had a purpose, even if they were scary. (Thank goodness there’s no lesson called “I Am Thankful for Snakes” because I might go inactive.) Then we played every single game and sang every single song, and did every single poem suggested by the lesson. Three times.

We ended right on time and even though there weren’t coloring pages to bring home, I felt like we all had a good time.

I asked Brett what he thought about the lesson. He patted my head and said, “Through the whole thing, all I could think about is what a cute platypus you are.” (Usually when he dodges the question by telling me what a cute platypus I am, it’s because he thinks I suck and he doesn’t want to tell me.) I pressed him further for his opinion. He wisely replied, “At this age, I don’t think kids really remember what they learn. They only remember how they feel.”

If that’s true, then all my class went home feeling like beeeeaaaauuuutiful butterflies.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I might be a little behind the times...

... but this is my new favorite online toy.


See if you can recognize these famous words translated into 10-Year-Old-AOL-Speak:


Or these:


And this has got to be my favorite:


All I have to say is:


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Silliest injury inflicted

Contrary to what you might think based on the title of this blog, I've been really lucky when it comes to avoiding physical injury. I've never broken a bone or had any extraneous organs removed or even been in the hospital except for the glorious day when I was born.

My husband tells me all the time what a wimp I am when it comes to pain. He's absolutely, completely, 100% correct in this assessment. The discomfort from a small bruise or cut or burn assaults my senses and makes it impossible for me to think about anything else. I just want to stay very, very still until the pain goes away.

I was hosting a baby shower this weekend (don't judge me! baby shower-haters, you know who you are). I was preparing a poopy-diaper game (don't judge me!) by melting different candy bars in diapers in the microwave. My own pride led to an injury which ranks #3 on my silliest injury inflicted list.

You see, at the last shower I went to we played this same game. I remember waiting around for at least 20 minutes while the hostesses prepared the diapers. It was an interminable amount of time to wait and I recall thinking, "WHAT ON EARTH IS TAKING SO LONG?!" Or something like that. So I was determined to show how it could be done quicker. (I wasn't really showing anyone because the shower hadn't begun, there was no one around, and none of the people from the other shower would be there anyway. ) But, I wanted to prove that I was better, smarter, faster than those other ladies.

I crammed all 10 diapers in the microwave, figuring that if I nuked them for short intervals and checked them regularly, nothing could go wrong. Two minutes. Check. Not melty at all. Two more minutes. Check. Getting there. Two more minutes should do it. Ahhh, perfect.

As I unloaded the pile of warm diapers onto the counter, I smelled burnt chocolate and plastic. Turns out, the diaper I had been checking, the one closest to the door, was significantly less done than the diapers in the middle. The middle diapers were scorched almost beyond recognition. I cursed under my breath and grabbed the final diaper. The candy bar in this last diaper (Baby Ruth, I think) had leaked through the ruined cotton and plastic and I put my thumb directly into a boiling, bubbling puddle of chocolate, caramel and nougat. My thumb blistered immediately and only constant contact with a bag of ice gave me any relief for the next 12 hours.

Serious (and silly) injury inflicted.

Number two on the list of silliest injuries inflicted happened when I was about 15. I was chatting on the phone in the kitchen and decided to switch to the phone in my bedroom. I told my friend to hold on and went sprinting upstairs. I can only imagine (based on her laughter when I was finally able to get to the other phone) what my trip must have sounded like.

"Ok. Hold on, I'm going to switch phones."

*sound of running feet*

*skidding sound*

*yelp of surprise*


*groan of pain*

As I had rounded the corner to run up the stairs, I slipped and came crashing down on the tile entryway. My elbow and hip were a little bruised, but by far the most serious injury inflicted was a huge gash on my pinkie toe where I had torn it open on the edge of the metal weatherstripping on the front door.

To add serious insult to my serious injury, I discovered the cause of my fall was not my phenomenal speed or wanton carelessness. No, I had slipped in a puddle of pee which had been kindly left by the front door by our new puppy.

Unfortunately, I don't even have a scar to prove my story is true.

Silliest injury numero uno is a testament to the evils of cleaning the oven. The easy-off oven cleaner says that I should remove as much loose debris as possible before spraying the cleaner inside to do its magic. Easy-off has underestimated the amount of flaky residue and black piles of hardened goo which have collected over the years. But I diligently try to get as much out as possible.

As I begin to pry a large blackened mass of what used to be apple pie filling from the back corner of the oven, the solid-looking outer crust gives way and my index finger plunges into the middle. The pile is not dense, as one might expect from charred food product, but is light and airy, like a meringue or cotton candy.

Very very SHARP cotton candy. Suddenly a thousand tiny shards of burnt apple pie filling are shredding my fingertip. The smallest movement on my part causes more and more shards to burrow deep into my skin. I scream in agony and fall to the floor clutching my bloody stump of a finger.

Well, not really. But my fingertip was pretty tore up and sore for at least day or so while the thousands of microscopic cuts healed.

I guess what I lack in serious injuries, I make up for in comic relief. No wonder no one ever believes me when I say, "But it huuuuuurts!" I'd be laughing too.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Snap yo' fingahz!

I helped Brett with a daddy-daughter dance last weekend at the elementary school I used to attend. Well, it wasn't an elementary school when I went there in 7th and 8th grades, but it is now. There were about 150 little girls in attendance, all dolled up, some probably wearing make-up and high-heels (in public) for the first time. Their daddies squired them proudly, if not somewhat abashedly, around the small, dingy gym which had been decorated with a Hollywood/Oscar theme.

The majority of the girls looked to be about 8 - 10 years old. And because "hanging out with daddy" is not sufficient entertainment for more than about 3 minutes for a 10-year-old girl, Brett played games with the group and even taught a few dances.

I helped wrangle the kids during the games to make sure the younger ones didn't get trampled and also helped demonstrate the such sophisticated dance moves as "Macarena" and "Chicken Dance." (Neither of which I can do very well, by the way.)

Kids this age are especially malleable. They enthusiastically try anything the DJ suggests. "Ok! This is a really great new dance step! Everyone stand on one foot, stick your tongue out, and then hop over and lick the wall! Great! You're doing it and you look AWESOME!" And with any crowd, (even those who might think twice about licking the wall), it's so very important for the DJ to look like he's having a good time. It adds to the energy and excitement of the party.

I try follow this rule of thumb, even though I'm only the behind-the-scenes helper of the super-cool DJ. I rarely like to get out on the floor and full-on dance (mostly because I look a lot like Elaine from Seinfeld when I do), but I'll move a little bit to the beat of the music or snap my fingers to keep me from looking like a bump on a log. I don't think anyone notices, and that's the point. It's much more conspicuous to be sitting behind the DJ table, stiff as a poker with my hands folded in my lap.

So, last weekend, between the YMCA and the Hokey-Pokey, the girls and their daddies were dancing (and by "dancing" I mean frantically jumping up and down in one spot) to a popular hip-hop song with a heavy bass line. I was standing at the booth, putting CDs away, just swaying a little bit back and forth and occasionally snapping my fingers.

At every school dance, there are kids who want the DJ to notice them. They dance very conspicuously as close to the DJ booth as they can get. Sometimes they are hoping for prizes. Sometimes they just want the coolest person in the room (the DJ) to notice them and maybe give 'em a shout out. This dance was no exception. There was a line of little girls dancing as close to the table as they could, every now and again sneaking a peak to see if Brett was noticing them.
They had been there all night and I had pretty much stopped paying attention to them. Until I noticed that they weren't dancing by frantically jumping up and down in one spot like all the other girls. They were just swaying a little bit back and forth and occasionally snapping their fingers.

I strained to see across the dark dance floor what exactly they were doing. Were they too tired to dance like the others? Were they not having a good time anymore? Did they not like the song?
Then I realized. This whole line of little girls were watching me. They were doing exactly what I was doing. When I snapped, they snapped. When I bobbed my head, all ten of their little heads bobbed, too. If I stepped to the left, they followed. (Some were quicker-steppers than others, though, and someone in the middle ended up getting trampled.) When I pumped my fist up in the air and shouted "Snap yo' fingahz!" in time with the music, well, they tried.

I was the coolest person in the room. I was the one these girls, who wanted so desperately to be noticed, wanted to be like. I had The Moves. All of them. And they were eating it up with a spoon.

I wonder if they went home that night and said, "I want to be the wife of a DJ when I grow up." Because that frumpy, thirty-something, jiggly-armed, no-rhythm lady out there, she was working it. Yeah baby, she was working it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Have you seen this woman?

A lot of people think they have, apparently.

That's me, by the way, for all those who haven't experienced the inexpressible joy and sheer delight of meeting me. Do I look familiar to you?

It all began innocently enough in high school. I was in line to buy a chocolate malt and a tray of nachos for lunch. (Mmmmm... nachos....) The cashier asked me how my sister was doing. I was confused and stammered out that I don't have a sister. The cashier studied my face carefully and then said, "Are you sure? You look awfully familiar." Yeah, lady, I'm sure I don't have a sister. "Well, okay, but you sure look like someone. I just can't put my finger on who, though."

This event was my first recollection of a happening that is all-too-common in my life nowadays: people thinking they recognize me. Every couple of weeks, someone tell me I look familiar, ask if they know me, or simply start talking to me as if we are already acquainted.

I became friends with one of my friends from college this way. She thought I was her English teacher (because apparently we look so much alike) and decided she had better kiss up when she saw me in the cafeteria. I just thought she was being friendly. We became friends and stayed friends even after she discovered that I can barely even read English, let alone teach it.

When I picked up my husband from the hospital last month, the orderly offered to let me wheel him out to the curb myself -- because he thought I worked there. Not because I was in scrubs or anything, but because he thought he recognized me. (I'm glad he ended up doing it himself because I definitely would have gotten lost in the labyrinth of hospital corridors.)

At almost every single event I am at with Brett (he's a DJ), from weddings to house parties, some wants to know where they know me from. I've been asked that at the bank, the record store, on vacation in Hawaii, at church, at the grocery store, and while washing my hands in a public restroom. Everyone thinks they know Andrea.

The first 20 or so times it happened, I actually tried to figure out how we might be acquainted. Where did you grow up? Where have you worked? Do we have common friends? But, it's so commonplace now that I have a standard answer all prepared for the Inquisitions. "You probably don't know me. I get asked that a lot. I just have a really common face." It doesn't seem to matter what color my hair is, how fat or skinny (haha) I am, or how I am dressed. For 20 years, people have been recognizing my face. Wrongly recognizing my face, because they never actually know me.

A woman came into my office one day, and after exchanging pleasantries, she asked, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" I took a deep breath and began, "No, you probably don't. I just have a really common face..."

She stopped me. "You're Andrea (maiden name), right?"

I sat back in stunned silence.

"I'm Trish. I used to date your older brother. Remember me?"

I did remember her eventually. I'm just not as good at recognizing faces as the rest of the world. Sorry.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

That's his story and he's sticking to it

When I opened the mail at work yesterday, I found that a check written to us by a customer had bounced. Well, it didn't bounce; he had actually put a stop payment on it. Everyone was shocked. It was a sizable amount of money, but as far as we knew, he was completely satisfied with the merchandise he had purchased.

Some poor schmuck (not me, luckily) had to call the customer to find out what was going on. Here's the story as it was related to me by the poor schmuck who talked to the customer:

PS: So, I talked to that guy about his check. He says it was all a mistake.

Me: A mistake? Like a bank error?

PS: Well, no. Not exactly. His story is that he put a stop payment on the wrong check.

Me: The wrong check?

PS: Yeah. He had ordered something from another company and it never arrived, so he tried to put a stop payment on that check and accidentally did our check instead.

Me: *blink* *blink* So, did you ask him HOW STUPID DOES HE THINK WE ARE?

In my limited experience with stopping payment on check, I would have to conclude that is it virtually impossible to stop payment on the wrong check. The bank asks for the check number, the amount, the date of the check, and the payee. So unless he wrote a check on the exact same day, for the exact same amount, paid to a company whose name is almost exactly like ours, there's no way it could be a mistake.

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

My suspicions that he's a liar were further confirmed when he wasn't able to make good on the check when the "error" was brought to his attention. He had another convoluted story/excuse as to why he couldn't make good on the check which involved his having inadvertently overdrawn his account by $10 due to an ATM fee.

Yeah, right. Just keep digging that hole. We're all laughing at your transparent falsehoods and crazy stories anyway. The important part is that you pay us the money you owe. By the way, for your convenience was accept all major credit cards.

Monday, April 14, 2008


... relieved of duty, dismissed, released, promoted, or whatever you want to call it.

Brett and I have been kicked out of nursery. We've been asked to teach the Sunbeam class instead.

I love all the Sunbeams. After all, they were my nursery class last year, so we're all buddies. But still... it's not nursery.

Will we have to be all grown-up and do sharing time? Will we have to sit quietly in our seats during class? Will we have to actually *gasp* teach a lesson? Will there be toys and games and goldfish crackers?

I told a friend that we had been "promoted" and she said gleefully, "I taught the Sunbeams once! It was the worst calling I ever had. I asked to be released after 6 weeks."

Well, you must have had a huge class... how many?


*gulp* We have seven.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The oderr of teh ltetres dsone't mteatr

Have you seen the "study" which claims that your brain is such an amazing thing that it is able to decode words and sentences even if the letters are in the wrong order? Supposedly, all that matters is that the first and last letter are in the right spot.

This is good news for me, because as I've been reading my past posts today, I discovered that I am a terrible proofreader. My posts are littered with errors. Mostly little ones, I see. No comma here, no apostrophe there. It appears my favorite error is to replace one tiny word with a different tiny word. Swap "and" for "the." Type "of" instead of "in." I also like to leave letters off the ends of words, especially "d," "s," and "r."

My defense is two-part. First: I don't really proofread at all. I just read for content once and then spell-check and then post. Second: I have my computer screen at work positioned at an odd angle so people at the door can't see what I'm working on. It's actually a little hard for me to see as well. Also, I have a big desk and a relatively small monitor so I'd really have to lean in to proofread and then, well, it would be pretty obvious that I'm not working. My job doesn't require leaning on a regular basis.

When I post I also try to make my writing approximate how I actually talk, so that explains the run-on sentences and certain other quirks and oddities.

I came across this a while ago and I absolutely agree with her. When I looked it up to link it to this post, it cross-referenced with another post called "Writing without typos is totally outdated."

I'm totally down with that.

Do you hear the words that are comin' out of my moooouuuuf?

Twice within the space of 30 minutes this morning, co-workers started to talk to me about work-related issues. Twice within the space of 30 minutes this morning, I had no idea what they were talking about.

The first time, I thought it was a fluke. The guy was in the other room when he started talking. I wasn't sure if he was talking to me. By the time I realized he was, I had missed the entire first half of the conversation. I fumbled and groped around trying to get my bearings. Was he asking me for information? Did he need me to do something? Was I supposed to be taking this information and doing something useful with it?

I asked a couple of questions which I thought might help clear things up. It made it worse. He would answer yes in response to questions that were open-ended. I would restate what he had said and he answer yes and then restate what I had restated completely differently. I still had no idea what the original topic (question? amusing anecdote?) was.

I fessed up. "I hear your words, and I know they are English, but they don't mean anything to me. Out of everything you just said, there is nothing which even remotely resembles a cohesive thought in my brain. Can you start over?"

He sighed, "This boat had the wrong inventory description in the computer. I changed it for you. That's why you are confused, because the description is wrong."

I pulled the file and showed him the inventory description paperwork which he had originally filled out. "You mean this description is wrong?"

"Yeah, it's wrong. It's not a...wait, that's MY writing. Did I fill it out that way? Golly, that's totally wrong....Wow, that's waaaaay off. What was I thinking? I, uh, fixed it for you in the computer."

Thanks. Glad we got that cleared up.

Then, I got a call from another co-worker. She's not a cut-to-the-chase kind of person and I usually have to listen to 30 times more information than I need to find out exactly what she wants. So I listen, and listen, and listen, and listen. Finally she's done, but I still have no idea what she wants.

"So, you need me to fax something to you?"

"No. This is your thing. I'm just letting you know what the status is."

I begin to bristle at the fact that she's trying to fop this incredibly complex and probably unsolvable problem off on me.

"So, you think I need to take care of this?"

"Well, you asked about it yesterday. You're going to need this information. I'm just passing it along to you."

"I asked about it? Asked you about it yesterday?"

"No, you asked Gene when you saw him and he told me to call you and give you this information."

Now, it's true that I did see Gene yesterday. I start to rack my brain. It is possible that I was working on an incredibly complex and probably unsolvable problem as recently as yesterday and can't REMEMBER ANYTHING ABOUT IT? Yes, it's possible.

She senses my confusion and her conviction that I need to have this information wanes a tad. "Well, Gene is out right now. I'll call you back after I talk to him about it."

Yes, please do that.

She calls back. "Um yeah. It looks like the lady at the bank, well, this is really funny, haha, it, uh, well I just saw the note, and it, heehee, looks like her name is Andrea, too. Heehee. Isn't that odd and bizarre and just-so-very-unusual? So, I guess I was supposed to call her, not you. Hahaha. Sorry about that."

Yeah. Sorry for making me think, for the second time this morning, that I'd been kidnapped during the night and that my brain had been harvested for sale by black-market organ dealers? No problem, happens all the time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The perfect storm

According to popular opinion, we have been enjoying very fine weather here in Sacramento lately. It's been mostly sunny with temperatures hovering right around 70 degrees for a couple of weeks. I'm not complaining, in fact, I'm taking it for granted. I take the weather for granted a lot, since I chose to live here and there's nothing I can do about the weather anyway.

But alas, the one season of the year when I cannot take the weather for granted is fast approaching. Summer. The worst season of the year. I'll save my lengthy description of how exactly the sun inflictes serious serious injury on me every year. Let's just say, I prefer temperatures to be mild and the sun to be hidden for as much of the year as possible.

The forecast calls for temperatures to heat up this weekend and be in the mid to high-eighties. And sun. Plenty of sun. Lots and lots and lots of sun.

The insufferable morning show DJs on every single station here in Sacramento insist on providing a weather forecast every 4 minutes. But it's not enough for them to just read the forecast. They have to comment on it, you know, to try to make themselves relatable to the audience. And to hear themselves talk a lot.

So this morning, on every radio station I turned to, I heard:

"Eighty-six degrees and plenty of SUN-shine expected for this weekend. Just perfect, perfect weather for you!"

"We're expecting highs in the mid-eighties this weekend and not a cloud in sight. BEAU-tiful weather out there, so get out and enjoy it!"

"We have some GREAT weather coming this way this weekend!"

"The weather this weekend is shaping up to be FAB-ulous! We'll be warming up to around 88 on Sunday!"

"Sunny sunny sunny this weekend. Highs in the upper-eighties. We're all going to love this weather!"

I just want to point out that not ALL of us are going to enjoy this weather. Some of us are going to be miserable. Some of us see this jump in temperature as the premature beginning of a long, hot summer.

Is it too much to ask that the radio personalities stop trying to force their idea of perfect weather on the public? Just gimme the dang forecast without your stupid commentary and go back to making fake phone calls to pretend like you are catching cheating spouses and manipulative co-workers.

Oh, and a note to the TV-people. The weather is NOT NEWS. It's hot, it's cold, whatever. The fact that it's snowing in the Sierras is not a top story. It happens every year. Talk about it all you want during the weather segement. If you must do a weather-story, tell me about how all the power in Carmichael went out for 4 hours when the grid couldn't keep up with the air conditioning demands because of the triple-digit temperatures. Tell me about the avalanche that closed Highway 50. Was anyone hurt? When is it expected to reopen? That's news. Just because weather exists does not mean it should be covered every single day as a top news story.

I know I sound a little cranky. It's probably the heat.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Smashed flat

During the time that my husband and I were engaged, he lived in an apartment which he shared with a rotating supply of other bachelors. Most of the available parking was taken by the roommates, so when I would visit, I had to park behind the apartment complex in a dusty field which was sparsely covered with patches of tall brown grass. It wasn't unusual to see birds and squirrels diving for cover as I navigated my car around the deeper ruts and gullies to get to where the ground leveled out into a suitable parking place.

Brett was with me one day when I pulled into my customary parking spot. He got out and started to walk around the car to open my door. He stopped short, staring at the ground near my front tire, and gasped, "Oh no! Sweetheart!" I leapt out of the car, initially thinking that I had a flat tire or some other damage to my vehicle about which I was unaware.

"What? WHAT?! What is it??!!"

"Oh no. It's so sad..."


"I can't believe you did this. You ran over a bunny."

My heart sank and tears began to well up in my eyes. Even though it was unintentional and unavoidable, I felt horrible. I'd seen the fluffly little jackrabbits in the field scurry out of my way when I arrived many times. They looked so nimble, so quick. Had I run over one that was disabled and unable to run as fast as his brothers? Had he just not been paying attention? Maybe someone else had run him over earlier and it just looked like it was my fault?

"Are you sure it was me? Please please tell me that he's been rotting there a while."

"Well, you should come look. I can't really tell."

"No way. I don't want to examine bunny guts, even if it is to determine my innocence or guilt. I already feel bad enough."

"There might be something on your tire. You should look at it to see if it was there before or not."

"No! Can't you just tell me?"

"You really need to see for yourself."

So, I steeled my nerves and rounded the front end of the car. Brett was still looking mournfully at the ground near my tire. I peaked out of the corner of my eye, expecting to see fur and blood and guts and the remains of fluffy bunny ears.

It wasn't a bunny. It was a snake. A SNAKE!!!

I can't even look at a picture of a snake from across the room without getting the willies. When I see a snake on TV, I instinctively pull my feet up from the floor. I almost passed out in the snake house at the zoo when I was a kid.

My beloved fiance had artfully manipulated me into believing that I had run over a bunny just to get me close to a dead snake. Why would he do that? WHY?

I know why. He's the devil. I guess I should just be glad that he didn't pick it up and chase me around with it.

The snake had obviously been dead for a while, but rest assured, if I had been given the opportunity to run him over, I would have.

And maybe Brett, too, for that matter.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Desert or dessert

One of the checkout coupons I received during my last trip to the supermarket was for $1.50 off the new whole-grain pop-tarts. Don't get me wrong, whole-grain pop-tarts do not sound appetizing to me at all, but when they went on sale, I couldn't pass up such a great deal. (It was 50 cents for the whole box, after the sale and the coupon.)

I figured it was possible that they tasted better than the picture on the box made them look. After all, we sometimes buy whole grain bread that is almost exactly like white bread. Amazing? Yes. True? Pretty much.

I opened the first foil package of whole-grain pop-tarts yesterday and eyed the contents suspiciously. It was just as unappetizing-looking as I thought it would be. I broke off a corner and gave it an experimental nibble.

Let's be honest. Pop-tarts tend to be a little on the dry side, especially if eaten uncooked, as I generally do. And, one would think that maybe, just maybe, a whole-grain product might be just a teensy bit more dry than the non-whole-grain version of the same product. One might also think that, in anticipation of this phenomenon, steps might be taken to mask or alleviate the dryness. On a pop-tart these steps might include adding more strawberry filling or perhaps more icing.

But no, the makers of these pop-tarts opted to use LESS filling and LESS icing. There's just a drizzle of icing. There's just a dab of filling.

I could understand this if the pop-tarts were being actively marketed as "reduced-sugar" or "low fat," but they're not. They are simply marketed as "Whole-grain, natural goodness."

And they are simply awful. I almost had to drink my first glass of milk in 20 years, just to choke it down. So, if anyone wants a free whole-grain pop-tart, let me know. I have 6 more here in my desk for you.