Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Never buy a Simmons mattress, ever. Seriously.



So a few months ago the husband and I decided to replace our aging mattress which was giving up the ghost. We read Consumer reports on where to buy a mattress, and we went to the highest rated seller.  We tried many mattresses - some as much as $4,000!

Seriously.

And while we are trying this mattress, the salesman (mattress salesmen are just an inch or two higher than discount carpet salesmen in my version of the food chain of life) says "this model comes with a twenty year warranty."

For $4,000 it should also come with magic fingers, says I.

After bouncing around from one end of the store to another, we settled on a Simmon's Beautyrest that was very firm, but had a thick tufted almost pillow top.  It came in almost two grand.

So we buy the mattress, it arrives five days later via deliver.  They took away the old, looked at the bed frame (wood, two steel cross members, each with two legs), set up the mattress and the new box spring and they leave.

The bed was heaven for about a month, and then we both started waking up with sore backs, which were caused by the divots formed by our torsos in the middle of the bed.  We also discovered a nice ridge developing straight down the middle.

So I go back to the mattress store and have a talk with the salesman and the manager.

They send the bed warranty specialist who comes out, measures, photographs and dismantles the bed, and tell me that I will get a letter in a week with what to do.

The letter arrives and says that there is nothing wrong with the bed, but that we have voided the warranty by not providing the proper support of said bed.  The writer, Miss Smith enclosed a warranty card with teeny, tiny type, that said our two steel supports are not allowed.  A wooden bed requires five wooden slats.  So I call the manager and ask, why weren't we advised of this at drop off?

"Because," says he, "Our delivery people aren't mattress professionals.  They just offer a convenience of bringing the bed to your home."

Then why didn't the salesman point it out when he sold the bed?

"Oh, because it never comes up."

So we put in the five slats, photographed that, sent it in and we get another letter that says "That's nice, but three of those slats need feet on them."  And how do I do that, asks me.

In a return email she says "You'll have to either build them OR buy a new bed."

Now I ask you, when was the last time that bought a new mattress and box spring and found out AFTER the fact that you either had to re-engineer the bed or have replace the whole thing to be in compliance with the warranty?

So today, we get the feet built - and we really outdid ourselves by adding in adjustable felt padded feet to the legs - and photographed them and sent them in to the warranty people.

And we get ANOTHER email saying that the new feet are OK, but that the bed slats really aren't perfectly spaced and that "we can't do anything until the slats are precisely spaced..."

Thankfully, the husband was home, and he is a whiz bang at algebra, and he actually gonkulated the precise measurement down to the centimeter so our slats were perfected for the Fuck Ups at Simmons.

And now we wait.  And will they next tell us that they don't like which direction the bed faces? What about just telling us to move?  I beginning to feel like I am dealing with the Dragon Lady who keeps taunting me with "snatch this pebble from my hand," while laughing diabolically.

So my advice to you is to never buy a product that ends up costing you your sanity.  And frankly, if simmons were building these correctly, they wouldn't need to have their customers upend their lives to retrofit a perfectly good bed to work with their inferior engineering and second rate product.

Simmons bedding stinks. Simmons warranty claims also suck.  If it were built right, this wouldn't have happened.  Go buy a Sealey, a Stearns and Foster, and if you have money to spare, then buy a Tempur-Pedic.  But steer clear of Simmons.   Or you can go buy a Simmons, see what I care.

I will tell you that if they come back and turn down this claim, that Cookie will be having a bonfire in the front yard.

Monday, July 28, 2014

What to serve MJ for dinner...



Sausages sound so common.  Would she prefer the Burns & Co. "Spork"?  Or should throw caution to the wind just go for the Burns & Co. "Speef"?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Features tell, benefits sell


But does it come with its own "answering cervix"?

Cookie often wonders, not who comes up with these ideas, but who buys them.

And then uses them.

And I mean uses them beyond the once or twice that they seem goofy fun.

And why doesn't the real phone look like the advertised phone?

Is this an objet d' art, or art that should be objected too? 

And where is the stunning detail, the highlights in her hair.

And, according to this image, one does not speak into her secret lady place, but into the leaves betwixt her knees.

And shouldn't her absent nipples flash red when an incoming call is announced?

And Cookie wonders who has more money than sense to plunk down $350 for it on eBay.

Yes, Cookie wonders.

Because, you see, if Cookie could find one, he would send it to Mr. Peenee as a NOLA housewarming gift.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Through the pain, I think of weird things

Cookie is the middle of another bout of his pesky acute disease, diverticulitis, a chronic condition that has ruined my life for the past 15 years.  The pain is unbelieveable, and once you take the antibiotic it takes about two days for everything start functioning.  I'm so familiar with it that they have me stocked with $30 a pill antibiotics, twice a day for day.  On top of being in pain and unable to stand up, its an expensive condition.

Anyhow, one of the pills that I take when this beast is taking over my colon is an antispasmodic which is like a muscle relaxant for your colon. (Once the infection starts, your colon loses periostatic function.  Which means you can't crap, even though you need to, and it cramps up, which is painful. )   It makes one terribly sleepy, and I for one have very weird dreams and waking thoughts.

One of my strangest was me in court, on the witness stand, unable to move.  The attorney grilling me wanted to know why I insisted that products be named for what they are, nothing something prosaic and detached from the item itself.    But I was unable to speak, and then when I told to step down, my legs felt like lead weights, so instead of stepping, I skated away with the greatest of ease.

This morning, my friend Deb posted this picture to her Facebook account:


Now, since this speaks directly to my dream, I am sharing it.  Both men are wearing something of polyester knit.  It's called the "Palm Springs Suit".   I see not a thing about this get-up that even harkens to Palm Springs.  I mean I know its been 40 years since I was in Palm Springs, but really - did this type of thing go on there?   Did Sinatra wear this?  Do they still wear this, only made of better materials?

I think its a sham.  No man would choose to wear this in Palm Springs.  Or anywhere for that matter.  Even these two guys were paid to put the thing on and even so the guy on the left is being held in place by a woman who, if she is still alive, is some person's grandmother.   Still, if they ever do a sci-fi movie about Palm Springs, here's your futuristic outfit.

Then there is this:





The irony is not lost on Cookie.  But except for the guy asleep on the doorstep, no one in this establishment is dreaming about gentlemen, and I think that the closest you could get to a Gentleman entering the establishment is the sign telling you the establishment is for gentlemen.

It's like those VIP lap dance clubs, where women parade around in high heels, a smile (or a grimace indicating that she is a wild hot bitch in heat), but there never any VIP's in the club. Don't believe me? Look at the parking lots.  No VIP would be caught dead in a 1999 Dodge Stratus with a bumper sticker reading "My kid beat up Honor Student", or "Every Child Matters at P.S. 89."

Now, if y'all will excuse me, I need to nap.  This pills have exhausted me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jury "UGH" Duty



Greetings.  Cookie has been hereby notified that he is to report to Baltimore City (County) Jury Duty in downtown Baltimore.

Ugh.

When you live in the city of Baltimore, which is both a city, and its own county, you get called to jury duty just about every other year.  And they do it so fucked up here.

In Ohio, you get called for a two week period, Monday through Friday.  You report each day at 8am.  If you aren't called, you go to lunch at noon, return at one, and if you still aren't called, they send you home by 3PM.  On your second week, if you aren't called by Thursday, you have done your civic duty, you get a get out of Jury Duty for three year certificate and your life

You serve for one day in the pool.  If you are not chosen for a jury, you can get called again next year.  In other words they can call you every freaking year and disrupt your life.

UPDATE

Looks like I dodged a bullet.  My number was not called.   So I can still receive ANOTHER summons this year.  UGH.

Maybe it will be after Labor Day and I can freak the defendant out by wearing white shoes after the holiday.  "Fashion has changed."  You know...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Its a terrible thing when love dies: Peaches and Daddy

It is a terrible thing, when love dies.

My mother was her father's daughter.  She never had very many memories that she shared about her mother, who I adored, but she had many fond memories of her father.  I loved my grandfather, but I was terrified by him, despite the fact that there wasn't a mean bone in his body.

One of the pieces of advice he gave my mother when she moved to the big city to enter nursing school was not to become "Some Daddy's Peaches."  I learned of this in one of those moments when Mom would tell a story about when she was younger when I was a child myself.  It didn't make any sense.  "Some Daddy's Peaches?"  Was it a riddle, or code?

Well, as I learned in my teens, it was neither, but rather an allusion to the 1920s scandal marriage of one Edward Browning, a New York Real Estate Investor and Developer, to one Frances Belle Heenan.   What made it initially so scandalous was that Frances, aka "Peaches" was only 16 at the time of the marriage to Browning's age of 51.  That's an age difference of 36 years for those of you with slow calculation abilities.  

And that's not all.  Browning began courting Peaches when she was either 15, with the consent of her mother, and 37 days later, on June, 23, 1926 - Peaches 16th birthday - the couple wedded.  Nevermind that Peaches mother was about the same as the gray faced Browning.  All was well now that New York's child protective services was off his back.

One of the conditions of the marriage was that the eccentric Browning, aka "Daddy" allow Peaches mother to live with them in their luxury apartment.

And then nothing, really, nothing.  The public assumed it was wedded bliss until until Peaches surfaced in the White Plains, New York, divorce court at Christmas time, a mere six months into the whole marriage.  All Daddy wanted to do were things that Peaches, who professed to be a good girl, thought were perverse. Oh, you know, coitus and such.   And she had been aggrieved.  Yes, that too.

Had Daddy simply just bought her out and set up Peaches in a nice pad in one of his buildings facing Central Park, this would have been the end of it.

But Daddy was having none of it.  Peaches had, afterall, left him.  And Daddy really wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.  So he wasn't giving in without a fight.

This is when the New York Graphic, the Weekly World News of its time, got involved.  The Graphic was notorious for lots of enhanced (read as doctored) pictures and lurid facts.  And the Graphic sent reporters and its very own court stenographer to the divorce trial to get every juicy fact during the proceedings, and with some creativity brought the whole circus to life with images such as...



Evidently what came out was that Daddy was a sex starved pervert who fancied himself a sheik, and wanted to act out scenes from Valentino's movie of the same name as an homage to the world's great screen lover who died in August 1926.  

It also came out that Daddy had a pet goose at his home in Scarsdale and Peaches was scared to death of thing.  So the goose made the pictures as well.  Why not, right? 

But it was something Daddy said to Peaches that made him a cultural icon of the 1920s and beyond: 


That's right.  Peaches - who answered "Positively" on the witness stated that Daddy told her "Don't Be A Goof!"  And with the publication of that factoid, Daddy Browning started a 1920s fad that is still popular with children to this day.  (We are, however, at a loss to explain what a "BONK" is other than the Graphic felt the need to rhyme "HONK" with something.)

And then there was this - my favorite of the Graphic images - and the most nonsensical:



And then there was an acid attack to poor Peaches face, while she lay sleeping in her bed, a couple days before she married Daddy.  She always felt that Browning was behind it, but the only one in the house with Peaches at the time of the attack was her mother.  Odd.

In the end, the courts ended the marriage, and Peaches got $6,000 for her trouble.

For his trouble, Browning got nothing, but wealthier at an alarming rate through savvy real estate deals.  One of the brilliant master strokes of his was to sell off half his portfolio in the summer of 1929 and invest in gold.  He barely noticed the collapse of Wall Street in 1929.   Browning did, however have a serious stroke and spent his waning days rambling about his Scarsdale mansion yelling at inanimate objects, ranting about peaches being served with his meals, before finally dying in 1934.  Find A Grave erroneously notes that Peaches got everything when Daddy died, but in actuality received a token sum of $6,000, with the rest of his estate going in various directions, including one of his adopted daughters.

And Peaches?  Peaches took to the stage and played Vaudeville for a number of years.  Evidently she could sing quite well.  And she married again, divorced again, married again, divorced again - you know.  She died in the mid 1950s when she fell in her own bathroom.  And who found her?  Her mother - the only person out of the mess to survive everyone else.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Her catharsis was not my epiphany



Cookie's work capers at the Strip Club and Beef House continue and despite some assholes, I am finding that I do enjoy the job.

Despite the fact that I received far more smiles that snarls, one woman - decided that I was THE WORST EMPLOYEE IN THE HISTORY of the Strip Club and Beef House.  Yes, the worst.  Ever.  And the more she vented, the louder she got.  And at one point in her tirade, she looked at Cookie and said "You don't even care, you are just standing there with your mouth open."

Yes, I was slack jawed, but honestly, I have never heard someone torque off like an air raid siren.

But what can you do?  She evidently needed to get something out, I thought at first.

Then she yelled "You aren't being very nice to the merchandise!"

Hello?

Since the Beef House and Strip Club doesn't sell any living being, this was an odd statement.  Something was off.

And what was off was her inability to see the merchandise as something inanimate.  A plant is living, yes.  And so is a pet, a person, family members, friends.  But a paperweight?  She couldn't even name the object, it was merchandise.

Having been around older people a great deal, I know the signals of dementia.  Easy excitability.  Inability to find words, names or recognize faces.

So just letting her go off on her own was the best thing for her.

And despite her tongue lashing, I hope she is OK.  Seriously.

But it makes me wonder.  Cookie is twenty years from his seventies.  Will I be the one screaming like madman and not making sense in a few years?

In any event, life is for the living and I plan on being around for a great many years.  To quote a friend, "you're too ornery to get old."


Monday, June 30, 2014

You can never tell when or where Tropical Storm (Uncle) Arthur will turn up



Well, it seems as if Hurricane Season is upon us, again. Fudge.

The first tropical storm of the season is Arthur, and Arthur is bound and determined to louse up the Fourth of July Weekend, which is Christmas time for Marylanders who lead charmed lives and can head to the beach, while the rest of us poor suckers are sweltering 100% humidity.

Its not Arthur that has me blue - its just with tropical depressions, come rain and wind, and that leads to power outages, which Cookie despises.  BGE did raise our supply lines up by 20 feet, however, the line for the neighborhood feeds along the side of our house from the street and there are plenty-o-big old trees that are just waiting for operatic finish in a big old storm.

Bother.

This years names are as follows: Arthur Bertha Cristobal Dolly Edouard Fay Gustav Hanna Ike Josephine Kyle Laura Marco Nana Omar Paloma Rene Sally Teddy Vicky and Wilfred. If we go beyond this motley lot, then the storms are named after the greek alphabet, if needed. So evidently Uriah, Xerxes, Yolanda and Zasu will have to wait it out another year. Pity.

So I pose the question: If you could rename an entire storm season, from A to Z, what would it be, and which alphabet from the languages of the world would follow?

Monday, June 23, 2014

We cannot allow John Paulk to rise again

The other day, Cookie saw something on Politico, the pseudo news web site that gave Cookie cause for concern.

John Paulk, the former head of Exodus International, being featured in his first public feature - a self written piece - was telling the world what life for him has been like since he recanted his claims that reparative therapy works.

You see, much like an alcoholic needs a drink, Paulk needs to be the center of attention.

In undergraduate school when he and I would hang out together - and don't get me wrong, John was a lot of fun until you discovered the knife in your back - John was in vocal studies at The Ohio State University in vocal music.  He is a performer.

He performed when he was in school.

He performed when he was a prostitute.

He performed when he morphed into "Candi" the drag queen (and wore his mothers clothing, without her knowledge) at the Ruby Slipper in Columbus.

He performed when he claimed to have discovered God.

He performed when he became the face of Exodus International and held sway over audiences at his forums.

He performed as "John Clint" in Mr. P's bar and grill in Washington DC when he was trying to hustle drinks from men.

And he performed when he was  confronted by Wayne Beeson that night in the bar and lied about who he was.

And he tried to perform for James Dobson when confronted about his behavior.

But Dobson wasn't buying it.

Since his fall from grace, he's been performing on Oregon TV stations as "Chef John"; he is a restauranteur, still married and the father of two.

But it took him until last year, where in a short apology, he admitted that reparative therapy does not work, and that he identifies as a gay man.   He also is a victim - the same type of victim as the others who was fooled by the intoxicating sirens call of redemption from homosexuality.

Now, in the Politico piece he is attempting to reform his image.

While he can be contrite, and claims that one cannot undo their sexual identity, the same is true of his pathology: you can not reform a manipulator.

Like a leopard never can change their spots, narcissist is what they are to their very marrow, and despite what they say, the narcissist does not change.

Cookie has never believed a word out of Paulk's mouth.  To Cookie, Mary McCarthy's critique of Lillian Hellman applies to le Paulk.

But the gay community cannot afford to embrace John Paulk.  As Cookie wrote in 1998, "If the Christian right wing sleeps better at night safe in the comfort that people like John Paulk are there to defend their ideals and promote the "Exodus cure," then I would advise them to start sleeping with one eye open. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I predict that John Paulk will yet recreate himself again when this folly, like the ones before, runs its course."

While what he writes and what he says appear golden, never forget that his words coming out of his smiling face are nothing more than iron pyrite.  John Paulk is of dubious value to anyone foolish enough to trust him.

And there have been people in the gay community who are willing to let bygones be bygones.  To those who choose to trust Paulk on this latest caprice, Cookie warns you to sleep with one eye open.  He has a way of swinging to and fro.  His well documented track record if proof of that.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Yahoo Reports: Eric Cantor "goes down" and "no one saw it coming"



With internet media, we have Associated Press, we have bloggers who get it wrong most of the time, and we "Yahoo News".  The name makes Cookie's flesh crawl.  Thirty years ago when you got "Yahoo News" it was about some idiot in the Ozark who has a pig that looked like Jesus Christ.

Moreover, I have a hard time suppressing that vision of a grit pointing to his barrow, while it wallows in the mud, and saying "The face is the spittin' image our Jesus as he wept."

Cookie misses the day when editors made sure that headline writers used to use succinct wording to tell a story in a limited number of characters.

For example, in the days of print media, when column inches were the rule of thumb, the Top headline would have read: "Washington Stunned by Cantor Loss".   Simple, eh?

Instead, see above, And Washington, DC,  just wasn't caught off guard, but Washington is caught, not partially, but totally off guard.  No one, absolutely no one, not even one idiot saw this about to happen?  Really?

Being no fan of Eric Cantor - he reminds Cookie of a snide asshole college roommate - I was surprised by the news, and I was caught off guard - pleasantly so.  But I am old enough to know that in politics, nothing should totally surprise you.

However, it is the second headline that made Cookie chortle and role the eyes this morning:

"The second-highest ranking Republican in the House goes down, and no one saw it coming."

So did Cantor lose the election or did he do a Colonel Angus on some woman?

If Eric Cantor were to go down on a dick, no one would have seen that coming, either, I guarantee it.

What Cantor did was what his own hubris, and a safely Republican district, deemed improbable.  He lost the primary election to someone more conservative than he is, and in doing so, he also became the first sitting House Majority Leader to lose.  And it wasn't one of those 49.4% to 49.55% loses, it was a ten point spread.

A better secondary headline, one that was clear would have read: "Unpredicted primary defeat for House Majority Leader dumbfounds Washington insiders."  Or they could have gone with "First sitting House Majority Leader to lose in primary election."

Officially, Cantor is now a lame duck, and wins the Fickle Finger of Fate Award: he is now a Jeopardy question, ("This Congressional Majority Leader was the first to suffer defeat in a primary election."  Who is Eric Cantor?") all in one.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Thank goodness that meteorological summer has arrived!



 left to right Donna Lethal, Mr. Peenee, Norma Desmond and Muscato celebrate white shoe weather with cocktails and dinner at Little Chin's Chop Suey Palace.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June is our month!



I normally don't get mushy with June being Pride Month, but damn it, this June I am!

When I first came out to myself on January 21, 1983, the world was quite different than it is today.  Lesbians, gay men and bi-sexuals were still viewed as pariahs in much of the US.  And back then, just as I always imagined there would be rotary dial phones and that Jesse Helms would never die, many of us never imagined that same sex marriage ever could be possible or that Edie Windsor would prevail in front of the Supreme Court.

So this pride, the first full year since Windsor, we have seen state after state challenged in court, and in North Carolina we have seen the United Christ of Christ sue the state because the church feels that North Carolina laws in banning same sex are infringing on the church's right to help same sex couples marry.

Who would have thought that we would have ever seen that?

And with the death of Fred Phelps, it appears that his Westboro Baptist Church is unwinding as it struggles to find purpose now that the old asshole is dead.  Great, huh?

There is a long road to travel, but this Pride month, I am celebrating everything from the growing freedom to marry, to getting a HUGE income tax refund because we could file jointly as married people.

Make merry this month!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Ohios: Angst, on a shoestring.



Cookie is here to tell you that the past week has been no fun.  No. Fun. At. All.

Well, that's only partially true.

The real scoop is that the husband and I piled all of suitcases into the Scarab (what Cookie's calls the Prius) and we set off for Ohios over Memorial Day.   Why do I call it "the Ohios"?  If you have even been to Ohio, then you know that it isn't a homogeneous state - its actually six states in one - and all four corners and central Ohio all have different outlooks and goals.  A person from Shaker Heights and person from Cincinnati have very little in common, other than needing food, air and water.  Toledo and Dayton only share the desire not be the fourth city of the state, but the gene pools don't match up.  And Southeastern Ohio has more in common with Alabama than Youngstown.

And part way there, I was parched and tried to buy a Pepsi, because Joan Crawford would have wanted me to, and when I handed the lady my debit card she said "Sorry Hon, but this card has been declined and put on capture.  I had enough pocket change for the Pepsi, and rushed out to the husband who informed me that his card was denied at the pump, too.

Since we can get to the Ohios on one tank in the Scarab, I immediately called the credit union and spoke with "Mary" and Mary said that my debit card had been blocked on my personal account for transactions at a supermarket and Target store in Bel Air, Maryland to the tune of $1,400 in one day.  Thats a lot of Toasters and Cool Whip in any sense of the word.   When I asked about my joint card, it too had been zapped.

The husband's personal account?  Frozen, possible fraud.

"No, fucking way," said my husband.

Mary asked, since we were on speaker phone, "Did you have four transactions at a Wal-Mart in Dundalk, Maryland for..."

And before she could even utter the amounts the husband said "I never shop at Wal-Mart and I have never set foot in Dundalk."

For my part, I felt dirty.  Dundalk? PLEASE!

So the next morning we trudged to the credit union and spent three hours filling out paperwork and swearing the truth on affidavits.

And they made us whole, ordered us new cards, and out we walked, still we felt like we do every time we pass a yield sign - violated.

The trip was a success and we've been enjoying a leisurely week.  Still, we are creeped out.  To know that someone tried to rip you off, and they went to Dundalk to do it?  Ewwwww!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Clutch the pearls: The family tree is a bit more rotten than first thought.



As many of you know, Cookie is very deep into genealogy.  So much so that I can spell it without even thinking about it.  Genealogy is the study of family relationships.

It has been my hobby since high school - 37 years to be exact - and I took it up because there were pictures in an album and no one was quite sure who the people in the pictures were.  I found that an astounding fact. We knew who some of the people were, but others were question marks.

So I dug in and over the years I have ID'd all those people in the album, which I now own, and I have knitted together more pictures my mothers family and extended family.  To a lesser degree, my father's family because they were more concerned with getting out of the old Country lest someone conscript them into the Czar's army.

Along the way I have a number of scandals, a rash of suicides in one family, and set the record straight on some of the other urban legends haunting the family.  Over all, just things you read up on, study, and see why it explains the way things worked out as they did.

However, this past week I stumbled across a real doozy - two bits of information that totally blindsided me. And they involve my mother's "surname" great great grandfather, who was a bit of stain on the good family name.  So much so, the family added an "e" to the end of their name to try and distance themselves from the messes he created.

And I thought I knew all of the messes, but this past weekend two new scandals from the 1890s emerged and left me dazed and confused.

The first is that "John" was not married twice as we knew and documented, but THREE times.  I missed the marriage because he was married in a county far from the homestead.  But thanks to "the internets" and OCR technology and the LDS Church, I found the third marriage.

It seems that "John" had traveled to the capital city on the newly opened interurban line (early high speed electric rail service) for a day of fun and came back that night married to a woman that we'll call "Trixie".  Why Trixie?  Well, despite her best efforts to convince people that she was a great actress, the newspaper said that she was apparently more of an "actorine" (a female who attempts acting, and attempts it poorly) than Sarah Bernhardt.

Said daily newspaper then went to great lengths to lampoon John and his misses, reporting every indignity that the gold-digger put John through.  We also know that after two weeks, "a man she identified as her brother" showed up on the doorstep.  Trixie packed up all her troubles in her old carpet bag, told John that they were going "west" and left.  We ALSO know that the marriage was consummated shortly after it occurred, but that since stepping over the threshold, she "refused to lay with him upon cupid's couch."

John filed for divorce, and a year later, after he was certain that "no babe was born of the union." a divorce was granted.  But did he learn his lesson? Nope.

Two weeks later the local daily rag reported that "Mrs. M******** and daughters of New Mexico have just returned home after some days visits at the home of John Cookie. They are relatives of Mr. Cookie by marriage. Mrs. M was a granddaughter of his wife's uncle's great grandfather's niece's cousin's half-sister, a relative of Polly Dugan of London." (#)

Now, I know, for a verified fact, that "Mrs. M" is no relation to John's first or second wives.  But its the sentence "Mrs. M was a granddaughter of his wife's uncle's great grandfather's niece's cousin's half-sister, a relative of Polly Dugan of London" that tells me that something not kosher is going on.

First of all, this paper got its facts correct.  Secondly, people back then loved having family from out of town visiting and they loved having the specific relationship printed clearly in the paper because if it was clear who these people were, then there was nothing make tongues wag.  So the part about "wife's uncle's great grandfather's niece's cousin's half-sister," make no sense at all, and that tell me that the nature of the relationship was asked, and that they got an unclear answer.

And then there is the bit about "Polly Dugan of London".  London England?  London, Ohio?  Or is Polly Dugan a literary allusion to character in a book, in popular culture or a theatre.

Maybe one day, I'll discover the true nature or maybe one day I'll simply plotz and not know what hit me. And who knows what or if someone a 100 years from now will look back and say "You'll never guess what Cookie found..."



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spank it



Of late I have discovered a true enjoyment of FOX Network's Bob's Burgers.  When it first aired I didn't like it.  Now it has become my new drug of choice.  It beat me into submission, and know, I am among its loyal fans.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What could possibly go wrong



Well?

Miss you madly



This year, she would have been 90.   86 was a good run, and if it weren't for the pancreatic cancer, who knows how much time there would have been.

I miss my mother even though there were times she drove me up one wall and then another.  But I never understood what being alone in the world was really like until after she died.

If your mother is still living, and even if she drives you absolutely bonkers, love her for everything you can.

When they are gone, they are gone forever.  



Friday, May 9, 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

So how does Cookie's garden grow?


My great grandmother had been an avid flower gardener, but by the time she reached her mid ninety's things around her house began to revert to nature.  And my grandmother was more a practical gardener - flowers weren't her thing, but fruit trees were.  So we always had fresh pears and cherries.  My grandfather was a retired farmer and he refused to do much of anything, so the gardens fell into decline by the time we moved into the house.  So I taught myself about how things grew.

These tiny blue flowers are Brunella, or Brunelia, depending on who you ask.  They are among the earliest flowering plants in spring.  My great grandmother grew these in her garden, so they take me back to my childhood and how much I loved those simple days at the house in Marion, clambering through the ruins of the garden and finding all sorts of good things growing that needed a little love.

Naturally, when we moved to Maryland, these were among the first plants I sought out for our yard.  So its a bit of home, away from home.

We ventured to the nursery very early this morning and bought flowers for our containers.  Tomorrow, early, I'll head to Lowes for HOT red geraniums, which were my mother's favorites.  Why not buy them at the nursery, too?  At eight dollars a pot, my mother would have caterwauled over the price.  So in her honor, we buy the cheap stuff.

While we were at the nursery, we also bought a good sized purple flowering crepe myrtle for our front yard, and its so large, and expensive, that we paid even more money to have it professionally planted. When you plant it, you get a 30 day guarantee.  When THEY plant it your get a years guarantee. So it should go in in the next week or so.  My understanding of crepe myrtles, from reading and talking to people, is that they thrive in terrible soil and direct sun, so we have just the place for it.

Our last bit-o-spring work is the back yard.  I paid for a professionally designed plan for the garden in the backyard to give us a bit of success.  The shape of the yard, and the funky sun patterns call for it.

Hopefully tomorrow we can rip out the funky Doctor Suess shrubs in the front yard and get ready for new shrubs next week.

And next spring, I am having that horrible holly tree removed from our side front.  I know the birds love putting their nests in it, but I am tired of plants that hurt me when I walk through the yard, barefoot.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Two in a row!



Today a woman walked into the Adult Cabaret Beef Barn, and she seemed agitated.  So I got out my inventory clipboard and meandered over to the Hallmark & Bullwhip section - where we keep the cards that show you care the very most and the bullwhips that sting your submissive like nobody's business - like I was there to check on the supply of our Ben Wa Dancing Eggs.

Yes, I wanted to see what kind of crazy we were having.

And that was a big mistake.

"Where are the pop-up sympathy cards," she DEMANDED to know.

"Excuse me?"

"YOU had them last week.  I need a pop-up sympathy card, NOW!"

For a moment, I imagined many things, but not something so gauche as that.

Evidently I took too long because the screaming started.

"WHERE ARE THE GOD DAMNED POP UP CARDS!"

So, and keeping my best professional face, I walked her around the card and bullwhip department, but tried to convey that I was not familiar with such an animal.

"YOU HAD THEM UP FRONT AND THEY WERE JUST THERE A MONTH AGO AND NOW YOU," anger building in her eyes, "YOU MOVED THEM!"

I calmly explained that she would need to ask at the manager's window, because I was unaware of anything like this item in our emporium.

"WHERE IS THE GOD DAMNED MANAGERS WINDOW?"  I swear I could see foam forming at the corner of her mouth, and in her eyes I saw a potential murder - mine.

Not meaning to be flip, I pointed over my shoulder behind me to the LARGE sign that read MANAGERS WINDOW.  I started to walk away and she shrieked  "WAIT A MINUTE ASSHOLE. I'M NOT DONE WITH YOU."

With a smile on my face, and professional attitude in my brain, I started to convey my deep regret when the manager Ray Don came out running as fast as his bow legged chubby legs could carry him.

I was wondering when he was going to poke his pea picking self out of the back room over this stink.

Luckily, she was so lathered up in her own little drama that she didn't miss a beat.  And for fifteen minutes she proceeded to rip Ray Don a second asshole.

By this point a crowd was forming and Corporate HATES crowds forming.  And then something happened.  Crazy woman took a look around and realized that twenty pairs of eyes were fixated on her.

"What she want....buzz...buzz...buzz...something about a pop-up sympathy card....buzz...buzz...buzz...what the heck is that?..."

Finally, about an hour after this started, we got this woman out the door.

Grief does strange things to strange people.

But a popup sympathy cared?  Well, thats just too fucked up for even me to think about.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Whatever you do...



So I was working last week at the Adult Cabaret and Beef House Strip Club when a client, who looked like an old black version of ET, came in and asked where we kept our "Baubles".

"Come again," asks I.

"Your baubles! BAUBLES! Holy baubles," says she.

OH!  BIBLES? "Why didn't you say so?"

I lead the woman to that spot and then went about my business.

As I was walking about, looking for those who would similar assistance, I heard this dry digging sound.

So I decided to swing down the aisles and who did I  find but ET, holding a "bauble" in her left claw and the other claw scratching, digging at her pant suited behind.

Just as what was going on registered in my mind she looked at me, and it must have registered in her mind that I had seen he pick her seat, and said "What are you looking at, you white devil?"

Leading me to imagine HWJSHA*?


*How would Jesus scratch his ass?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Family Matters



Today I found myself alone in my car, driving 40 minutes southwest towards Washington, DC.  I was wearing dress pants, white shirt and tie and my best shoes.  I should have been in heaven, but instead my trip took me far short of DC, and I instead ended up in the suburbs of Olney, Maryland.

This was a day of obligation and respect.  I was on the way to family memorial gathering, but for someone wasn't family, but was.

ALL of my brothers are half brothers on my fathers side of the family.  The funeral today was for their Uncle Marty.

Because one brother was in California, and the other in Ohio, I felt it was important that someone from my fathers family be there.

One of the things that I did after Dad died (and left us all a legal mess epic proportions) was to get in touch with the brothers Aunt.  The Aunt, a lovely woman, had been cut out of the boys lives by my father.  Once their mother was gone, that was that.

So I called her to tell her the beast was gone.  So Aunt reclaimed her rightful position in my brothers lives.

Once we moved here, we thought about going to see her, but with Marty is rough shape, we never knew when was a good time.

And that brings us to today.

I know that I didn't inflict pain into her life and rob my brothers of a lifetime of love from their mother's only living sister.  But I do feel that I should repair as much of the damage he caused.

Niecy and her brood showed up - and I accidently turned myself into the ogre of the day when I asked her three year old son to stop touching all of the cookies.  OY!

And Aunt went around introducing me "I had a sister who passed, and she left behind her husband and two sons.  Cookie is from my former brother in laws second marriage....and I can't tell you how shocked and glad that he is here!"

This impressed all of her friends when called me a "mensch".

I met the Aunt's best friend who asked where my wife was.  "Well," he's at home..."  She says "Old habits die hard.  Is he a doctor?  Because if he is, never complain about the hours he keeps."

I left after two hours and then drove home.

Along the way I thought what shame it was that my brothers spent most of their lives without their Aunt.

One of the great sadnesses of life is that funerals these days come to often.  There used to be a time when they were rare events.  But now they come to often and they take the people who have always been there, the people that we think, "oh, I'll call them next week," only they aren't there and its too late.

If there is someone in your life that you you keep putting off, stop and call them or better yet see them.  Life is precious and it is fleeting.  Embrace them now, instead of eulogizing them after they've passed.

Friday, April 18, 2014

What the best dressed locks are wearing this season



TRUE STORY:  We have a dear friend in Ohio who took care of his aging mother for many years.  Ethel was a real pistol.  Frail, but she didn't suffer fools very well and at times could exhibit a very salty tongue.

So Davey would see that Ethel was up every morning and then he or his partner would get her on the bus to adult daycare, and then one of them would retrieve her at night for the ride back home.

Davey picks her up one night, gets her into the car's passenger seat, gets himself into the drivers seat and starts the car. He tells her to buckle herself in, and Ethel grumbles, but starts the process.  And Davey waits, and watches as she fusses and struggles with the seat belt.

Does she need help?  No.

Are you sure you don't need help? No.

Finally he says "Well you know we're not moving this car until you get snapped in."

"How the Hell," replies an exasperated Ethel, "do you expect me to find the hole if there's no hair around it?"


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What do you get when you take these two images and mash them together?


Hippie Barbie +


Public Service Announcement from the 1960s =



So remember kids, get your Barbie checked so you don't keep giving the gift that keeps on giving.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cookie, the Old Jewish Lady and The Wrapping Paper



So Cookie is at work work last week and was assigned to the front of the house to work with people because staffing was thin.  Because I can do many things, I get assigned to do many things, and working with the great unwashed was where I was told to station.

The majority of the people who patronize the "Showbar and Beef House" where I work are nice people.  But like like any job, every now and then you end up with a couple of clowns, or someone's bubbie who is a bit of a pill.

Because Cookie can wrap presents like nobodies business, one of the floor managers asked if I could head over to the wrapping department because "Carole" was having an issue with a customer and it being BOTH Easter and Passover Season, everyone was buying gifts.

I called next and got a miserable old Jewish woman.  How do I know she was miserable?

Cookie: Good afternoon, how may I assist you today?

MOJW: Don't give that 'I'm happy to see you' chazzeri.  I need to you to wrap these.  What kind of paper do you have?

Cookie: We have the samples on the wall.

MOJW: Those are ugly.  I want the paper you give the special people.

Cookie: What we have is displayed on the wall.  Or we have these papers and bags for sale in the "Stationary and Lap Dance" area.

MOJW: I don't pay for wrapping paper.  Do you know who I am?"

Cookie: No...

MOJW: You don't seem interested in helping me, so just wrap them in that crappy green paper.

So I wrap her gifts and ask "Would you like bows, as well?"

MOJW: There's that happy crap, again.

Cookie: Excuse me?

MOJW: Nevermind.  Give me three more feet of that wrapping paper, I have other presents for the grandchildren and I don't need you to wrap them.

So I tore off a length and gave it to her.

Carole, my co-worker, walked over and said "Why did you give her that paper?  We only wrap what we sell."

True, we are only supposed to wrap what we sell, but the old broad was more trouble than she was worth.   So I told Carole that she was nasty, drawing attention like flies to honey, and now she has left the business to spread her special type of sunshine to other parts of the world.

As I worked through the rest of the shift, I had to wonder what had shit all over this miserable old broad in her life to be nasty to other people.  Then I reminded myself that she was old and Jewish, and who knows what she had lived through in her lifetime, or had to put up with.  Maybe she was stressed about the upcoming Passover holiday.  Or maybe she was just a mean old bitch.  Either way, in our store she was causing a scene - out the door she was out of mind.

When I was clocking the General Manager came up to me and said "I understand that you gave away some free wrapping paper today..."

So again, I described what happened, and the woman and question.  Yes, says I, we lost all of two cents on generic wrapping paper, but it got that old bat out of the area on with her uplifting message of joy.  "She had all clearance priced stuff, she wanted the free wrapping paper and was simply miserable."

"Well," says the manager who is always ready with a back-handed comment, "She's still a valued client."

"And what better to show she was valued than to give her .10 of bulk paper and make it seem like it cost us a thousand times as much?  And besides, she bought up that stuff that has been on the clearance cart for the past month.  That makes her worth her weight in gold, right?"

And this gets me thinking - what is it about about consumers that makes them feel that that simply because people work in retail that they are ready, willing and able to take abuse from people who are too cheap to pay for something as minimal as wrapping paper?