Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Mystery of the Funky Green Poop

So when my daughter, Cressy, was about two years old I took her in for her annual physical.  Whilst we were doing our thing at the pediatrician's office my daughter did her thing in her diaper.  She took a little toddler dumpenetta, alternatively known as a gruntie or a poopie doodle.  Of course, there is my all time favorite, she made a deposit in the porcelain bank.  (Of course a diaper is a metaphorical porcelain bank.)  As the pediatrician cannot be expected to examine a toddler with a dirty diaper I took a moment (maybe two) to change her.  And voila.  Her little dirty, sinful business was bright Kelly green.

BRIGHT KELLY GREEN.  It was so green that the Irish would say, "Damn, that's green."

Then the nurse came in and saw what had occurred and she said, "So is your daughter on medication that you didn't tell me about?"

And Cressy was not on any medication that I had dolefully neglected to mention.  So the nurse developed a pinched expression on her face.  (If I had been judging it by my daughter's face, I would have guessed that the nurse was about to pinch a smelly loaf of her own or as it's known in the south, about to sink some stinky sailors in the silly sea.  Hah.  I made that up.  It's not really southern, but it should be.)  In any case the nurse continued with the 'look' on her face that silently said, 'You're a poor mother.  Your daughter has bright green poopoo and you didn't tell us something we obviously need to know as medical practitioners of the first degree.  You suck and we are royalty.'  (It really was an involved expression, you know and I think she must have practiced in front of a mirror at home to perfect it.)

"That's not normal," the nurse finally pronounced as if I would fall to my knees on the floor and wail my utter dearth of goodmotherness.  ("Oh, woe is me!  I have done Cressy wrong!  Ohhh!")

Yes, I was aware that my daughter had been having green poopsies for some time.  Since she was eating typically, drinking, not expressing any pains, and everything else was going well, I didn't really think anything about it.  (It wasn't black and the poor little dear wasn't screaming because she was horribly constipated.)  And I should mention that as a mother of a small child one QUICKLY learns that exjectamenta comes in ALL colors, consistencies, and shapes.  ("Oh, my goodness, that type is new and ever so unusual.  I should take a photo and post it on Facebook!")

But as a typical mother, I tended to bristle when a nurse cops an attitude about my level of care concerning my child.  "So what is a normal poopage?" I asked belligerently.  "I'll have to get a color chart to compare daily pooplets.  My God, what was I thinking?  My daughter has bright green turds.  It could be the end of the world as we know it!"  (No, I didn't say that to the nurse, but I was definitely thinking it.)

"Okay," I mumbled.  "I'll talk to the doctor about it." 

So the doctor comes in, does her thing (and that didn't have anything to do with her personal little brown floaties) and I talk about the BRIGHT GREEN crusty critters.

"So what is she eating and drinking?" asks the doctor.

So I tell the doctor.  Then I add, "And she really likes Grape Koolaid."

"Ah," says the doctor.  "You should give her water.  She'll get a sweet tooth."

And what does that have to do with green butt clusters?  I do not know.  Apparently my lack of education in the medical field restrains me from completely understanding the intricacies of how a sweet tooth is directly linked to the output of green carbuncles.  Plus having suffered the tweaked-nerve-in-the-neck-stare from the nurse I was not in the mood to be understanding.

The doctor was well-groomed, about five foot five inches, and looked like she weighed about one hundred pounds soaking wet.  She had real diamond studs in her ears and a rock on her finger that could have sunk the Titanic.  I wanted to ask her if her daughter's nanny let her drink Grape Koolaid or the night nanny made the unfortunate dear drink only water (Perrier, I'm sure).  All things considered I handled my temper pretty well.  I WAS NOT feeding Cressy candy bars or snacks while shopping in Walmart, as I had seen women doing.  (One kid was two years old, weighed more than two of Cressy put together and was literally stuffed in the child seat of a shopping cart.  And he had the mega-sized Snicker's bar in his sweaty pudgy hand, which he was cheerfully shoving into his mouth while his mother shopped for whatever and chatted on her cell phone.)

Grape Koolaid!  The indignities, the utter wretchedness of the drink that I had drunk as a child myself.  Oh, I was a terrible mother.  How could I have been so remiss in my parental responsibilities?  Oh, however will the psychologist that she eventually goes to deal with this shameful and despicable event in her psyche?

Anyway, the doctor and I never got back to the green chewbacca chunks because the doctor had climbed onto her high horse of moral nutritional obligation and was imparting to me the varied and multiple errors of my being.  If I continued to let my child drink something 'sweet' she would never like anything else.  If I persisted with these vile deeds with my daughter she would turn into a serial killer who cannibalized sorority girls at midnight at abandoned summer camps.  (The doctor didn't really say that but it was definitely implied.)

I slunk out of the pediatrician's office knowing that I had done Cressy a dreadful wrong.  I had given her Grape Koolaid instead of water.  Oh, the ignobility of it all.

What did I do?  I tried giving Cressy water and she didn't want it.  Basically she gave me a toddler look that said, 'Why?  Why would you torture me with this tasteless clear stuff, Mother?  Why?'  So I gave her the Grape Koolaid.  Even worse was that I drank it, too.  It wasn't bad and it was sugar free, so it wasn't like I was giving her a hundred calories in a shot.  If it was good enough for my daughter, then by God I would drink it, too.  Cressy and I toasted each other with sippy cups.  The hell with the nurse.  The hell with the doctor.  If Cressy grew up to a psychopathic murderer with tendencies to eat fried testicles from cabana boys from Tijuana then who was I to criticize her if she was truly happy?  Yea, green colon cannonballs!

Then about a week later I noticed I had bright Kelly green poopsters.  And I had to stop to think about it.  Cressy had bright green toilet twinkles.  I had bright green mudfat balls.  Was it coincidence?  I think not.

It was the bleeping Grape Koolaid!

I looked it up on the Internet.  The dye used in the Koolaid is Blue #5, and red. It turns out that when metabolized in sufficient quantity, the blue dye combines with bile, and forms a brilliant green. The red, absorbing at a different level, is safely jettisoned.  And out comes BRIGHT KELLY GREEN poopsie lalas.  (There's another couple of reasons for green whoopsies.  One is excess eating of green vegetables but that clearly wasn't the case with us.  Haha.  We didn't need no stinking green vegetables.)

I would have told the pediatrician and her pinchy faced nurse about the Grape Koolaid Effect but I decided I wanted a doctor's office where their kaka didn't smell like daffodils.  Or at least if it did look like daffodils then they didn't blame me for it.

Anyway, I'm going to go drink some Grape Koolaid.  Yea, me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why I Love to Fly in Airplanes or How a Venti Chai Tea Latte Almost Ruined my Personal Flotation Device

It was a Saturday and my sister called.  She said, "WHY haven't you written the story about the airplane?"  I said, "It's on my list," in my best, protesting, 'please don't hurt me' voice.  She said, "Your blog is great but you need to tell that story.  I insist."  (She might not have used those exact words, but that was the general gist.  I swear it.  And she didn't say anything about breaking my kneecaps with a rusty ball peen hammer or something about sleeping with the fishes.)

Okay then.

So I took a plane to visit my sister in Spokane, Washington.  I stopped in Chicago and changed planes.  Because the plane left at an ungodly hour, I was half asleep.  Then the lights dawned.  The sun came out from behind a cloud.  The angelic music sounded in trumpet-like fashion.  There was...a STARBUCKS.  Caffeine on the hoof.  I would have done a jig in the airport but the security people look at you funny when you do things like that.  (Imagine all the 'bomb' jokes I can't tell anymore because I go into an airport.  Also since I live close to DC, I'm pretty limited there too.  And folks wonder why I'm so taciturn when I take them to the Smithsonian.)

I ordered a Venti Chai Tea Latte.  It was good.  It was really good.  I could feel the caffeine flowing through my veins like crack through a tweaker.  I could focus on the real world once again.  Life was good again.  Plus once I got on the plane I could get more caffeine.  After all, I can't sleep on planes.  I'm afraid I'll wake up and I'll have been drooling on the shoulder of the person sitting next to me.  Then that person will tell me I was muttering things about a pool boy named Carlos whom I once met in the Bahamas.  (Not really.  I've never been to the Bahamas.)  Let's just say there are reasons that I say that I'm slightly neurotic.

So having drunk the Venti Chai Tea Latte I was in an improved mood.  I boarded the plane along with all the other cattle, found my seat, and surreptitiously surveiled my seatmate, who was a twenty-something girl with an iPod permanently attached to her ears.  (I was slightly bummed because she looked at me as if I would mother her or something equally horrible and wretched.)  She proceeded to turn on the iPod and close her eyes.  Lucky her.  She was capable of sleeping on the plane.

Then after all was said and done, the plane doors were closed and locked.  Then the stewardess proceeded to tell us the bad news.  Two quick things here.  One was that these people (airline people) deliberately closed and locked the door BEFORE telling us the bad news.  No one was going to escape.  Not me.  Not the pilot.  Not little Ms. iPod.  The second thing was that the stewardess (should I use the more politically correct flight attendant?) was about six feet tall, had a blond wig on, and wore a scarf tied around her throat.  Her shoulders were wider than the aisle and I ultimately came to the conclusion that she was a man dressed as a woman.  Her name was Helga or Olga or something -Ga.  I didn't care about the man thing but I think they chose her to deliver the bad news because no one was gonna mess with her.  (She blocked out the sun.)  Here's what Helga said: "Well, we've discovered that this plane has no potable water, which is not really a problem.  What that really means is that we're not going to have coffee or tea and we're not going to be able to run the water in the bathrooms."

I know what thought went my mind, but so did Helga and she went on, "But we CAN use the bathrooms so we don't have to worry about that."  Never mind that we wouldn't be able to wash our hands, but we could pee and go poo poo. 

I was okay. I'd had the Venti Chai Tea Latte.  I was caffeinated.  I had a book to read.  I had hand sanitizer in my purse.  It was a two and half hour flight and I thought, Well, okay then.  I can do this.

So the plane took off.  It was on time.  Most people were relatively happy although I did hear grumbling about no bleeping coffee.  I think little Ms. iPod was comatose at that point, which made me a little jealous.  Then the plane was climbing and eventually it seemed like we reached altitude.  But it was a little choppy.

At that point my bladder was reminding me of two things.  One was that it was the size of a walnut and two was that I had drank a VENTI CHAI TEA LATTE!  Right down to the bottom of the cup with great glee and even a small giggle as I threw the empty into the trash.  For those of you who don't speak Italian or Starbucks, the venti is the large size or 20 ounces.  (Venti is twenty in Italian.)  So I was belted into my narrow seat, with limited foot room, reflecting that I should have done an emergency last minute pee before I boarded the airplane.  After all, I had drank a VENTI CHAI TEA LATTE!  I was doing the seated pee pee dance.  One leg moved.  The other leg moved.  My butt wiggled.  I readjusted the seat belt.  I looked up and down the aisles.  I looked up at the red lighted seat belt sign.  I looked at Ms. iPod for moral support but she was drooling and whispering something about Carlos the pool boy.  (It seemed okay coming from her.)

About thirty minutes into the flight I was going to beg Helga the linebacker for the right to use the bathroom, for the love of God.  The VENTI CHAI TEA LATTE! had processed through my system like alcohol through a frat boy at an all night kegger on the beach.  My bladder was screaming at me.  NOW!  NOW!  NOW!  Any moment the pee was going to do a kamikaze moment on my personal flotation device, and no one was going to like that much.

Since there was a little turbulence, the pilot was obviously reluctant to turn off the seat belt sign.  Finally, at long last, I reckon Helga the linebacker must have told him that the passengers were ready to revolt.  Apparently I wasn't the only one who had drank a VENTI CHAI TEA LATTE! shortly before boarding.  I had my legs clenched together and my jaws clamped down and my hands had mangled the arm rests beyond recognition.

That was a mistake.  You see, at that moment the pilot relented and flicked off the seat belt sign.  He started to say something about turbulence and giving everyone a quick break to stand up and stretch their legs, which was an euphemism for letting us all run quickly to the bathrooms to stand in line and do the pee pee dance standing up for a change.  But because I was wound up like a yoga contortionist wishing for a miracle I couldn't stand up in time.  Before the first word was out of the pilot's mouth, there was a herd of people who went tromp-tromp-TROMP back to the economy bathroom.  If someone had tripped they would have trampled the poor bastard to death without remorse.  And simply put, I wasn't quick enough.

So I made a decision.  I would wait a few minutes and then go stand in line.  I clenched my legs and my jaws tighter together and settled down for more agony.  However, not more than thirty seconds passed and the crowd turned around with Helga yelling at the back like a cowboy expertly rounding up the herd.  "Passengers HO!" she bellowed.  (Not really, but it reads well.)  But the crowd did tromp-tromp-TROMP back up the aisle to the front.  Helga came on the speaker a moment later and said that the single bathroom in the back of the plane was BROKEN (and mysteriously it didn't have anything to do with a lack of potable water) and we would all have to use the one in the front in first class.

My bladder whimpered.

There was a line coming out of the first class section and extending past where I was sitting.  I think I was in row 7.  I recrossed my legs and waited for the real torture to begin.  Little Ms. iPod slept through all of this.  The lucky, little, perky-titted twinkie.

Eventually.  Eventually.  Eventually, the line got shorter. I managed to take my seat belt off and waddle to the front of the plane.  I would have grabbed my crotch but I was afraid someone would think I was Michael Jackson (this happened before his death) or maybe Madonna.  It was all I could do to make it into the queue with the rest of the pee pee dancing individuals who had made similar mistakes.  ("So what did you drink?"  "A VENTI CHAI TEA LATTE!, what about you?"  "It was a Mega Big Gulp from Seven/Eleven.  God help me."  "You poor sorry son of a bitch."  "I think my bladder just exploded."  "Me, too."  "Well, hey I guess that means we don't need the mini bathroom anymore."  "Hallelujah!")

So you would think that standing in line was the end of my agony.

Ha.  It wasn't.

The other flight attendant was named Kyle.  I'm trying to think of the best way to describe it.  Kyle was very happy.  He was happy to be there.  He was happy to be flying.  He was happy to be talking to the passengers.  He was HAPPY.  As a matter of fact, his name wasn't Kyle.  It was KYLE.  No, it was **KYLE**.  And I'm pretty sure he threw his hands up in the air when he said it.  "I'm **KYLE**.  Isn't everything just peachy?  Doesn't the sun glow with gloriousness?  Isn't the canned cabin air fabulous?  Aren't my tight pants tight across my toned little tushie?"  (Okay, my imagination and tendency to exaggerate just happened again.)

Upon reflection and contemplation, I now understand that Kyle had the more difficult job.  He was chatting with the passengers waiting for the single bathroom to open up and defusing bad tempers about not having potable water, not being able to clean their hands, to have only one bathroom, to not have access to any drink with caffeine in it, and having to stand in line with the first class passengers who were glancing up at us as if we would abruptly jump on them and eat them.  ("First class scum!  You die now!  We want your extra three inches of leg room and your hot towels!  We also want **KYLE** to be our steward, oops, flight attendant!  We're afraid of Helga!")

So about that time my feet were tap-tap-tapping.  My butt was swinging.  My legs are crossing and re-crossing.  I was muttering under my breath.  "Please.  Please.  Please.  Pee faster.  Pee like freaking Superman."  The first class people are staring at me and I wanted to yell at them.  ("I had a fucking VENTI CHAI TEA LATTE! right before I got on the fucking plane.  Don't you understand?")  And when I finally got to be next in line to use the bathroom **KYLE** looked at me and perkily said, "SO what DO you DO for a LIVING?"

And I think that was the moment when I had the meltdown.  Normally I would have been polite.  ("Why, Kyle, I'm a writer and live at home mommy.  Here let me show you a photo of my daughter.")  But it was too late.  I stared at **KYLE** with his bouncy, cheerful, pert attitude, and his little head tilted to one side, as he waited for me to say something like, "Why **KYLE**, I'm so HAPPY to meet YOU.  Aren't YOU perky?  I just want to PINCH your little cheeks to DEATH."  So what really happened was that I choked out, "I don't care.  I had a VENTI CHAI TEA LATTE! and I **NEED** to use the bathroom."

That's when I discovered that even in the tightest confines of a limited area that people can still back away.  Poor **KYLE**.  He was just trying to keep everyone happy.

Thankfully for all involved the bathroom door opened and I dived inside before the Air Marshall was called in.  My pants and panties were down quicker than a pair of high school kids' in the back seat of a 1964 Mustang.  And even over the roar of the plane's engines, I think that everyone heard my sigh of relief.  ("OH THANK YOU, JESUS!  OH, the LIBERATION!"  My BLADDER THANKS YOU, too!")

I slunk back to my seat and used my hand sanitizer and Ms. iPod woke up and said, "Are we there yet?"  She went to use the bathroom a few minutes later and had to jump into the lap of a man a few seats up because Helga the linebacker came plowing down the aisle, so she figured it out for herself.

Anyway, sorry **KYLE**,  I was grumpy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Strange Attack of the Fifty Foot Tall Mr. Chickenwings or How I Was Hit On While in Walmart

It was a lovely fall day. The leaves were gold, red, and brownish with a hint of taupe and green, and also the Dow Jones was up. Yea, stock market. While humming 'You shook me all night long' and chewing Bubbalicious gum, I was innocently minding my own fat woman business at Walmart. Yes, I went shopping at the Walmart SUPERCENTER where one can purchase SUPER food and SUPER junk from China while eying the Dunkin' Donuts conveniently located at the exit of the store. Who said capitalism was bad?

I had finished my shopping and had paid for my meager items. It was a slow shopping day and was headed out to the car when it happened. Yes, it. IT. IT. IT. (Like one of those nuclear disaster inspired monster movies that make radioactive, ginormous, purple polka-dotted spiders that like to nibble on hapless housewives. You know, IT!!!!!)

I feel obliged to mention that IT has happened before. When I was younger, skinnier, and my hair wasn't fifty percent gray. I can even (in my dotage) remember some of the best (by best, I really mean worst) lines. "Hey, baby, we should conserve body heat...together, I mean." (This cretin had just been swimming so I reckon he thought he was being original.) "So what kind of knives do you recommend for a single man?" (This while I was working in a knife store and I was sort of trapped there.) "Do you want to come see my...drawings?" (Hah. I bet he had to work hard to replace etchings with drawings.)

Yes, it refers to pick up lines. Do men memorize these things or am I that out of date? "Did it hurt when you fell out of the sky?" "Huh?" "You are an angel, after all." Hoped for response: "Tee-hee-hee, here's my number, and I'm off at 10 pm." Actual response: "Boy, did you ride on the short bus when you went to school?"

So as I've been married for 27 years, it happens less and less. (He who I am married to never used the angel line, which was a plus for him.) Anyway as I've become fatter it happens a whole lot less. Not that I'm complaining. My husband still hits on me. (And I mean in a good way.) But I don't normally expect it from strangers and when it happened at Walmart, I was taken aback. I was.

For one thing, it was an entirely new approach. For another thing, the guy hadn't been even looking at me. Usually you can tell if someone is going to let one stinker of a pick up line rip. He stares at you. Or stares at your boobs. Sometimes he's staring at some other part of your body. He might sidle up to you and make a tentative pass, veering off at the last moment like a skittish horse looking for just the right filly to hook up with. Then he'll come inching up later, as if building up his courage in case I go postal or maybe checking to see if I'm a bunnyboiler in disguise. It's pretty obvious. This was so out of the blue I didn't know how to react.

And may I mention that I would have never thought of Walmart as an ideal place to find your next hokey poky. "My, doesn't that beef tenderloin have a nice price, and may I say that your skin is luminescent in the fluorescent lights?" (That wasn't bad. I wish someone had said that to me.) Walmart doesn't even have a bar. It's got a Dunkin' Donuts which prompts all kinds of interesting lines. "Would you like to double dip your donut in my coffee, baby?" or even "Can I buy you a strawberry filled, double-glazed donut, sweet thing?" (Wink. Wink.) Or the perennial favorite: "Is that a donut in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" (Might not work man to woman, but hey if any woman, or man for that matter, out there is inspired, you go right ahead and use it. I'd love to know what happens.)

So I had made my purchases. I had the bags in my hand. I was struggling to find my keys before I went outside, and was attempting to switch my shoulder bag to my other hand while digging in my cavernous purse. I was studiously ignoring Dunkin' Donuts at my right because it was calling to me in a siren like fashion, "Hey, you. Fat woman. Yes, you. Come to me. Eat of the donut. Yes, eat of the donut." (Haha. Refer to the blog about The Stupidest Man Ever. I do, in fact, eat of the donut.)

Then it happened.

There was a man in front of me who seemed to be leaving at the same time who abruptly turned to me, proffered a plastic clam shell container of something, and said, "You want to go eat chicken wings with me?" (The plastic clam shell was chicken wings, for those who weren't paying attention.)

When telling the story to some of my mommy friends, one said, "And you didn't ask the guy if they were spicy chicken wings or not, Caren?" which was the best return line I could have ever thought of, and bears mentioning because that would have been fucking hilarious. I don't think Mr. Chickenwings (thanks to another mommy friend for that moniker, btw) would have known what to do. (Ideally he would have arched an eyebrow and said leeringly, "Spicy, baby.")

So I feel compelled, as I often do, to make note of several things. This was a tall, big man about my age, so I didn't feel like it was completely inappropriate. But he just suddenly pounced on me, as if he was frantically determined. ("Hey, you, fat woman. You're fat, right? Then you must like chicken wings. How about it, sweetie?") Did I have 'desperate' written on my forehead? Did I look like a woman in need of a chicken wing fix? How does that look? Like a junkie in need of a tweak? Since I was standing next to Dunkin' Donuts, did I look like since I'd just been there, maybe I was, therefore, ready to fill up on his chicken wings. (Insert lewd comment here. Feel free to be creative.)
I would suggest to Mr. Chickenwings that perhaps he should be waiting outside of KFC for his next victim, oops, I mean target. Then he would know for certain that the woman in question likes chicken wings. Or at least she likes chicken. Perhaps he should go after them before they go in. Just a suggestion.

So what did I say to Mr. Chickenwings? Well, I think I gave him a look like I was dumbfounded, because, well, I was, and I said, "I don't think so," and left him for the next fat woman standing next to Dunkin' Donuts.

Go figure.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Stupidest Man Ever

Do I think that all men are stupid? No, of course not. Some are. Some aren't. Some women are. Some women aren't. But I've met the STUPIDEST MAN EVER. I can go through the rest of my life knowing that he was, in actuality, in reality, in the plainest truth, the STUPIDEST MAN EVER. No one will ever beat his record of disproportional dumbness. He was so dumb that they fired him from the M&M Factory for throwing away all the m&m's that had 'W's on them. He was so dumb he thought General Motors was in the Army. He was so dumb that he sold his car for gas money. He was so dumb he spent twenty minutes looking at the orange juice can because it said, 'Concentrate.'

Okay. Now I'll tell you what really happened and let you decide.

Once upon a time in the Dallas/Fort Worth area there was a restaurant called, 'Dino's.' Dino's served hoagies, pizza, and the basic Italian fare. We liked the hoagies. One in particular was favored by all. It was an all the meats on your basic hoagie roll with the works. They would put this mixture of vinegar, spices, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and some other stuff. Makes my mouth water thinking about it. This place was your basic dive but the hoagies (never tried anything else so I don't know) were wonderful. So we went there often, even though it was out of our way.

One day we went for our hoagies, and were waiting in line. (Lines were an often occurring liability at this restaurant because there were many other people in the area who also liked their hoagies.) There was a man in front of us. (This is the STUPIDEST MAN EVER, in case I haven't been building up to it properly, otherwise called 'foreshadowing.' He didn't have a t-shirt proclaiming his ignorance or a sign, but he should have. As a matter of fact, he should have had it tattooed on his forehead. It would have saved him and all the people he comes in contact with on a daily basis a whole lotta grief.) (As a matter of fact, the government should give out free tattoos to people like this. A tattoo program so they can skip over the parts that vex them. Yea, socialism.)

So this man, I shall call him George, ordered his food from the clerk. (Dino's has a front area that has a long bar where you order, then it is prepared for you in front of you while you wait. After ordering a hoagie, you pay for it at the end of the counter before stealing away to a booth to consume your high-fat content booty in mouth-watering gulps of joy.)

George: I'd like a number 9. Double meat. With the works.

The clerk (A moment to describe the clerk/waitress/work person. This is a tough cookie who we've dealt with every time we come in. She and her sister worked here religiously, as if they own the joint, and for all I knew they did. They didn't take crap off anyone, and I suppose it was part of the appeal.): Okee-dokee, that's a number 9, double meat with the works and do you-

George interrupted her: Except I cannot eat of the pig. (This was said in a holier than thou manner, as if he was dispersing his divine knowledge upon the ignorant clerk.)

The clerk's face kind of looked like this.
The clerk finally said in a stupefied manner, repeating the words as if she couldn't quite get it: You cannot eat of the pig.

George, in a kind of indignant fervor: My religion prohibits me. I cannot eat of the pig. There are religions like this, you know, where folks cannot eat of the pig.

The clerk: But the no. 9 is the all the meats. (The hidden message to George here went sailing over his intelligent impaired cranial area like a Blackbird headed for the Soviet Union circa the Cold War.)

George, devoutly: I know.

The clerk had this expression on her face.

Then she said slowly and carefully so that nothing would be misunderstood: So you don't want the bacon.

This would be the part where if George had had the tattoo on his forehead proclaiming his stupidity and general ignorance, then it would have been all right, for the clerk would have seen the tattoo and understood that George was, in fact, dumber than a box of rocks. She would have said: Oh, Gosh, look at that. You've got the tattoo. No problem. I'll take care of it. But poor woebegone George DID NOT have the tattoo, and he said: Oh, I want the bacon. I can have the bacon. But I cannot eat of the pig. No pork.

The clerk: And the ham? (The number 9 hoagie had ALL the meats; none were excluded. No bigotry against the protein products in that sandwich. When I said all the meats, it MEANT every last damn one of them.)

George: I can have the ham, too. But I cannot eat of the pig. No pork.

At this moment the clerk naturally looked at us, the people who were standing behind George in line. And anyone with a brain, except George of course, could see that she was trying to determine whether George was serious or not. Then once that wheel had turned, she was trying to decide whether she should clue him in.

The question that I had at that moment was of an inquisitorial and dumbfounded nature. If bacon and ham didn't come from a pig, then what animal, pray tell, did George think it came from? (Yes, you too can eat bacon from the elusive Bacondi, an animal who lives in the mountains of Appalachia and drinks from spring fed creeks and eats blessed grass from mountain meadows. Maybe it crapped out pieces of bacon already cut to frying pan size. What a great animal. Could I get one? I mean, I eat of the pig. Everyday, too.)

I am reminded of a time where I was watching the Tonight Show and Jay Leno went out on the street to ask people various questions. So he asked this cute, young blond girl where pork chops come from. Her reply, and I can only surmise that this girl is in some manner, related to George, was: From a Pork Chop Tree. (This is the same girl that if you asked her what kind of car she had, she would say: A blue one.)

Holy Carp. Where is this tree and does it come with cream of mushroom gravy? Are there subspecies of braised pork chop trees and lemon-garlic pork chop trees. Does one need a special machine to cut the chops from the tree or does one wait until the chops are ripe and fall to the ground?

But back to the original story. Was it the clerk's job to clue poor George in on his ignoble failure to understand that bacon, ham, and chitlin's all come from the same animal, that if he ate the bacon and the ham, then he was EATING of the pig?

The clerk looked at us as if seeking divine interpretation and we answered. Although not divine, my husband made a sort of oh-what-the-hell-go-ahead-and-give-it-to-the-dumbass-if-he's-too-stupid-to-know-where-ham-and-bacon-come-from-then-he-deserves-what-he-gets gesture.

So the clerk loaded up George's hoagie, DOUBLE bacon, DOUBLE ham, DOUBLE every other type of meat that went on it, with the exception of PORK (which was the only meat not originally offered, probably because it was sort of implied that since the sandwich already had bacon, ham, and Canadian Bacon, then it was INCLUDED), wrapped it up, took his money, and gave it to him. And George went out whistling, happy to have instructed a heathen about the intricacies of his religious state of being. The look on George's face was explicit. He had taken on a heretic and he had won.

And that is the story of the STUPIDEST MAN EVER. True story. Dude, I can't make up stuff like that.

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