Sunday, July 29, 2012

Epidurals and saving grace

                I know, dear readers, it has been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything.  And for that I am truly apologetic.  Not apologetic enough to have posted anything; mind you, but apologetic nonetheless.  I have been working very hard serving Veterans and could use that as my excuse, but I believe we are close enough for me to admit, I’ve just been tired, y’all; as tired as parachute pants.  As tired as a double-shift ending quickie mart manager who suddenly remembers that they have to go to the 24 hour Wal-Mart to buy Huggies for their grandbaby whose trifling mama can’t be bothered to stop partying to go get.  Not that I’m specifying anyone I know; it’s just a general description.

                Work has been tiring. Some people have likened manaing people to herding cats.  I describe it as more akin to herding birthday balloons; the ones that have been haphazardly and unwillingly inflated by Daddy and Uncle Herschel as opposed to, say, Scary Freaky Clown Guy with his efficient tank of helium and death.  They float lazily along, skittering hither and yon from some ever-present breeze that stems from the slow exhale of apathy.  Of course, you understand, this is absolutely not descriptive of my staff.  No, sir.  Those in my office are the very picture of efficiency and zeal.  Some even read this blog.  Hi Katherine.

                The tiredness has been compounded by the hourly briefing s from my father about his post-surgery condition.  As I may have shared, he recently underwent minor outpatient surgery.  He had a cyst on his…well, let’s just say lower back and leave it at that.  Anyhoo, his lower back “sprung a leak” from the description he gave and he had to return to the hospital for a follow-up procedure where he informed all and sundry in the operating room that their parents were in fact never married.  I really can’t blame him for his outburst although I denied any knowledge of the name of his caretaker or his connection to me when asked.

 It seems that they were forced to give him 4, count them, 4 epidurals before he “felt no pain”.  Of course, he couldn’t walk for about 6 hours after the procedure.  Too bad they couldn’t have given him an epidural in his mouth.  I can assure you if it was (1) medically possible and (2) remotely legal, they would have.  Taking your doctor a hand-crocheted afghan doesn’t really remove the sting of a large red-head questioning the moral fiber of one’s mother whilst you are waiting to remove a growth from the nether regions of said red-head who comes complete with anger issues, questionable hygiene and the inability to be knocked out without using rhinoceros tranquilizers from the zoo, y’all.  Those poor clinicians.

Well, at least they’re all getting a matching scarves to go with their afghans because that’s a typical gift pairing according to my father.  He tried to blame his behavior on the epidural, but he might as well have blamed it on the bossa nova for all the good it did him when I found out about the incident.  Never in the history of man has an eyebrow arched in such a judgmental fashion.  I may have sprained something.      

He has been living with me, as you know, for right at 10 months and we are still trying to get used to each other’s peculiarities.  He is supposed to be trying to lose weight and understand that I am not his maid or even a home health aide, although from the activities that take up most of my free time, it seems that I am something akin to a nanny who cooks.  Like Mary Poppins without the magic umbrella or the wherewithal to sing while cleaning. 
 I am trying to get used to having someone in my house for all 24 of the blessed hours in a given day.  He is never not here.  He does not leave the yard on his own.  I guess I should be happy he goes to the bathroom unattended.  If ever he requires assistance in that realm, we are either calling in an agency or getting some adult diapers.  I love my Daddy and will honor him like the Bible says, but unless you can show me a verse that specifically states “Thou shalt assist your parents in their daily ablutions” you can count me out.

This morning, as every Sunday morning, we have coffee and share the newspaper prior to me going to church.  He only attends when the pain of sitting on a pew in the Presbyterian Church is outweighed by the need for pancakes and sausage.  The pain is a mixture of physical and liturgical; him being a semi-devout Southern Baptist.  His devotion is directly related to the amount of casseroles and frequency of dinners on the ground.  I’m kidding, of course.  He attended church on a semi-regular basis throughout my childhood.  He was one of those Christmas/Easter/my Mother needed to prove he actually existed kind of church-goers.  Oh, and weddings, too. 

I myself was a faithful church attendee from birth through my junior year in college.  Then I fled from the constraints of religion as I was an art major and trying to find myself; an excuse more convenient than true.  I stayed away from church throughout graduate school and it’s no coincidence that the most, dumbest and life-altering mistakes I made were during this time.  I won’t bore, or titillate, you with the details.  Suffice it to say my testimony is a bit spicier than I would have liked, believe me.  I used to wish I had a more exciting life story.  Now that my autobiography reads like an Afterschool Special with parental warnings and includes certain experiences that would necessitate a revival of Oprah's talk show and a heated discussion/prayer intervention by Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, I would much rather have had the mundane “saved in 4th grade, taught Vacation Bible School, trying not to feel/appear holier than thou” backstory.  Be careful what you wish for, indeed.

The great thing about being a Christian later in life is that I can truly see the redemption God granted me.  I have a career that I love; that gives me the success I enjoy despite my lack of planning and ridiculous paths I chose.  God can take even the crookedest path and find you a new route if you let Him.  Rand McNally has nothing on Jesus when it comes to navigation.  Looks like I’m trying to have church before church this morning.  Can I get an Amen?

I’m not sure how I started talking about my Daddy’s surgery and ended up talking about salvation but that’s just how it goes sometimes.  You know a conversation with me is all about the digressions more than the topic, unless the topic is music trivia, leadership, interview skills, Miss America or people who get on my nerves.  I never said I was fully evolved.

One reason I haven’t finished the sequel to A Gone Pecan is that I am also working on my memoirs (is it called memoirs even if you’re not famous and may not even be interesting?).  I will publish excerpts as I complete them or as soon as I am comfortable sharing them.  All of the statute of limitations have expired, I think and I only share to help whomever it can help and at this point I don’t know how or even who that would be, but I feel…no, make that believe that all the things that have happened in my life have to have been for a reason other than to teach me a lesson.  Sometimes the lesson was learned quickly and sometimes it’s taken a while, but a lesson has always been learned.  Maybe. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m just glad that God doesn’t have a last nerve.  If He did I would have been on it, do you hear me?  Now I know that deserves an Amen.  You Baptists sitting on the back row need to give one up.  That’s all I’m saying.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

World Peace has a new mascot

                As you know I have been buzzing around town in the ‘neck truck since my sister left in her newly purchased car o’ mine.  It hasn’t been too terrible but I am simply not a truck person.  There are specific things about my Daddy’s truck that aren’t standard on most Ford Rangers that require skills and patience that I just don’t possess.  For example, the tailgate lever (?) handle (?) thingy is missing so you have to reach in the bed of the truck and pull one metal rod one way, whilst twisting and pulling another metal rod in order to open the tailgate.  If I were that mechanically inclined, I would be an engineer instead of a bureaucrat, I assure you.  Well, maybe not, but at least I would be able to give more information to the computer help desk at the hospital other than my computer is black and I am in room 110B, Building 5.  I always tell myself that the sigh of pity that meets my repeated requests is simply “noise on the line”, which I understand is a computer term.  Right?

                You would think that someone who had been "tailgating" on more than one occasion would be more familiar with the inner workings on the gate on which we tailed, but I tailgated at Ole Miss and those gates are not of the Ford Ranger variety to be sure.  I had to let down this particular tailgate to remove his scooter so I could see out the rearview mirror.  When that machine is in the back, it looks like I’m being tailgated by a riding lawnmower that floats – like the skateboards they promised would be around in 2012 in the movie Back to the Future.    There is also the issue of the back side window.  His edition, which is ironically called a king cab, is not royal by anyone’s definition as there are roll-down windows.  I didn’t even know they made those anymore.  And it’s not like his truck is a 1921 model; it’s a 2002.  Who on earth, besides apparently my Daddy, would buy a vehicle with roll-down windows?  Okay, there are those people, but I am simply not one of them.  I never realized how many times a day I need to roll down my window.  I assumed it would be slim to none since I do not frequent drive thru fooding establishments nor do I litter, flip someone ‘the bird’ or smoke or any other behavior that would require someone to lower their window.  However, attempting to use the drive thru car wash, valet parking at work, freeing the random insect that somehow decided to ride shotgun or escaping the fumes of my father have all happened with alarming frequency.

                As I have the soul (and taste) of a trust funder but the spending habits of Scrooge McDuck, I was torn on what sort of vehicle to purchase.  I wanted it to be something that was stylish and attractive but not so expensive as to induce nausea each month when the payment was due.  I know that Dave Ramsay says you should buy a car with cash, but I could not stomach driving that truck any longer.  Some of my outfits simply refused to travel in that particular vehicle.  I have had to return to my room to change out of anything overtly preppy as the pastel chinos and even the saddle oxfords stood their ground, so to speak, and ever so gently lead me back to the closet, signaling the denim and khaki that they were substituting.  I almost said, “Substituting for this inning”!  A sports metaphor. Can you imagine?  This morning, in fact, my Brook Brothers baseball cap leapt from the shelf and onto my head as the word on the street was “Dustin’s going somewhere in a truck!”  Quelle Horror! 

                I had completed quite a bit of online comparing gas mileage, body style, level of awesomeness, etc.  I wanted a Mercedes for the sole reason of saying I had one.  That’s the only reason to buy a car like that.  If people were honest, they would admit that is the main reason you buy luxury goods is to show others that you can and they cannot.  I have a Louis Vuitton wallet.  It cost a ridiculous amount of money and it’s not even leather; its waxed cotton.  But I bought it because it made me feel fancy.  Am I that guy?  Apparently.  And the only reason I paid full retail is that LV has no outlet.  I love nice things but I do not like paying full retail.  My Coach attachĂ© was purchase on clearance at the Coach Outlet, people.  All my Brooks Brothers clothing was either procured at the outlet mall or a thrift store.  The only other item for which I must pay full price is Spanx.  I need these undershirts to keep my post-weight-loss-pre-plastic-surgery midsection in some semblance of a midsection, y'all.  Plus, those people are doing the Lord’s work.  Can I get an amen?  Oh, really?  Ninety eight percent of the people reading this right now either have purchased, are currently wearing or really, really want Spanx.  If I was the only one, the inventor wouldn’t be something like the 3rd wealthiest woman in America.  Just saying.

But the clothes and accessories are minor purchases in comparison to buying something like a car.  That is serious money, dear readers.  Not to get all street on you, but that’s a lot of Benjamins just to feel fancy and be obnoxious.  I can be that guy for much less money, do you hear me?  I was that guy in my Chrysler Concorde.  Full disclosure, I was that guy in my ’77 Plymouth Volare.    I’ve always been uppity according to mi familia (that’s Spanish).  See?

                So I bought a 2013 Hyundai Sonata.  It looks somewhat like an S-class Mercedes and it is fat and full of cool things and I got a great deal and I am happy.  So happy in fact that when I returned home my Daddy asked me to fry some chicken.  And I said yes!  I have never fried chicken in my entire life.  I have eaten more than my fair share but I wasn’t really paying attention to how it was prepared.  Apparently he had been wanting some chicken for quite a while and was waiting for me to be in just the right frame of mind to agree.  It seems that last Sunday, Norah Jones, she of “Don’t Know Why” groovy bluesy fame, was interviewed in Parade magazine.  She talked about how her mother used to cook fried chicken when they were growing up.  I guess Ravi Shankar, her father, either married a woman from the South or his real name was Reggie and he cooked it himself, because the recipe that was remarkably similar to my mother’s, according to my father.

                So I bought buttermilk, flour, and oil on purpose and without too much shame.  I always have a little; its residual shame from when we lived in the motel in Texas when I was in high school.  Man, I’m being all “Oprah Moment” with y’all today.  Anyway, I fried it up with some onion rings and turnip greens and cornbread and sauerkraut with smoked sausage.  I apologize to anyone whose cholesterol just rose reading that sentence.  Apparently I have become even more of an old Southern lady but that, if we’re all being honest, is no longer a surprise and has become somewhat expected and actually a bit stale, as a disclosure.  Am I right?

                The best part about the fried chicken incident was that it gave me some interesting insights into my family.  I now know why my mother ate very little at supper; she was full from the snacking while cooking.  I personally “taste tested” about 4 or 5 onion rings and ate more "goodies" than I should.  Goodies are the crumbly pieces of crust that fall of the chicken.  My Daddy coined that term when I was very young; I had forgotten I even knew that word.  I was also forced to apologize to my Daddy for always making a mess when he fries something.  I was all OCD in the kitchen today and still managed to get grease on a number of surfaces including my suede saddle oxford.  I know, who on earth fries food wearing suede?  Just you Dustin.  Lastly, it puts my Daddy in a most festive mood; on par with someone who has won $20 bucks on a lottery scratch-off. 

From within the haze of chicken grease (apparently I got the scald just right), he has volunteered to watch both “Queen and Country”, a BBC documentary about my favorite royal QEII, and Drop Dead Diva, an over-the-top sitcom on Lifetime TV.  Maybe they should serve fried chicken at the UN and solve all these pesky world issues in one fell swoop.  Maybe they should serve it to everybody in America and end all this partisan bickering.  Paula Deen for President, y’all.  The country will be too full to fight! 

I do believe that deserves an Amen from somebody. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is burnt chicken really patriotic?

I apologize for the lateness of my 4th of July-themed blog.  I was trying to wait until my eyebrows grew back but that was taking a really long time, so I figured I might as well spill the beans, as it were.  I had decided it might be retro to have a few friends over for a cookout on the 4th and celebrate as our forefather’s did, or so I’ve been told by the purveyors of alcoholic beverages.  I find it hard to believe George, Benjy and the lot partied down after their victory of those proper British villains by hosting a kegger and burning red meat and poultry.  However, my father took hold of the idea of a BBQ like a raccoon to a penny so off to The Mart for a grill purchase.  What?  Did you really think he’d go somewhere else?  If Crate and Barrel offered a grill I’d have purchased one in either kiwi or melon but alas ‘twas not to be.  So off to The Mart we went on a Tuesday afternoon.  I should have been paying attention to what he was tossing into our buggy but I was too busy fending off his attempts to pilfer all manner of sugar-coated treats.  Have you ever tried to wrestle a package of bear claws from an overly aggressive elderly redneck in Little Guatemala while wearing pastel chinos and trying to maintain some sense of decorum so your disdain for the locals doesn’t seem out of character?  No Dustin, just you.

The next morning, after we laid out the various cuts and types of meats to be grilled, I reminded him that we had invited exactly 4 people besides ourselves to this little shindig.  There were enough hamburger patties to feed every laborer who built the Panama Canal with enough leftovers to end world hunger if we could convince third-world citizens that Spam is truly a food for the masses.  Just sayin’.  I left him to fire up the grill while I went to pick up our fantastic desserts (cupcakes from my favorite new bakery, SusieCakes in Menlo Park.   A rookie mistake to be sure, but I simply cannot go any great length of time without having one of their delectable desserts.  The blueberry pancake cupcakes are so good they ought to be illegal and probably will be soon enough, if the hippies get into the White House in November.  I’ll let you decide who I’m talking about.

When I returned he was dousing the charcoal with lighter fluid.  When I asked him why, he said, ‘So it’ll burn, boy.  Lord, have you fergot ever’thing I taught you?”  Of course not, I can still curse in 5 languages.  The proud Thompson legacy lives.  When I reminded him that the charcoal was manufactured to light with a match he wanted to know how I knew that.  My pointing to the words “Match” and “Light” on the bag was deemed hateful and I was asked to retire to the kitchen with the other women folk, meaning, I guess, Lulu and the ghost?  Before I could turn to get inside I felt whoosh of heat that singed my eyebrows from behind do you hear me?  It was heat on a Dante’s Inferno scale; like backpacking on the sun, y’all.  After he put out the fire that had consumed his most treasured Tractor Supply hat, I asked him what had happened.  He replied, ever so innocently, “I guess I put too much lighter fluid on the charcoal.” 

“You actually put lighter fluid on match light charcoal?”

“I wanted it to light.”

“But the bag said Match Light.”

“Hmpf.  What does Kingsford know about charcoal?”

“As the manufacturers of said charcoal, I would say they know a bit more than you, Fire Marshall Bill.”

“Just go get the meat.” 

Later my guests enjoyed any number of crispity, crunchity treats, which is good if you’re eating a Butterfinger but not so much when it’s supposed to be chicken and burgers.  The fire was so out of control, he actually charred the corn that was wrapped in foil sitting on the bun warming shelf.  Go big or go home, I suppose.  Luckily the cupcakes were perfect.  Thanks Cheyenne!  Can I have my free cupcake now?

No sooner than I had regrown/restyled the singed hair on my arms, the weekend came and as I have previously reported, my new normal Saturday routine involves me chauffeuring my Daddy to “town”.  Mr. Daisy he is not.  This particular Saturday, we had to go get his truck weighed as he cannot find his registration papers with the weight listed and this is a requirement for a license plate in California as they consider all pickup trucks, regardless of their use, to be commercial vehicles.  Yes, the land of the heathen is enough to make a good Baptist talk about somebody, do you hear me?

                Lately I have been refusing to run some of his errands, hoping to force him out of his recliner and into the community at large, to no avail.  Now that I’ve sold my recently paid-off car to my sister and I have yet to decide what mode of transport I will choose, I must depend upon the truck as my chariot.  Of course my Daddy has seized upon this happenstance with all the glee of a cheating diabetic who finds a gallon of chocolate ice cream with no one to stop them from eating it all.  Not that it happened.  It’s purely conjecture at this point, although the fact that the trash can was emptied into the bin outside while I was at work is suspicious.  On a positive note, yay him for leaving the house.

                The reason I am giving you the back story is that we had a very interesting discussion on the way to get weighed.  It involved the level of “macho” of various cooking oils, if you can believe that.  We grilled out for July 4th and I invited people from work.  Per my father, the attendees were three geeks (me included) two macho men (counting him) and one lady.  One of my managers is a rather intimidatingly large person.  He looks like a Hell’s Angel, but is one of the kindest people I have ever met.  Imagine Gandhi on a Harley but less hateful.  Seriously.  When I asked him why he felt I was a geek (not that I was arguing, I was simply curious) he said everything about me was geeky right down to the grosh’ries in my pantry.  When I asked “por ejemplo”, he said, “What?”  When I repeated “for example” he cited my purchase of grapeseed oil as geeky.

                So, to school you the “Redneck scale of Macho-nicity” for cooking oils, just in case you were wondering and even if you weren’t.  I have decided if I have to know it, so do you.  The price of loyalty for all 34 of you who read this.

                Sunflower oil – “Sissy.”

                Grapeseed oil – “Geeky.”

                Safflower oil – “What the h-e-double-l is a safflower?  You mean sunflower?  I already said Sissy.”

                Peanut oil – “Squirrelly.”

                Olive oil – “Hmmm.  Sounds fancy, so probably Sissy.”My apologies to Rachel Ray.

                Vegetable oil – “A’ight I guess.”

                Motor oil from an old lawn mower – “Macho.”  Just kidding.  What he actually said was, “If you’re not gonna take this serious, then why’re we talkin’ ‘bout it?”

                When I asked what kind of oil he found appropriately masculine, he said, “Grease.  With bacon.”

                “Aren’t grease and vegetable oil roughly the same thing?”

                “How is oil and grease the same thing?  You don’t have them check the grease in your car every 3,000 miles do you?”  Noticing my confusion, he muttered, “Knowing you, you prob’ly do.  Where’d you come from again?”

                “Your loins, old man.  Don’t remind me.”

                The frequency of odd conversations in my house is on par with the level of cholesterol in my father’s blood, which is comparable to a really good credit score.  Like o% financing good, y’all.  Pray if you feel it’s appropriate.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Are you called a butler if you don't get paid?

               My sister, niece and niece’s boyfriend were here for vacation last week.  My Daddy couldn’t fit it into his busy schedule to accompany us on our trip south, so we had to make it to LA and back bereft of the stimulating conversation that he would surely have provided.  He wasn’t far from our minds however, when on our trip back, we noticed the most wonderful sight in the world.  It was a delivery truck.  The wording on the side said that they delivered groceries to your home.  Have more beautiful words ever been spoken?  If I could just go online and click all the things I (read my father) need from The Wal-Mart I would never have to have my passport stamped Little Guatemala again.  It’s not that I mind being around those for whom Spanish is their only language, it’s more the crowded street market feel of the whole experience that does not meet my expectations for a fun-filled Saturday morning.  If I were a betting man I would give you ridiculous odds that there are in fact live goats and chickens tethered in the regions of the store into which I fear to tread, notably the “Home and Garden” and “Sporting Goods” sections.  Several years ago I found, to my dismay that the H&G section was more garden than home, so I have not returned. 

                As the parent of exactly zero real children (lest we not forget the imaginary Kinley) I keep forgetting that a vacation with a teenaged girl is not so much a family outing as it is a trip with her highness and the three wait staff who cater to her every whim.  Now I personally have no memory of my parents ever asking me what I wanted to do, however this new generation (the dreaded Millenials) don’t wait for an opinion to be requested, they offer theirs up with greater frequency than a Kardashian plans a new reality show or a marriage.  Typically, growing up, we didn’t so much take a vacation than spend the summer at my Grandparent’s farm or after my grandfather’s death, my aunt and uncle’s ranch of sorts.  All I remember is spending every summer surrounded by the flora and fauna typically found in East Texas which included cows and poison ivy based on the disasters that befell me each sojourn.  I guess I should also include horses as I have spent more than 8 seconds on one.  I won’t regale you with specifics.  Suffice it to say that I haven’t willingly gotten back on the horse since.  Note I said willingly.  I have been on a horse since although it was not by choice.  Again, not sure if it’s this new generation or not but I don’t remember ever, not even once, being asked would you like to (insert horrifying proposition here).  Things as random as “camp out on an abandoned flatbed trailer and sleep directly on poison ivy because you hadn’t begun the studying cub scout guide for indigenous plant life” or “ride in the Grand Entry of a rodeo even though you have squat experience and if horses can sense fear, yours is aware of the terror-filled youth in ill-fitting denim sitting in a quasi-sidesaddle position as one foot got stuck in the wrong stirrup and the chubbiness of the legs and agility of the youth did not allow for proper or speedy correction”.  Granted they didn’t go into that much detail, I’m assuming, because no one in Texas would have imagined someone could do those things outside of a 1930s screwball comedy starring Myrna Loy or Rosalind Russell.  At least they had the excuse of being snooty society types from “the Manor” whereas I was not a society type unless you count 4-H as a society.  You’ll notice I declined to discuss the manor from whence I came.  You’ll notice the declination is still in effect.  I thank you for your cooperation.

                After we trailed behind Payton and her long-suffering boyfriend Chad, paying and offering trivia as we went (one of the costs of Uncle Dusty’s financial support is the required interest (feigned or otherwise) in whatever manner of infotainment tidbit decides to present itself to all gathered.  Sometimes Uncle Dusty himself is surprised by the (admittedly) fascinating anecdotes), we made our way ever northward from Anaheim to LA to Santa Monica and finally back to Menlo Park our home base where we returned to the reality that whenever left to his own devices, my father will attempt to batter and fry the entirety of the contents of my home.  There was a thick layer of country wafting through the air.  For the uninitiated, country is a euphemism for grease, smoke and flour; the least health conscious Yankee Candle scent ever.

                Such is the vacation for this year.  Now, I am familiar with the idea of a stay-cation where you’re just off work but stay near or at home.  But I’m not sure what to call what my family did.  Was it a poor-cation?  Country-cation?  Not to be confused with countrification which is what my Daddy is trying to do to me.  Whatever you called it we would travel to a relative’s home and like houseguests in Downton Abbey days, we’d stay at least a fortnight, if not a fortnight squared.  Sleeping 8 kids to a pallet in the living room floor.  Trying to stay quiet lest you be beaten into submission; stifling giggles that were persistent only because we weren’t supposed to giggle; never rooted in anything actually humorous. 

Payton has never known the joys of floor sleeping, her vacations always involve an upgraded suite at a Marriott as my guv’ment job affords travel point accumulation at a rate far above my income level, y’all.  Left to my own dollars spent, I would be platinum only at Motel 6 or at the very least Super 8, who probably base their levels of appreciation for patrons on something like lunch meats.  If that were true, I’d like to think I’d be black forest ham, hand sliced in the deli.  Truth be told I’m so cheap when it comes to spending on myself I’d probably be clearance priced hogshead cheese.

                We trailed behind Her Highness who, like other members of the royal family, does not carry cash.  Although she has more purses, bags both messenger and hobo and wristlets than a shoplifting ingĂ©nue, she never seems to carry anything on her person that would cause her to have access to necessities such as sunglasses, lip balm, snacks.  Her mother is there for that with her giant bag.  We’re like a double Butler system sponsored by Coach.  We’ve butled (?) throughout many ports of call, New Orleans, Colorado, LA, San Francisco, Hawaii, and New England.  She has stated the desire to go to Minneapolis and the Mall of America, but I feel that I, or at the very least, my wallet wouldn’t survive that particular destination, intrepid though I may seem.

                Trying to be the host with the most and attempting to cater to all whims, both ridiculous and carb-heavy, I juggled all house guests (including permanent ones) like the over-caffeinated clown we saw at Pier 39 on the Bay.  Remember that I hate clowns?  Well I really, really hated this one and not just because he thought that his seersucker pants were “ridiculous”.  It was almost enough to keep me from enjoying the bag of mini donuts that I had to myself for approximately 3.2 seconds before it was descended upon my Her Highness, who had become hungered as apparently posing for a caricature is hard work, y’all.  She shared my pilfered treats with Chad who was ravenous as I suppose mooning over a 6’ tall 25 year-old looking but 16 year-old acting young lady is also hard work.  Kids these days don’t know a thing about real work, said my inner old lady. 

                Of course, there are those in the Boomer generation who reside in my home who feel they should be rewarded for waking up and mass producing afghans at a rate that is the envy of the Japanese auto industry with a chocolate shake ‘this big’, moving his hands about three feet apart.  So, I guess it’s not a Millenial thing; it’s a thing for people who are used to being waited on hand and foot.  And that’s where this lovely Wal-Mart idea will come into play.  I can give my Daddy his heart’s desire, well, those desires that reside within The Mart which, truth be told, covers everything on his list except Harley Davidson motorcycles.  And I never have to leave the comfort of my home.  Now I just have to convince them yarn is a foodstuff.