Wannabe Vigilante

As I sit here typing this on our front stoop my husband is reading “The Killing Joke”. As you all know, I’m more of a Wonder Woman/Supergirl kind of fan, however, there are times when my inner Batman comes out.  Admittedly I was obsessed with the character as a kid.  

In our neighborhood here of late we’ve been having issues with some neighbors breaking and entering into apartments, stealing things, and ransacking private spaces.  

One particular neighbor was evicted from his residence for his recent behavior, usually fueled by alcohol, and what I am assuming to be bitterness. Since he has been kicked out, he has been staying in a tiny gazeebo (the one feature of our entire complex), sometimes with a suitcase.  Then the day came where he was so drunk he passed out behind the laundry facility,…ten feet from the gazeebo.

His staying in the gazeebo and passing out didn’t warrant a call to law enforcement.  His day came when he ransacked a neighbor’s apartment, calling him a racial slur, then trying to lure said neighbor’s kids into the gazeebo.  

The cops ushered him out once before, then again after the incident with the kids. Believe it or not, this former tennant is only one small problem in a neighborhood full of criminal ongoings.  

It has become so bad the decent neighbors approached my husband and I about forming an official neighborhood watch where we go on patrols to keep the thieves at bay.  

Is it time to move you say?  Yes.  Can we afford to move?  No. Not until our lease is up in December.

My husband has been patrolling a few nights a week, sometimes by himself which makes me nervous and unable to sleep. This doesn’t help on nights when I have to be up at 4:30 am.  I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it and trying to figure out a way to make this neighborhood better.

Last night was the first night we went patrolling together.  He showed me where he and the neighborhood watch have figured out where one culprit lives who has been breaking into cars. He’s been using his bike as a quick get-away vehicle and has done so without being exposed, until last week.  

As we walked “the beat” we rounded into the parking lot of the apartments where this kid lives.  My husband then showed me which residence.  This kid didn’t do a very good job in covering up his window.  There was a sheet haphazardly hung in front of the window exposing parts of his home.  There was a scent of blackberry vapor in the air.  I approached the window as my husband said, “That’s illegal, ya’ know?”

Then the dark side of the Quirk came out.  I said, “If this guy is willing to go into our neighbor’s apartments, into their cars and steal things that don’t belong to him, then we should have every right.”  (Every right to see into his life.)

He kind of just looked at me with a cautioned grin, wondering what had just happened and where I had gone.  Don’t get me wrong, usually I’m not an ‘eye for an eye’ kind of person, but living in a horrible neighborhood has opened my eyes to having to stick together for the good of the community and unfortunately wanting to bend the rules. Especially when the safety of children is involved.

As we were having this conversation, a car started and the headlights came on.  We tried to hang out at the corner of the building, even though I wasn’t successful in my venture of jumping up at a distance to see above the poorly hung, makeshift curtain. We looked guilty of something way more sinister.

The person drove past us, probably thinking we were just as shady as the person we were trying to keep at bay.

We moved on the foot path trying to see any other markers of behavior.  Luckily this night we didn’t have to stay out too long.  The prostitutes, pimp and drug dealers were all behind closed doors conducting their business or hopefully just sleeping.

Last night we slept well.  Then my husband woke me up.

The cursing, child lurerer was back in the gazeebo this morning with a soda.  I was still in bed, my brain tired of all the nonsense in this neighborhood and all the crap the kind and good people here have been forced to see and endure.

“He isn’t supposed to be here”, I said.
“I don’t think he’s with it enough to understand that.” Sobering words from my husband.  The evicted guy has been known to be inebriated 24 hours a day.

This time my inner Batman stayed at bay. Out came Catwoman, possibly Harley Quinn.  I had entered new territory.

“This is a time I wish I had a BB gun. I could lay down on the porch, where the weirdo can’t see me, and I could aim the gun between the rails. ‘POP! POP!’ right on his butt.”

My husband kind of grinned again, “Those things hurt worse than you actually think.”

“I know.”

My theory is it wouldn’t tear the skin.

“OR, I could use a paint ball gun.  When it hit him we could then call the police and tell them to follow the guy with the paint splotches!”

He kind of giggled at the idea.

“Or we could sit with a soda in the gazeebo across from him, and if he spoke to us, we could say, ‘Did you hear that?’ We ignore him, making him think he’s a ghost.”

My husbands face lost any trace of a playful smile.  “That’s sick and twisted.”

“You married me!”

Then he remarked, “If we did that though, it would give him the idea or license to do whatever he wants to see what he can get away with.”

“Dang it!  Why do you have to be right?”

I’m out of ideas readers.  What would you do in this situation?  

Unicorns, plungers and hearing loss

My student looked at me after lunch one day and said, “I ate half a unicorn.”  I gave her a funny look and realized she was either being silly or really had eaten half of Scotland’s national animal. 

“You know what? My old lady ears just heard you say you ate half a Unicorn.”

“Yeah Mrs. Quirky,” she said sardonically, “I ate half a Unicorn.”


It didn’t occur to me until recently that with undue stress the last two months of teaching school, working my second job (then in the last two weeks of school as a shift lead) and teaching an art class two hours on a Monday night had made some of my sensory issues go haywire.  Mostly my hearing.

One of the nights I was scheduled to work at my shift lead job, I was helping at the cash registers in the back of pharmacy.  One of my bosses was asking someone, anyone, to show this young couple to plumbing.  I looked right at her with gusto and said, “I can do that!”  Essentially I was all over it, I have worked the front end for almost two years now and know where our household sections reside.

I promptly exited through the pharmacy door, confident, with myself puffed up and greeted the young couple.  As we were walking down the back aisle I said to them, “We have two different sections for plumbing, we have this aisle which is our basic plumbing where the plungers are.”  The woman looked at me with a half smile on her face.  Her boyfriend was kind of looking around and definitely not at me.  What was probably a few seconds seemed like forever.  I couldn’t figure out what I had done or said that was this awkwardly funny or uncomfortable for them.

“This is a joke, right?” she said.

I furrowed my eyebrows, looked at her and gave her an expression fit for a detective trying to solve a mystery. At this point I didn’t know what to say.  What felt like an eternity to arrange my thoughts was a matter of nano seconds before she finally said with a smile, “We’re looking for Plan B.” (Birth Control)

I raised my eyebrows.

“OH!”

Immediately I deflated in confidence, un-puffed myself, hung my head in embarrassment and said, “Right this way!”

We made our way three aisles down. The e-n-t-i-r-e  way I was explaining how my hearing loss had played a roll in this nonsense.  Obviously I wouldn’t be this insensitive with this situation. Luckily they were the kind of couple that could take a joke (even though it was unintended) and they were able to laugh it off.  Myself on the other hand, have never been more embarrassed and will now forever double check what my ears hear.  

What is something embarrassing you thought you have heard? How did you handle the situation?

Christmas Quasi Coke

Between working three jobs at break neck speed sometimes I’m able to come home after one and catch a commercial on television.  (Usually during Supergirl or Agents of Shield.). The other night, as I was watching, a Coca-Cola commercial came on.  

     The commercial had a young boy going around town sneaking Coca-Cola bottles into various scenes, in which someone laboring over obligatory holiday decor, discovers the bottle right where their hand was about to be. It sounds pretty thoughtful right?  For me, it conjures up the same philosophy of the , “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” commercial from the 70’s.  However instead of sticking around to “keep the world company” as the 70’s commercial suggests, the kid took off running in the opposite direction.

Maybe this boy should have had more Coca-cola to help him build interpersonal skills?


     The little boy delivering coke stopped by the gift wrap shop where a young girl about the age of 14 is feverishly wrapping presents.  He dropped off a Coke for her too.  A few seconds later I realized the boy gave everyone else in the commercial a regular Coca-Cola, but somehow this young skinny girl who probably could use the calories (since she burned up a plethora wrapping presents), gets the short end of the caloric intake stick, and gets a DIET Coke. 

    Most people probably wouldn’t take offense to this.  However when it comes to commercials I read too much into things and wonder often what they are really trying to say.  I wish they would have inserted a scene in which the girl whips her braided hair behind her and shouts, “What is this supposed to mean?  HUH?” Then she chucks the icy cold diet bubbly substance at the boy as he runs away in tears after bringing up a normal sized girl’s insecurities.  Maybe he wasn’t referencing her size at all.  Maybe the boy was inferring she wasn’t worthy of a full Coke? Maybe he only quasi liked her?

    Nobody in the commercial as far as I could tell received a cherry flavored Coke, or even the illustrious cherry-vanilla version. Maybe this was an oversite on Coca-Cola’s part.  Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was subliminal?  Who knows.  

     What I do know is this; if a neighborhood kid comes up and brings me a Diet Coke, I’m going to ask if they’re calling me fat.  Mainly just to see their reaction.

     Bah-Humbug.  

     What commercials have you read too much into?

Do you know where…

The other night at work a woman approached me.  She asked, “Do you know wur the dushes?” Bear in mind, this was the customer who earlier this summer came in, swatted a fly with a bag of potato chips and demanded her daughter get a new bag because those were all crushed.

     I was puzzled. I asked her to repeat herself again.  She again said, “Do you kno wur the dushes?”  With a befuddled look on my face I quickly escorted her to the aisle where we might have dishes.  Making a huge gesture with both hands, I said, “If it is going to be anywhere, it will be right here.” She made a “tsk” sound and said, it wasn’t what she was looking for.

     She then tried to educate me some more on what she was talking about.  “You know, it’s a thing you can fill with water and vinegar and you can squeeze it?” Again, I looked at her trying to figure out what she was talking about.  She acted disappointed in me that I couldn’t figure it out.       

     Then I lead her down another aisle.  We walked down the dish soap aisle where I again made a huge gesture with both hands and said, “If we are going to have it, it will be right here.”  I thought she was talking about those dish scrubbers you can fill with various liquids like vinegar and water and squeeze to clean stuff with a scouring pad at one end.  
     

     Exasperated, she just says, “Well, I guess you don’t have dushes.” Suddenly it hit me. 

     “Are you talking about, like, lady stuff?” I said waving my hands back and forth in front of my pelvis.

     “YEAH! DUSHES!”

     “Okay, follow me.”

     We finally head down the aisle where the “douche” is and she smiles.  She looked at me and gently nudged me with her elbow, “You don’t know what dush is…” She chuckled.


     “I don’t know, maybe I’m lazy.”

Have you ever had a hard time understanding a customer?  What did you think they were trying to say to you?

The Naked Eye

In Mark Twain’s time they must have not had women comparable to the Kardashians.


Bear in mind, I am all for women feeling comfortable in their own skin.  I’ve not felt comfortable in mine since I was a teenager.  Most women can wear yoga pants to the gym without feeling self conscious, I on the other hand wear them with shorts over them.  Sure people might giggle, but I’m at the gym to work out, not to catch someone’s eye.

It is this uncomfortableness with my own body that has led me to this post.  That and the issue of regard for self-respect.  

At my second of three jobs, I generally work the photo equipment.  Invariably there is always a vacation pic of someone pretending to pick someone’s rear at a distance, people who are too tall to climb tiny sculptures, babies, babies, babies and naked pictures.

Unfortunately, if something is an Internet order, we can’t always catch the pictures to censor them. They slip by, with the purchaser hoping it goes unnoticed.  Here’s my thing, if you have to submit it over the internet because you can’t put it on the large screen in the store, then maybe you shouldn’t print it at all.  Our printers are out in the open where anyone can see them; two key groups, children and perverts.

Recently last week a woman apparently went to a professional studio to have naked pictures done of herself.  In terms of nudity, the pictures didn’t make sense. She was waist deep in a creek, wearing a blue jean shirt which she purposely pulled behind her so you could see her chest.  A fully made up older woman, with perfect make up and hair, waist deep in a creek. The last time I was in a creek or around any body of water I face planted and had snail shells stuck in my crack; definitely not sensual.

Last night was a doozie.  We had printed off a booklet of boudoir pictures.  No big deal. We usually print these off at Valentine’s for women sending them to their boyfriends who are in the service.  Usually the women are covered sensibly.  Last night, the woman was covered, but then by the time the 4th page printed out, it looked like maybe her butt was starving and ate her underwear.

I couldn’t take it.  I immediately posted my frustrations on Facebook saying, “Please, no more…”

Then as if to taunt me the machine then printed out two 8×10 pics of a woman who looked like a real estate agent in a company van flipping off the viewer.  I was definitely not happy.

In the past someone has been sneaky and printed pictures of him and his girlfriend doing inappropriate things, men have told me I can take off the inappropriate pictures on their order if I want (when they are trying to save all of the pictures on their phone), and women printing off pics and using the big screen then saying, “Oops” and looking at me.  

By all means I am not a prude, I have drawn many naked people.  There is a huge difference between art and pornography.  If you go to my Etsy page you will see tons of naked drawings, but none of them are nefarious. 


 If you are going to take pictures for your significant other, send it to them via text or e-mail, then quickly erase it from your phone so you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing it who shouldn’t. If anything think of the photo booth ladies, spare our eyes.

What is something you have had to do in the name of public service that bothered you?

Stop the toots

Have you ever heard the expression, “Not to toot my own horn…”?  For whatever reason the other night I was thinking about this and how much it doesn’t really seem to make sense.  How did this start? Whose horn?  Why are they tooting?  Why is this positive?


I woke up from a deep slumber pondering this question.  The only thing that came to mind was a bunch of chambermaids in medieval times having a good laugh impersonating a boastful, flatulant queen.  

Why is the horn used to draw reference to oneself for a good deed or job well done?  What makes it more annoying is if the person is a trumpet  player because they can toot their own horn twice. This brings no satisfaction for the person whose ears were just singed with the sounds of a humble brag.  If the person was not a member of the brass section then there would be some relief they couldn’t complete the often used expression.  The  brass instrument sections almost always get too much satisfaction because they can make this true even if there isn’t anything worth telling everyone about.

So I did a little digging.  Where did this start?  According to the US Herald this is how it all began:

United States about 1776 (a “declaration of self-independence”?) in the “Warren-Adams Letters” as “I think modesty is highly overrated as a virtue — my motto is ‘Toot your own horn lest the same never

The truth is, if you have to toot your horn, chances are you can’t even play a reveille.  You’re drawing attention to yourself to make it look like you’re doing something.  Instead of tooting that you’re awesome, just be awesome instead.  Save your breath and your toots.  Get to doing and stop tooting.

Photo credit queenofyourownlife.com

If you’re going to toot, aim it in the other direction. Nobody likes a braggart.  

When someone has tooted their horn around you, what happened?

Worst Fear: Things my cat ate

Everyone has their worst fears.  I have several. If you went through our pantry you might find a lack of carb related foods.  This is because my cat ate them all. Before we talk about how she likes to carb load before a healthy run around the house after a successful bowel movement (who wouldn’t?) let’s talk about some enviable attributes.

First off, she has guts.  This isn’t referencing her literal tater tot filled innards.  She takes and asks forgiveness later.  Often times I’m too careful and have a tendency to wait and see if things pan out.  My cat’s approach is something like this, “Life is short, learn how to open Tupperware” or “Spare their meat and steal the bun.”

As a kitten I swore she was part raccoon, she was always attracted to shiny things and I would wake up to find my jewelry I was too lazy to put up the night before, hidden.  She was a literal cat burglar. Since then, she has grown up some, and has progressed from shiny things to Bobby pins.  She would rush to find them (even if they were out of sight) and point at them like an Irish Setter who has found a hunter’s duck.

The weirdest thing though, is her love of carbs.  Almost everyone has seen the viral video of cat’s afraid of cucumbers.  She has no fear of cucumbers.  She will however, chase a potato.  After realizing one had fallen out of the bag in the pantry we heard a noise and suddenly we see her wrestling the spud, kicking it with her hind legs and biting it.  We experimented and rolled one down the hallway, she barreled after it, attacked it and sat on it as if she were in a match for the ages.  

She is a master manipulator.  Several times, she has crawled into mine or my husband’s lap only to feign affection to peep her head between our hands and take bites of our cereal…or take the bread from our sandwiches.  She waits until we aren’t looking before she hops up on the counter to eat our left over tater tots.  She’s usually very quiet, and often times she takes more than she can fit and takes off running licking her chops.   

Here is why I’m jealous.  She already knows she will be forgiven, so she takes the momentary “shooing” for a moment of palatable starchy goodness.  She is spontaneous.  I like to make plans weeks in advance.  She sees opportunities and takes them.  She sees an opportunity for a piggy back ride and she takes it.  It doesn’t matter if you’re naked and fresh out of the shower, sitting on the toilet or at the computer.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve missed opportunities and I wish I had the eyes to see them.  She does not lack in this area.  If it isn’t apparent from the drawing, she lives a full life, literally and metaphorically.

What is your worst fear involving your pet?  Do you envy them?

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.