Oh Valentine! You had me at Dear Occupant:

Valentine's Day

Dear Readers!  I rushed breathlessly to my mailbox this morning, and discovered I had a new suitor and just in time for Valentine’s Day!

It seems Xfinity is now in crazy, passionate occupant love with little ol’ moi! 

Ah!  Be still my beating letter opener!

First off, no matter what I decide about whether I’m going to allow myself to be “wooed” by Xfinity, they want me to know that this plastic card that was attached to the occupant love letter is mine to keep!

When it comes to occupant love, a plastic card is the equivalent of a diamond engagement ring except it’s not as sparkly, it can’t cut glass . . . but still . . . 

Then there’s this:

Don’t worry, you don’t need to read it, it’s way too boring, (sigh) however I did read it and here’s what it more or less says:

If you pay Xfinity $30 every month, they’ll put security cameras all over your house so that if you decide to go to Hawaii, you’ll be able to sit on the beach and stare at your house on your smart phone to make sure everything is still not stolen every minute of every day until it’s time to come home.

Or it means you’ll be able to actually watch live on your smart phone as a burglar breaks into your house and steals all your stuff!

And Xfinity is also offering the handy feature of being able to control the lights in your home remotely so that while you are sitting on the beach in Hawaii you can turn the lights on in your house in order to better see the burglar who is stealing all your stuff.

Jeepers!  That’s a pretty good proposal Xfinity is offering little ol’ moi!  Let’s see what other occupant tokens of love Xfinity is throwing at me to win my affections:

Oh Goody!  A touch screen controller . . .So when my grandson touches all the buttons trying to access Elmo, it will accidentally trigger the swat team to be dispatched to my house. Well, okay, that’s pretty cool.

And, with this 3 window/door sensors Xfinity is offering to provide me with much needed help when it comes to sensing which is a door and which is a window.  Well that’s over-the-top thoughtful!  I’m really liking the direction Xfinity is taking me in with this one.

Oh wow!  Every time we move, an alarm will go off at the police department!  Well, I’m all for that.  Who wouldn’t be?

Woo-hoo!  A keypad!  Xfinity doesn’t say what this if for but I think we all know by now, don’t we?

It’s the Xfinity Wireless Keypad to my heart! 

Because Xfinity has finally managed to woo me with their tokens of occupant affection.

It seems now all I have left to say to Xfinity is

 “you had me at  “Dear Linda Vernon and/or Occupant” 

I don’t know about you, Dear Readers, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a heck of a happy Valentine’s day this year!

If you need me I’ll be on hold with my new beloved XOXOXfinity!”

Until next time . . . I still love you but not quite as much as I do you know who

My Brain Peanuts Remembers: Santa Claus

Welcome Dear Readers to this edition of My Brain, Peanuts, remembers.

Today’s Topic:  Santa Claus

The first memory of Santa I have takes place in 1954, when I was three, and Santa Claus was making a live appearance in the basement of the Presbyterian church.  On the big day, everyone filed down the stairs to the chilly  church basement and eagerly awaited the arrival of The Man in Red. (Back then church-goers didn’t really worry about anyone forgetting that Jesus was the reason for the season because 1) there was plenty of room in church for both Santa and the baby Jesus and 2) nobody had thought of that catchy phrase yet.)

Ice-Cold Church Basement Sunday School Clay

Anyway, we all stood around watching our breaths and breathing in the aroma of Sunday School Clay.  That’s because our church basement always smelled like Sunday school clay. Sunday school clay is different from ordinary clay by virtue of the fact that it is kept in the cold church basement.  So Sunday school clay was always somewhat frozen and by the time you got it warmed up enough to roll it into something as simple as a snake, Sunday school was over.

I never understood why they even bothered with having clay unless it was just something to keep us occupied while the Sunday School teacher was earnestly trying to impart some useful biblical wisdom into our somewhat disengaged little minds.

A Communistic Christmas?

Anyway, we all stood around waiting for Santa and shivering beneath the glare of church basement’s fluorescent lights that cast a Russian-esque-like hue over the scene — probably not unlike the same scene that was transpiring on in the opposite side of our cold-war globe in the basement of the Kremlin while communist children waited for Soviet Santa to make his appearance –i.e. Khrushchev in a fuzzy hat.

Santa Khrushchev
I will bury you! No wait . . . have yourself a very merry Christmas . . . and then I will bury you!

 Anyway, when our Santa Claus finally appeared, he was wearing a rubber Santa Claus mask.  The weird thing is, I was the only one that seemed to notice.

Santa Mask
Mask? What mask?

All the kids ran up to him as he handed out candy.  I thought this was extremely alarming. So I began shouting at the top of my lungs, “Thanta Clauth ith wearing a Mathk!”   (I had a slight lisp at the time.)

But no one seemed to care.  Everyone was on board with this rubber-masked imposter. They were taking candy from him like it was candy.  What was wrong with everyone?  I screamed!  I shouted!  I was a three-year-old Paul Revere trying to warn my fellow pint-sized citizens not be taken in by this Santa Claus Charlton!  But nobody listened.

Not the Real Santa

On the way home, my mother tried to tell me that that wasn’t the real Santa wearing the rubber mask in the church basement.  The real Santa was busy at the north pole making presents, and he couldn’t take the time off to come all the way to our town to hand out candy (Plus it was probably too cold in that church basement even for him!)

I do believe in Santa . . . I do . . . I do . . . I do!

I wanted to believe her story.  I really did.  I looked up at the stars and tried to imagine Santa flying through the air.  I strained to hear the sound of Santa’s sleigh bells.  I neither saw nor heard a thing.  Try as I might, the integrity of the Santa story was beginning to form some big, gaping holes.

The Jack Hubbard Incident

When I was five years old, the subject of Santa came up, and I cruelly broke the news to dear, sweet, innocent, Santa-believing, Jack Hubbard that there was no Santa Claus.  I explained that he was merely a figment of the imagination, a tale told by an idiot, full of thound and fury thignifying nothing.(I still had my lisp).

A traumatized Jack Hubbard ran home, broken-hearted and told his mother what I had said.  Mrs. Hubbard called my mother.

My Mother:  Hello

Mrs. Hubbard:  Jack said Linda told him there was no Santa Claus. Did she tell Jack that?

My Mother:  Oh gosh I don’t know.  Let me ask her (my mother put the phone to her chest).  Linda, did you tell Jack there is no Santa Claus?

Me:  Yes.

My Mother:  Yes apparently she did tell Jack there wasn’t any Santa Claus.

Mrs. Hubbard: Why did she do that?

My Mother:  Oh gosh. Let me ask her.  (My mother put the phone to her chest again) Linda, why did you tell Jack there wasn’t any Santa Claus?

Me:  Because there isn’t any Santa Claus.

My Mother:  Oh.

I don’t remember what my mother said after that, but I do remember that neither my mother nor Mrs. Hubbard were none to happy with me and, frankly, I’ve been feeling guilty about it ever since.

This year my five-year-old grandson asked me if Santa Claus really existed.  I told him that believing in Santa Claus is a personal decision that he would have to make for himself. This seemed to placate him since he didn’t exactly understand what I was saying.

If only I had thought of this answer when I broke the news to Jack Hubbard.

Until next time . . . I love you

 

 

 

Mummy Tell Me Again About Labor Day

Welcome Dear Readers!  Well it’s Labor Day here in the United States of America!  Which means a lot of people get the day off.  Nobody knows why and nobody cares why.

Well, Dear Readers, I for one, feel that Labor Day is getting the shaft, and that’s why I have taken the liberty of writing an educational story about Labor Day to create awareness for Labor Day appreciation.

Mummy, Tell Me Again About Labor Day

“Mummy, tell me again about Labor Day,” little Tommy Sweatington begged his mother one fine Labor Day morn. “For as you know mummy,” little Tommy continued, “tis my favorite American Federal holiday of all!”

Mummy Sweatington looked up from her task of scrubbing the floors of City Hall with a toothbrush and replied, “Tommy!  How many times have I told you never to come to City Hall wearing your pajamas!”

Mummy’s harsh words made Tommy’s heart sink and push down on his kidneys in such a way as to make the tears in Tommy’s eyes shoot out at odd trajectories.  But then he remembered it was Labor Day, his favorite American Federal holiday, and his heart floated back up to its proper position and his tears reversed their trajectory and went back into his eyes.

Once his vision cleared, Tommy noticed something very strange.  His mother was workingMummy was working on Labor Day! 

“Mummy!” screamed Tommy, “don’t you know that in 1882 Matthew MacGuire proposed Labor Day after witnessing a labor festival held in  Toronto Canada which eventually led to the observance of my most beloved American Federal Holiday  — Labor Day?  Mummy, I implore you to tell me why you are working on Labor Day?”

At this, Tommy became agitated and then Tommy became appalled and finally Tommy became apoplectic — which didn’t last very long — because right after that Tommy went back to being appalled and then merely agitated and by the time his mother looked up to answer his question, Tommy was pretty much back to normal.

“But Tommy Dear,” Mummy Sweatington replied, “I’m not working.  Scrubbing the floors of the City Hall is my hobby, silly!”

“But Mummy!” Tommy protested.  “Why would you want to have a hobby that requires you to scrub the floors of City Hall with your toothbrush?”

“Tommy darling, you don’t understand.  I’m not using my toothbrush to scrub the floors of City Hall, I’m using your toothbrush!”

And a good Labor Day laugh was had by all!

“That Mummy’s a riot!”

***

Happy Labor Day!

Until next time . . . I love you

Take the Christmas Litmus Test

Merry Christmas Dear Readers!  Are you having a fun Christmas so far?  What?  You’re not sure?  Well, take the Christmas Litmus test and find out!

You are having a fun Christmas so far if Santa didn’t bring you a:

You are having a fun Christmas so far if Christmas dinner doesn’t smell like:

You are having a fun Christmas so far if when your children opened the Christmas gifts you gave them they didn’t:

You are having a fun Christmas so far if the guests at your Christmas dinner didn’t consist of just you and:

 And there you have it, Dear Readers.  I hope this clears up any confusion you were having about whether or not you are having a fun Christmas!

Christmas dinner sure smells good!
Hey whatcha cookin’ for Christmas dinner?  It smells kinda familiar?

Until next time . . . I love you

A Visit from the Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas Lady

Welcome Dear Readers!  Well we almost did it.  We almost got through Christmas without a visit from the Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas Lady.  Unfortunately when I opened up the blog today she was camped outside waiting for us with her cats,  17 fruit cakes and a stick of dynamite.   I think we better humor her, don’t you?  Oh here she comes now . . . act natural . . . 

The Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas Lady
The Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas Lady

“Merry Christmas Crabby Christmas Lady! What a surprise!  Fancy meeting you here!”

Listen Toots.   I’m not a big fan of Christmas.  Okay? Got that?  First of all, Christmas comes every single year. That’s way too often, Toots.  Waaay too often!  Christmas should come every  five years. That way everybody wouldn’t be so sick of it.   And Jesus would be much younger too.  It’s called a win/win, Toots! Okay? Got that?

“Well Christmas Lady, that’s an interesting idea but—“

Toots I’m not done talking yet.  If Christmas only came once every five years, the Christmas songs wouldn’t be so annoying and repetitive!

“Well, I suppose if—“

Toots!  Stop talking and get some saucers of milk for my cats.  Okay?  Got that?

“Uh I don’t think I have that many saucers, Christmas Lady . . .”

Toots I’m not done talking yet!  The Christmas songs are annoying because of all the bells jing-jing-jingling!   And all the hark hark harking as in hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away — what does that mean exactly, Toots? The bells are ringing and ringing and ringing so loud you can’t even hear yourself think, Toots!  You just can’t!  And they are telling you to “throw cares away and buy whatever you want . .  whatever you want, Toots!   Aluminun foil. The bells don’t care that you already have 14,000 boxes of Aluminum foil in your storage unit.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it because the bells told me to do it, Toots!  Toots are you listening? What are you opening the door and handing me my coat, Toots?

“Listen I hate to cut our visit short but—“

Which brings us to the Christmas sugar, Toots! A hahahaha!  I’m dreaming of a white C & H  pure cane sugar from Hawaii Christmas, Toots!  What with all the sugar cookies and the sugar candy and the sugar plums and the sugar houses and the sugar nativity scenes. Have you ever tried to eat a tree ornament, Toots? They are edible you know. They are made of sugar plastic . . . mmm. . . sugar plastic!

And do you know what sugar plastic does Toots?  Well do you?

“Uh  I’m not really listening anymore, Christmas Lady, I— “

Listen and listen good, Toots!  Sugar plastic causes your little fat cells to sit up straight and pay attention all innocent-like at their little fat cell card tables covered with the tiny candy cane plastic table cloths wearing their teensy Santa bibs and Santa hats each holding miniscule red and green plastic forks which they will devour when they are done because they are made out of sugar plastic too.  Okay? Got that?

“Yes Christmas Lady.  By the way, I’m going to be out of town next year at Christmas so there’s no need to be dropping by again.”

Fine.  Good I’m leaving now, Toots. Okay?  Got that?  Here kitty kitty kitty . . 

“Bye Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas Lady.  Merry Christmas!”

Phew!  I didn’t think we were every going to get rid of her did you, Dear Readers?  Oh look she left us a present under the tree.  Let’s open it early shall we?  Why it’s a stick of dynamite.  Well bless her Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas heart!

Until next time . . . I love you!

“Mummy tell me again about Labor Day.”

Welcome Dear Readers!  Well it’s Labor Day here in the United States of America!  Which means a lot of people get the day off.  Nobody knows why and nobody cares why.

Well, Dear Readers, I for one, feel that Labor Day is getting the shaft, and that’s why I have taken the liberty of writing an educational story about Labor Day to create awareness for Labor Day appreciation.

Mummy, Tell Me Again About Labor Day

“Mummy tell me again about Labor Day,” little Tommy Sweatington begged his mother one fine Labor Day morn. For as you know mummy,” little Tommy continued,” ’tis my favorite American Federal holiday of all!

Mummy Sweatington looked up from her task of scrubbing the floors of City Hall with a toothbrush and replied, “Tommy!  How many times have I told you never to come to City Hall wearing your pajamas!”

Mummy’s harsh words made Tommy’s heart sink and push down on his kidneys in such a way as to make the tears in Tommy’s eyes shoot out at odd trajectories.  But then he remembered it was Labor Day, his favorite American Federal holiday and his heart floated back up to it’s proper position and his tears reversed their trajectory and went back into his eyes.

Once his vision cleared, Tommy noticed something very strange.  His mother was workingMummy was working on Labor Day! 

“Mummy!” screamed Tommy, don’t you know that in 1882 Matthew MacGuire proposed Labor Day after witnessing a labor festival held in  Toronto Canada which eventually led to the observance of my most beloved American Federal Holiday  — Labor Day?  Mummy, I implore you to tell me why you are working on Labor Day?”

At this, Tommy became agitated and then Tommy became appalled and finally Tommy became apoplectic — which didn’t last very long — because right after that Tommy went back to being appalled and then merely agitated and by the time his mother looked up to answer his question, Tommy was pretty much back to normal.

“But Tommy Dear,” Mummy Sweatington replied, “I’m not working.  Scrubbing the floors of the City Hall is my hobby, silly!”

“But Mummy!” Tommy protested.  “Why would you want to have a hobby that requires you to scrub the floors of City Hall with your toothbrush?”

” Tommy darling, you don’t understand.  I’m not using my toothbrush to scrub the floors of City Hall, I’m using your toothbrush!”

And a good Labor Day laugh was had by all!

“That Mummy’s a riot!”

***

Happy Labor Day!

Until next time . . . I love you

Embarrassing Valentine Please Don’t! I Beg of You!

Bobby

a picture of a nerd

Having missed the last train to Dorkville, Bobby decided to hang out with me at the coffee shop where I worked — until the next train arrived.

Well not really hang out officially.  More like send me imagined hugs and kisses and god only knows what else from upon the stool he spent a lot of time occupying at the lunch counter.

Bobby was 35, and I was 19.  He was married to a 15-year-old (which was apparently legal in some states back then) but worst of all, Bobby had fallen hopelessly, helplessly in love with me after having misinterpreted my statement, may I take your order?  to mean  I love you Bobby!

From that point forward Bobby was in dorky-stalker Love with a capital L.

Bobby’s personality consisted entirely of him saying no way shape or form after everything.

He’d say:  Do you know what time it is?

I’d say:  2:30

He’d say:  No way shape or form! (only he’d draw out the word form like this:  fo-ho-ho-horm!)

Or he’d say,  “Can I get a cup of coffee?”

I’d say:  “Do you take cream?”

He’d say:  “No way shape or fo-ho-ho-horm.”

“I want to get you something for Valentines Day.” Bobby said to me one day.

“No please!  BOBBY!! Listen to me!” I pleaded,  “You’re married!  It’s completely inappropriate! Please I beg of you.  DO NOT GET ME ANYTHING FOR VALENTINES DAY!”

“No way shape or fo-ho-ho-horm.” Bobby sing-songed.  “I’m getting you something anywho!”

Well sure enough, on Valentines day, during the busiest part of the lunch hour when the coffee shop was full,  here comes Bobby waltzing through the restaurant making a beeline straight for me, his eyes shining brightly with dorky-stalker love, his thick coke-bottle glasses slightly askew in his excitement, carrying a two-and-a-half pound box of chocolates that had a huge story-book doll glued to the top of it.

picture of doll on box of chocolates
Bobby’s secret Valentines Day heart-winning weapon!

All eyes and ears were ratcheted our way listening to the conversation that ensued:

Bobby:  I brought you something, Sweetie!  Happy Valentines day!

I said, “No I can’t take this Bobby!  No!   You need to give it to your wife.”

Bobby: “No way shape or fo-ho-ho-horm.”  I already gave her one just like it!”

Embarrassed and defeated,  I took the world’s largest box of chocolates from Bobby’s grubby little hands — but only because I was starting to hear some  “oh how sweet ooh-ing and ahh-ing” coming from  the lunch crowd.   And I stuck it out of sight as quickly as I could before dissolving into a perfect puddle of Valentines Day humiliation.

I don’t remember what finally happened to Bobby.  Maybe somebody shot him.

If so,  we all know what his last words were.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Readers, and may today and all your Valentines Days be Bobby-free!

Until next time  . . . I love you (No . . no!  Not you Bobby!)