Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fate, Ninjas and Me


Roughly a year ago, we spotted him, The Runner, as he would become known. The chiseled guy with dark hair and bronze body had run straight from his Ralph Lauren ocean side photo shoot into our neighborhood and into our hearts. After a couple months spending an inordinate amount of time tracking his every move, we managed to figure out where he lived and rerouted our jogging paths accordingly. The hope was to orchestrate a chance encounter and get the ball rolling on one roommate’s relationship destiny. Which roommate ended up with him would be left to fate, but until then we would all work together, seizing every opportunity. He worked out with his garage door open, so we jogged past his house enough times to be mistaken as Olympic track stars. We had a problem. Regardless of our frequent sightings, none of us had any idea how to strike up a real conversation. Once when we passed him walking his dog, Trish said, "Hi" and I waved. Waved? Yes, I waved. Not like cute, subtle bar wave, more like fat Tommy waving to his mom at soccer practice. Anyway, weeks turned into months and no actual conversations or introductions ever happened. We lost hope.

A coral snake recently tried to kill us. Trish was on the front porch about 10:00pm when she saw the death coded stripes slither through the shrubs. She screamed that we had a killer snake outside. I had just gotten out of the shower, so I darted outside with wet hair and wearing my throwback pajamas: gym shorts whose elastic died years ago and my oversized pink 7th grade basketball district championship shirt. We had a plan. Trish would keep track of the snake while I got the shovel of death from the garage. Great idea, but we’re a house full of girls who apparently don’t own a shovel. Plan B. The lawn ornament. I grabbed the iron cross-shaped end of the lawn ornament, pulled it out of the ground like King Arthur and tried to use the spikey end to stab the snake to death. Too dark outside, couldn’t see enough to kill. The snake was slithering faster now, we had to hurry. We heard our across-the-street neighbor man on the phone in his driveway. Trish shouted, “Hurry, go get his shovel!” Still holding the lawn ornament sword, I flew across the lawn, sprinted down the driveway, and took two steps into the street when I nearly collided with The Runner. He had emerged out of complete darkness and intercepted my path. We stood in the middle of the street, face to face, him looking like a print model, me wearing oversized pajamas with wet hair, holding a lawn ornament sword. Not sure what to do, but feeling the need to explain myself, I slowly held out the sword and said, “You wanna kill a snake?” Yes, after an entire year of stalking The Runner and dreaming of our future together, I finally made my move. I threw on my best outfit, chased him into the street, and attacked him with a lawn ornament. 

He eventually walked to the porch, but the coral snake was already gone. Trish never even looked up from the shrubbery and never saw The Runner standing beside her. She said, “Looks like we missed our chance.” The Runner shrugged, put in his headphones and jogged away. I often wonder what he thought that night running home. I mean, it’s not everyday you meet a sword-wielding Ninja snake killer girl. He’s probably still kicking himself for not getting my number.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Things I Smashed This Week

Waking up after a head injury is always a relief. Granted, the lump on my head wasn’t huge, but I did fall asleep thinking, “Blood could be squirting all inside my brain. Eh, probably not. Boy, I sure am sleepy…”

It’s been quite a week really, even without the head injury. It all started when I smashed a mom in the bus doors. It wasn’t on purpose exactly. I mean, it was intentional, I just didn’t mean to smash her. The mom met me at the stop, and when I opened the door, she stood on the street and leaned into the stairwell to discuss something about her kid. As the conversation grew longer, I glanced in my giant bus mirror and noticed my stop signs were still out and traffic was piling up behind me. I thought, “Oh shoot! Stop signs, blocking traffic. Hit button!” I slammed the sign button, completely forgetting it was the same button that operates the door. Then I hear, “Aaahh Aahh AOWW!” and turn to see the mom bracing herself as the doors attempt to compact her. I tried to apologize, but it’s hard to convince someone you weren’t trying to smash them on purpose when they clearly see you hit the smash button right in front of their face. Anyway, I’m sure she’s fine.

The oak tree limbs are a little lower than I thought in one neighborhood. I usually drive in the middle of the road to avoid hitting limbs, but this week there was a car in the other lane, so I eyed the height of the branch in my lane and thought, “I’m probably ok…” and hit the gas. Then I heard, “CAHFUMPPABLUHGRAHGGR…” across the top of the bus. Simultaneously, the emergency exit alarms started blaring. The branch had ripped the ceiling emergency hatch loose and broken some plastic thing into in a million pieces on the floor. Whatever the plastic thing used to be was necessary to trip the switch and make the emergency alarm to stop. On a school bus, if the emergency alarms are on for longer than 30 seconds, the horn starts honking. So there I am, bus parked on the side of the road, alarms blasting and horn honking, and I am standing on the bus seats trying to shove shards of plastic into the emergency hatch. My efforts were fruitless. I decided I would have to just honk and alarm my way through the neighborhood like a giant ambulance. Then I remembered that when the alarms are going, the engine won’t start. So I finally had to call in on the two way radio. “Um, Transportation, this is 74, I just hit a tree…” They had to send the rescue bus.

After a busy week of smashing people and trees, I wanted some soup. As I was taking the bowl out of the microwave, I dropped the bowl and spilled soup all over the floor. I cleaned the floor, stood up, and slammed my head into the open microwave door so hard that the door flew off, landed on the rest of the soup, and sent soup flying everywhere. I instantly dropped to the ground and did that thing where you’re crying because it hurts and laughing at the same time because you know how stupid you just looked, and the people watching aren’t sure if you’re hurt, so they keep asking you if you’re ok, which is motivated both by concern and the fact that they’re trying really hard not to laugh until they know you’re ok, so to give them the green light, you squeak out, “I’m ok” and you hold your throbbing head as they die laughing. So anyway, I have a little gash in my head. It hurt real bad, but didn’t kill me in my sleep, so we’re good.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I have a black light. You probably don't.

My friend Danny ran into the meeting room at camp screaming that he had just been stung by a scorpion. The panic on his face proved he thought he had been stung by the Indiana Jones kind of scorpion, the kind that causes blood to trickle from your ears just slowly enough to make you realize something’s wrong, then you die. Texas scorpions hurt like fire, but they don’t kill. Danny didn’t know this. Anyway, he ran into the room shouting that he had just been stung, fear darting from his words. The spontaneous group overreaction could not have been choreographed more beautifully.

Paul screamed, “Hurry, take off your shirt!!”

Tim bolted out of the room, “I’ll get the ice!”

The other guys shoved him onto the couch, elevated his feet, took off his shoes, and tied a tourniquet to his arm, all faster than the secret service would have responded to gunfire.

Tim ran back in with ice, “Hurry, rub this all over your chest!!”

Paul hit a button on his watch like he was timing whether their efforts would be enough to slow the poison, and in turn, avoid Danny’s untimely death. Danny spent the next 47 seconds vigorously rubbing large ice chunks all over his chest. He eventually clued in, but not before he freezer burned his entire torso.

I’ve always thought scorpions were kinda funny because of that memory.
Yeah, killer sharks are kinda funny too, until one ATTACKS YOU IN YOUR SLEEP.

So there I was, minding my own business, dead asleep at 2:37am, when I felt an intense searing pain on my rib. I jumped up and clasped my hand over the rib where the freakish pain originated. Something instantly moved UNDER MY SHIRT. As my shirt was flying across the room, I saw the scorpion bail out and sail to the floor. He defiantly scampered toward the dresser waving his stinger tail in the air shouting, “Boooyah! You thought you were sleeping! Bwahhaha…”

At that point, I was not only awake, but I was convinced there were at least 20 more scorpions hiding in my hair. I started awkwardly thrashing my hair around, hoping to dislodge the scorpions before their next attack. The scene reminded me of Julie Efferson’s sixth grade slumber party where we decided to make our own Def Leopard video.

By 2:43am, I was researching how to annihilate scorpions from the earth. Apparently scorpions glow in black light, much like those plastic stars that stick on the ceiling in your bedroom. So I did what every normal 35 year old does, I bought a black light. The bulb fits into a typical lamp, so every night for a few weeks I turned off all the lights in the house and went scorpion hunting. I know, real mature. I have no idea what the neighbors thought as I walked around our pitch black house with my homemade light saber.

We haven’t had any scorpion sightings in a while, so I’ve chilled out and stopped hunting at night. I still have a cool black light though, which I’m pretty sure secretly makes everyone a little jealous.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I Got the Lice

My Yahoo account was hacked and I unknowingly sent shady e-mails to every contact I’ve met over the last 6 years. I feel dirty. Like I have lice and now everyone knows.

Stephanie Flanders always had lice in third grade. The nurse would come to our classroom, put on blue gloves and would somehow use a pencil eraser to check each person’s hair. The nurse would leave and suddenly Mrs. Morgan would need someone to run an errand. Who did she always choose? Stephanie Flanders. In our little judgmental third grade minds, Stephanie probably never bathed and clearly never washed her hair. Hence the lice.

I need to be honest. I have subconsciously, but piously blamed some of my friends for their own cyber lice. I have assumed because of their shady e-mails, that they simply weren’t technologically savvy. They must be the dorks who actually open attachments on cheesy forwards, and now they have cooties. I’ve even assumed on occasion that the pills or the magazine subscriptions they accidentally sent everyone were probably a mere one degree of separation from something for which they were actually shopping. I mean, let’s be honest.

I was wrong. I was judgmental. I got the lice.

I'm sorry Stephanie.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Naked Bus

* Due to the vast number of people that reached this site after googling "naked bus" or "naked people on bus" or "pictures of naked people on bus" I decided to offer this link. http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/ I probably don't know you or your story, but I honestly wish the best for you in this life. Cheers.

* Also, if you were trying to find the cheap New Zealand bus line (where people are thankfully fully clothed,) here is the website. http://nakedbus.com/nz/bus/

This summer, I drove a giant yellow school bus full of naked people. Well, they weren't really naked, but when I pretended they were, I'd start laughing every time.


People float through town on tubes here in New Braunfels. I pick them up at the end of the river and take them to their cars. I drive the naked bus. Try not to be jealous.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I hate meetings.

I’m not typically a violent person.

As I was doodling flowers and drawing awesome 3D boxes, I heard the microphone person ask if there were any questions. I am astounded by adults who think it’s appropriate to ask questions in a large group setting. When the speaker is finished, the meeting is over. Do not ask your questions.

When Jennifer in 3rd grade talked a lot and asked too many questions and kept us from having extra kickball time at the end of the day, we found her at recess and took care of it. “Stupid Jennifer? If you shut up, we get kickball time. Duh.” If verbal encouragement didn’t work, stomping on her feet would do the trick. I’m now realizing that playground mafia was not allowed in some parts of the country. Linda, from a meeting I recently attended, clearly never had her feet stomped.

Linda kept asking questions that applied only to Linda. I don’t understand why the microphone person kept answering. She could have said, “Stupid Linda, that question only applies to you; let’s talk after this meeting so we don’t waste the lives of everyone else in this room.” But she did not.

I contemplated what should happen to Linda. It’s not her fault that no one ever stomped on her feet earlier in life. But Linda started an avalanche. Ronnie and Barbara suddenly had recurring dumb questions, some of which were already answered earlier in the meeting. Susan rattled on with a story about her sister-in-law who worked in an office that didn’t allow employees to eat gum. When Peggy gave a lengthy diatribe about open-toed shoes being unprofessional and causing the spread of staff infections, I began planning my attack on Linda. She was the instigator of the question and story vomiting. Due only to vast personal restraint, I decided on plan C. You’re welcome, Linda.

Plan C:
In one Ninja-like motion, I will backflip onto my table, or maybe do one of those side cartwheel flips that Ninja’s do, I’m not sure which yet. Anyway, in mid-air I will begin a Banshee war cry at the top of my lungs. Eiiieeiiieeeeeiiieeee!!! With cat-like swiftness, in three easy steps, I will bound across the tabletops to Linda’s location. Linda’s perplexed, questioning stare will only fuel my full-out lineman tackle that will lift her from her chair and send her to the ground with a, “Thwump,” like a raccoon being hit by a truck. The room will gasp, and then grow curiously quiet. I will release her from our now awkward bear hug and simply place my hand on her forehead. You totally can’t get up when someone does that. In slow motion, I will put my pointer finger over my lips, pause for effect, then say, “shhhh.” I will remove my hand from her forehead, climb slowly to the middle of the table and stand, silent and confident. Then, in just above a whisper, I will softly pat Ronnie on the head and say… duck. Then Barbara, long pause…duck. Then Peggy, duck. I will stare at the microphone person for an awkward amount of time, then dart across the table to the front of the room, shouting ‘DUCK’ and whopping people on the head as I pass them. I will grab the mic, and with Jack Nicholson authority and creepiness, I will bellow, “GOOOOSE!” and bail out the window. Because that’s what Ninjas do.

Anyway, if I am ever in a meeting with you, and a paper ball with a rock inside thumps into your temporal lobe while you're asking a question, just be thankful I chose plan D.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Paul's Blog

I haven't blogged lately. I'll have some new stuff soon.

My youngest brother Paul is now blogging:

http://pwberry.blogspot.com/2010/09/10-things-having-new-boy-has-taught-me.html

His blog makes me laugh to the point of facial pain.