Feeds:
Posts
Comments

EPISODE 3: Rated PG-13 for Near Nudity and Coarse Language

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

Two groups of six HARDBODIES each have taken over two corners of the pool. The scent of testosterone is more pungent than chlorine. TWO OTHER COUPLES lounge at the other corners. Each couple basks in the Atlanta sun, oiled up like Thanksgiving turkeys.


DOMINIC and GIDEON and THEIR LESS-SWOLLEN-AND-RASHY MOTHER enter the pool area. They are joined by FATHER, no less a hardbody than the 12 mentioned above. However, the appearance of MOTHER and FATHER in the pool area raises the median age by at least 15 years.

MOTHER and FATHER survey the pool area with dismay. BLINDINGLY WHITE MOTHER needs shade.* They head to the covered area with the plush furniture. DOMINIC and GIDEON are reluctant to get in the water with so many people there (i.e., potential victims for which they will get in trouble for splashing). They sit on the plush furniture and contemplate their next moves.

HARDBODY GROUP NO. 1 starts talking about leaving to go to dinner.

FRATTY GUY NO. 1
I’m down for whatever.

HAIR-TOSSING GIRL NO. 1
We should eat. They are expecting us there by 7.

FRATTY GUY NO. 1
I’m down for whatever.

HAIR-TOSSING GIRL NO. 2
I could eat. Should we go get pizza?

FRATTY GUY NO. 1
I’m down for whatever.

HARDBODY GROUP NO. 1 exits.

Conversation amount and volume increase within HARDBODY GROUP NO. 2 out of earshot of MOTHER. They exit.

DOMINIC and GIDEON jump into the pool. FATHER goes to work out (of course). MOTHER sips her beer and pretends to read about TRUMP in The New Yorker (but really just looks at the cartoons).

SPLASHING commences.

MOTHER spots BASTED TURKEY LADY NO. 1 looking around the pool as if to say, “Where are these children’s parents?” She murmurs disapproval to BASTED TURKEY MAN NO. 1. MOTHER sits calmly waiting for THE BASTEDS NO. 1 to see her. BASTED LADY finally does. Her pinched, angry face relaxes slightly.

TWO RUBENESQUE WOMEN carrying large floats, a massive bag of Outback takeout, and an also-oversized speaker enter the pool area. They commence eating. After their meal, they remove their cover-ups to get into the pool. RUBENS NO. 1 is wearing a bathing suit with a keyhole cleavage opening in the front. There is at least a foot of cleavage.

SMALLER-BREASTED MOTHER wonders if she is breaking a rule by not being busty in the pool area, as large teats appear to be the norm.

FATHER returns from his alone time in the gym.

Despite the fact that music already is playing over the speakers in the pool area, RUBENS NO. 2 begins to play loud hip-hop music on her speaker.

MUSIC
F— them! F— her! The b—- can s— my d—! (and similar).

FATHER and MOTHER look at each other in alarm. Such language is to be heard in the privacy of the home via the many action movies they like to watch as a family. It certainly cannot be heard out in the wild. They are outraged. FATHER and MOTHER give the RUBENS TWINS pointed looks. RUBENS NO. 1 notices their distress and nudges RUBENS NO. 2, who changes the song.

MOTHER and FATHER run out of beer in the cooler. MOTHER decides it is time to go make dinner.

She exits.

Moments later, FATHER, DOMINIC and GIDEON exit.

(END OF SCENE)

 

*EXTREMELY PALE MOTHER visited the Dominican Republic last year on a cruise. She put on 50 SPF, a one-piece bathing suit plus hat and cover-up. She stayed in the shade of a building all day and STILL got burned. On her stomach. True story.

EPISODE 2: Respect My Authoritah

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

STRANGE WOMAN lounges by the pool, barely paying attention to her two daughters, who appear to be around six and eight years old. The earbuds she is wearing indicate she is listening to music.

DOMINIC and GIDEON and THEIR STILL-UNHAPPY-IN-HER-BATHING-SUIT MOTHER WHO IS BEGINNING TO WONDER IF SHE HAS A HORRIBLE DISEASE THAT IS CAUSING HER TO HAVE CONSISTENTLY SWOLLEN ANKLES AND A WEIRD ARM RASH enter the pool.

DOMINIC
Let’s play Friday the 13th! I’ll be Jason.

GIDEON
OK.

DOMINIC (to girls in the pool)
Do you want to play?

GIRL NO. 1
OK.

GIRL NO. 2 (apparently named Jo Jo) ignores DOMINIC.

GIRL NO. 1
Jo Jo!

STRANGE WOMAN
Jo Jo!

JO JO
OK.

SPLASHING commences.

MOTHER tries to read a magazine in the lounge chair across the pool from STRANGE WOMAN. MOTHER is unable to read said magazine because STRANGE WOMAN is dancing in her chair and singing along with her music. STRANGE WOMAN is not a gifted vocalist.

A MAN IN A TOO-TIGHT BUTTON-DOWN SHIRT enters the pool area, pulling a wagon filled with THREE SMALL BOYS. His LARGE-BOSOMED WIFE follows. They position themselves directly across the shallow area from MOTHER.

DOMINIC (to BOY NO. 1, the oldest)
Do you want to play?

BOY NO. 1
No. I can’t.

The WAGON BOYS play together in the shallow end in front of MOTHER. There’s plenty of whining with no response from their parents.

A MAN and a WOMAN carrying the largest pool floats sold on the open market enter the pool area. They set up camp at the far end of the pool to MOTHER’s left.

STUFFED SHIRT stands up and begins walking around the pool area while playing on his phone. MOTHER sips her thermos full of cider and watches SHIRT track a pacing circuit in front of her. Her blood boils as he repeatedly walks within one foot of the end of her lounge chair. ANGRY MOTHER marvels at the fact that there is an entire pool area, but SHIRT feels the need to be all up in her grill. BOSOM strikes up a conversation with WANNABE MARIAH CAREY while SHIRT continues to pace.

MOTHER runs out of both patience and cider.

MOTHER (to DOMINIC and GIDEON)
Let’s go.

They exit.

(END OF SCENE)

Dear Readers,

Part of the joy of living in an apartment complex (even temporarily) is taking advantage of the pool.

Enjoy these missives from our adventures.

Love and kisses,
Beth

EPISODE 1: Is this Sun City?

EXT. COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

Two elderly women tan their already leathery bodies on lounge chairs. A girl of about six years old plays with a pool noodle in the shallow end.

DOMINIC and GIDEON and THEIR STURDY MOTHER WHO IS NOT HAPPY IN HER BATHING SUIT (OR SKIN, FOR THAT MATTER) enter the pool.

DOMINIC
Let’s play Friday the 13th! I’ll be Jason.

GIDEON
OK.

SPLASHING commences. MOTHER drifts close to ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 1.

MOTHER
Is there a hot tub?

MOTHER emphasizes “tub” as in the SNL The Love-ahs sketch with Rachel Dratch and Will Ferrell. ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 1 does not appear to notice the affectation.

ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 1
No.

ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 2 has been listening to the exchange. She chimes in from the other side of the pool.

ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 2
There should be!

MOTHER nods. She drifts to the pool steps, exits the pool, and parks herself in the lounge chair with her thermos full of beer.

DOMINIC and GIDEON continue their game for another hour while MOTHER texts her friend BRIAN about PRINCE CARL of SWEDEN and SEBASTIAN BEAUPIERRE THEROUX. (Another scene for another day.)

Eventually, the three exit the pool area.

(END OF SCENE)

Dear Real Estate Agents and Sellers:

At this juncture in my life, I find myself in the role of both home buyer and seller. As such, I feel qualified to be judgy when it comes to staging a home for prospective buyers.

The MLS photos play an important role in helping buyers decide if they want to schedule a showing.

Some of you have a hot mess.

I’m here to help.

 

There is a shelf above the machines. De-clutter it, and PUT THE DETERGENT, BLEACH AND IRON THERE, FFS!

What am I looking at here? A death trap?

It would only take a hot second to move the coolers for the photo.

Save the creative shots for your art school portfolio.

It would be helpful to provide photos of the inside of the house.

ISO 3/2 with hair salon? I’ve got just the place …

Looks great, right? The reality was … different. As it turns out, this was what appeared to be a frat house, complete with 30 or so liquor bottles and unwashed dishes all over these counters.

Consider asking your child to play elsewhere while you take the photo. (“Just for a second, son. Daddy’s busy.”)

It’s a good idea to finish the yard work BEFORE you take the listing photo, especially if this is the only photo.

W.T.F.?!

And finally, something that may top Catopia above. It’s the final photo, in more ways than one:

Yes, folks, that is a coffin on the porch. No word on whether it is occupied.

Thank you in advance for your renewed attention to detail (for crying out loud).

Sincerely,
Beth

Dear Fashion Gods,

You don’t know me (clearly) but I have a favor to ask you: Please could you make the jacked-up booty shorts trend for women go away?

They are high waisted, which makes them look like mom jeans. (We know that’s not good.)

Yet they are so short they often let a little labia loose. Don’t even get me started on how much air the ass is getting.

Lest you think I’m a prude, it’s not the near nudity that troubles me. It’s the fact that they don’t look good on ANYONE.

You’re not in Hazzard County.

Many beautiful women have been taken down by the most recent iteration of Daisy Dukes. Ariel Winter, I’m looking at you.

No, girl.

While you are at it, please eradicate skinny jeans for men.

Again, this is a trend that favors no body style.

This dude looks like he has childbearing hips thanks to these pants.

Not even Harry Styles is immune.

Yuck.

And when they are paired with a whole aesthetic, well then …

Hipsters or Civil War soldiers? (I can’t take credit for that; it’s been going around.)

If you would be so kind as to address these issues, I would be so thrilled.

In your debt,
Beth

STOP: If you haven’t read “Sentenced to Church, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V and Part VI,” do that now.

The final church visit was made to a Lutheran church on Palm Sunday. I chose this church for a specific reason: I thought it might actually be one I could attend regularly.

After going to five churches and reaffirming the things I don’t believe and don’t like about church, I thought it might be good to do some research. Thanks to religion.net, I was able to research a variety of world religions. I looked at the site’s chart listing all the various categories for belief (the Bible, communion, heaven, hell, etc.) and followed across to see where my personal convictions matched up with an organized religion.

The top contender appeared to be the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Voila! I had my sixth and final entry of my study.

When I walked up that Sunday, the congregation was preparing for the special Palm Sunday processional. The greeter asked me to sign the guest book, which I did. As in the other church visits, I did not fill out the address because I didn’t really want to be stalked by various church representatives. The greeter, a kind-looking elderly lady was persistent.

“Where are you from?,” she asked. “Bloomingdale,” I replied, naming the nearest city. “Which part?” she probed. “Just up the road,” I said evasively. “Yes, but which part?” she demanded. Luckily, I was saved by another neighbor, Robert, from four doors down, who steered me away to meet his wife Phyllis. Phyllis was sitting alone during the service because Robert had a part as Judas in the Palm Sunday presentation.

Even with the service modified to celebrate Palm Sunday, it felt comfortable – like slipping on an old bathrobe. I was raised Presbyterian, and many aspects of this service were similar to what I remember from services at Highlands Presbyterian Church. I could recite the Nicene Creed without assistance, for example.

One hour later, I was back in my car and ready to go home, mission fulfilled.

One week later, I headed to the courthouse to turn in my bulletins. The clerk shuffled through a basket of papers (what, no computer files?) and pulled out my citation. She stapled the bulletins to it and said I was finished. “That’s it?” I asked. “No receipt?” “That’s it,” she said, looking a little disturbed that I had questioned the system.

Though my husband still gets a kick out of calling me a criminal, I’m pleased with my sentence, and how much I learned. My theory of life is that if something wonderful happens, then that is great in itself. But if something not-so-wonderful happens, then that is OK because it makes a great story.

In other words, bad decisions make good stories.

I guess sometimes crime does pay.

THE END

STOP: If you haven’t read “Sentenced to Church, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V,” do that now.

Next up was a visit I had been both anticipating and dreading. One block away from my house is a Revivalist church. I ambled over there at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night and was met with what sounded like the worst “American Idol” audition ever. A guy was playing the keyboard and warbling hymns with all of his heart and energy. Too bad he was completely tone deaf.

According to the literature foisted upon me when I walked in the door, the church was founded by a married couple when “God began to use them to change the spiritual atmosphere of Savannah and the surrounding areas.” The brochure also said that “speaking with tongues” was not only to be expected but encouraged. Yikes.

I was “sister” here too, and greeted by everyone who came in the sanctuary (I use that term loosely as the building is a one-story concrete structure that looks like it may have been a storage unit at one time). Each person explained that I really should come on a Sunday when there are more people (70 as opposed to 17). After the fourth person made that comment, I finally said, “Well, the important thing is the message, not the number of people, right?” The lady blanched and fled to the other side of the room.

Like most standard services, this one began with a few hymns. Instead of hymnbooks, the church employs technology: an overhead projector and screen. The words were there but, because of the accompanist’s limitations, it was kind of hard to get the melody.

The sermon was not so much a sermon as a collection of anecdotes. One was about a science class and a jar of rocks filled with sand and water. The teacher apparently put in the various items in that order, asking each time if the jar was full. The jar was not full until he poured in the water, which is akin to how God’s love is able to fill in all the cracks in our nasty little human hearts. The pastor was not much of a storyteller, though. He was interrupted about three times by the person who first told him the story (the student) to correct parts he was butchering. And the poor pastor also had an odd habit of adding “Amen” in unexpected places. As in, “The teacher poured in the water, Amen” and “You may be seated, Amen.”

The pastor also offered his thoughts on mental health. According to him, “Depression is not a disease; it is a spiritual problem. It results from turmoil.” Maybe he and Tom Cruise should compare notes and join together to save all of us from unnecessary medication and doctor visits.

After the service, I ran home as fast as I could go. I avoided the road and any lights that could illuminate me and my path. I didn’t want any of the revivalists to see where I live.

Up next: “Yes, but what part?”