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Archive for May, 2019

Dear Readers:

You know how excited I get when I have a guest post. Today, I’m pleased to present one from Disgruntled Danny, a lovely-despite-the-moniker person I met while pursuing my passion for a particular U.K. band.

He’s pissed about the lack of road repairs in Chell Heath, the borough he’s called home for 12 years.

Here he is, in rare form. Enjoy!
Beth

 

“Harry Pothole and the Tarmac of Terror” and other tales
Guest post by Daniel Harrowven

Misery, frustration and disappointment. For most British people these are our default settings, but on a Friday morning in early May these emotions were amplified.

The reason? I had just read the results of the local government elections and, as feared, my local councillor had been re-elected.

For the last nine years, since my councillor was first voted into office, Chell has gone from being “a little bit rough” to a town that can now offer visitors an experience akin to Kabul circa 2003.

How did this happen?

Chell Heath is a Safe Seat. Many of the families in the area have lived here for generations and they always vote for the same political party. They are afraid of change. As long as nothing improves, they can continue to blame all their problems on former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (She was forced out of office in 1990 and has done nothing at all since 2013 on account of her being dead.)

I was inspired to act whilst driving home one evening. Listening to the latest CD by Jesse’s Divide, I suddenly felt my spine shatter, thumbs dislocate and the CD skip, causing me to wonder whether I had suffered a brief blackout.

No.

I had driven over one of Chell Heath’s impressive (and growing) number of potholes.

Danny recreates his death-defying drive.

In mainland Europe and the U.S.A., drivers drive on the right of the road.

In the U.K., drivers drive on the left of the road.

In Chell Heath, we drive on what is left of the road.

The following day, I went back to the pothole and had my long-suffering wife photograph me pretending to punch the pothole.

Disgruntled Danny, Superhero

I posted the photo to my Facebook wall and the Facebook page of my local council.

And became an Internet troll.

Lately, my trolling has taken the form of movie treatments and posters fitting the pothole agenda.

 

Here’s a medley:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How much of a stir has this trolling caused within the council? Have I been asked to remove the posts? Been offered a meeting to discuss my grievances?

No.

I have had no response whatsoever.

Not even a “Sod off and bother someone else.”

But one person did take notice. Rathi Pragasam, the woman who ran against my councillor — the woman for whom I voted — found my pothole series amusing. So it came to pass (that sounds a bit biblical!) that Rathi visited me recently to discuss my rantings.

To be clear, she is not elected, has no power or authority in the ward, but within 24 hours she had contacted parliament (WTF!), arranged funding, and now the potholes are due to be repaired in the coming weeks.

All more than anyone on the council did.

I understand that there will always be bigger problems than some holes in the road, but little victories make life slightly more bearable.

And writing this has been a joy, because for 40 minutes I, a British person, have not had to talk about Brexit.

 

 

 

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Dear Lisa (aka Goat Yoga Lisa),

You are a great friend. One of the best. Not only do you play Bingo with me, write guest posts, and let me stay in your house all the time, but you also loan me your husband.

Well, Rob loaned himself, really.

And it truly was a shock to all of us hanging out in your living room.

When I said I needed a dress to wear to do the weather* because the chroma wall hated the one I brought, you said you would go with me.

But then Rob piped up and said, “I’ll go with you.”

You, Gunner and I swiveled to look at him. Silence. Two eye blinks each.

Me: “Wait. You will go DRESS SHOPPING with me?”
Rob: “Yeah! I’ll go.”

Maybe it was the wine talking. He vinoteered.

Or maybe he is jealous of all the blog space devoted to you.

Or maybe he just wanted to hang out with his pal Beth.

He might have regretted it in the morning. But then I brought him bacon in bed. (That sounds way saucier than it was. You were there. You made the bacon. You suggested I take it to him.)

He might have regretted it when we got ready to go. But then he filled a to-go cup with wine for fortification.

He might have regretted it when we got in the car. But then I put the convertible top down and fired up a great rock playlist.

Rob seemed to be having a good time in the store. This was his first selection:

img_8037

Thank God he was just joking.

Then he suggested a housedress with a belt. Ha ha, very funny.

We headed to the fitting room with three contenders. Rob, the fitting room lady and I unanimously chose the third option.

We were in and out of the store in 15 minutes. For real. He was in shock.

Rob: “It’s like a blur.”
Me: “You didn’t even finish your wine.”
Rob: “I was just sipping, but now I don’t need to.”

We did have to stop by the CVS on the way home. But Rob even helped with the ridiculous receipt.

We were back at your house just 30 minutes after we left.

Me: “Thanks for the date!”
Rob: “It was fun!”
Me: “Did you actually just say it was fun?”
Rob: “Yeah, it really was.”

I’m pretty darn proud of us.

To my additional astonishment (that Rob — full of surprises), he really took ownership of the situation. After my segment in the early newscast, you told me he said “his” dress looks great.

Then Gunner sent me this message:

And then the man, the myth, the dress baron himself weighed in after the later newscast:

So, I give thanks to you for the loaner spouse, and loads of thanks to Rob. He’s like my hubs away from home!

See you when I’m back in Savannah.

Love to you and the super shopper you married,
Beth

* I can’t believe I’m still filling in at the TV station after all these years.

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Dear God:

I just want to thank you for all the times that speaking your name and that of your son has helped me not to murder MY son.

You know which one. Dominic. It’s always Dominic.

This child tests me every damn day.

  • He has barely turned in any school work this whole year but won’t take responsibility.
  • He asks questions but won’t listen to the answers. (Then gets mad because he doesn’t know what is going on.)
  • He refuses to do what he is told but wants rewards.

Dominic is supposed to be putting together the shelves he is using as a pillow. (Meanwhile, his brother put together an entire bed by himself.) Then this slacker had the nerve to ask to be paid. He wanted $30!

He is about to go out of town with his father, brother, aunt and uncle. I secured the tickets a month ago based on his aunt’s instructions. He didn’t pay any attention, of course. So when I reminded him this week, he lost his mind.

My reaction?

This line really gets me:

He genuinely thinks this is my fault, not his. Does not understand cause and effect, actions and consequences.

What’s worse is that his teacher is the wife of one of my colleagues. So his poor performance — in language arts no less — is a smidge embarrassing for me.

He wasn’t done. But I was.

You know what else I don’t like? His Gen Z abbreviations. No wonder he is sucking so hard in language arts.

Perhaps it is Dominic who should be calling on you for assistance.

Your Obedient Servant,
Beth

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Dear IKEA:

I love you. I hate you. I love to hate you. I hate to love you.

Eddie and I entered you to get stuff to furnish an investment property. Let’s call this place a charming, evocative name — a name like “El Pozo De Dinero.

It will, we hope, be Eddie’s primary source of income this summer.

We had to get so much. But the quantity of necessary items was inversely proportional to my amount of patience.

I lost my will to live in the lighting section.

You didn’t care. You still made me trek through bath fixtures, throw pillows and plants to taste freedom.

I have so many questions:

  1. Why don’t you have the entrance on the main floor?
  2. Why don’t you have carts on the second floor where the showroom begins?
  3. Why don’t you have any staff on the floor?
  4. Why do you have to snake through the entire damn place to get from entrance to exit?
  5. Why can’t you get out of the café without going through the whole place again?
  6. Why won’t you open another register when you have 637 people in line?

Eddie contemplates death in one of only two checkout lanes open.

Even your oft-heralded meatballs are not enough to erase the memory of this torture.

We’re not done, though, so I’ll see you in a week or so.

Your best enemy,
Beth

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Dear Biofreeze:

I just want to say thanks. You are the only thing keeping me going at the moment.

Every year, I get a pinched nerve in my neck. Just once a year. It’s weird, I know, but it has been happening like clockwork since I was in college.

And for a couple of days, I walk around like Quasimodo.

Felt cute. Might delete later.

My former go-to remedy was this amazing balm I bought in France. But when I opened it up this time, I discovered it had liquefied. Ick.

Sometimes my pinched nerve resolves itself in a day or so. When it doesn’t, my next step is massage therapy.

“Houston” (really) tried to help me yesterday. During the massage, he shared with me all of his knowledge about the various muscle groups and trigger points and fascia and the arm bone connected to the blah blah blah. The guy would not shut up.

(Seriously, though: Please don’t try to chat during my massage. I’m not paying you to talk.)

It didn’t help. Biofreeze, you got me through the night.

I finally cried “Uncle!” and went to the the chiropractor.

Dr. Eric practically wrung me out like a dishrag accompanied by sounds like a pine log on a fire.

I assume I’ll feel better soon.

In the meantime, you are making movement manageable.

Gratefully,
Beth

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Dear Fellow Moms:

Today I celebrate you. Actually, I celebrate you year-round. After all, you and I work our asses off every day, not just one Hallmark holiday.

I’m also celebrating you because, chances are, your family is not. If you are like me, you are the one in your house who plans the events, gets the cards and gifts, wraps them, and makes sure they get where they need to go.

Also, if you are like me, you recognize that no one is going to step up and do it for you for any holiday.

So, like me, you have to take care of yourself.

This is why I go to New York every year for my birthday. Alone.

Eddie doesn’t have to worry about planning or buying anything. He’s happy.

I get to be by myself, eat what and when I want to, go where I want to go, and have peace. I’m happy.

Last year, I stayed in bed for half of one day, drinking red wine and watching a “Friends” marathon. It was fanfreakintastic. (Could it BE any better?)

I return with patience restored. (And shopping bags, but that’s another story.)

Everyone wins.

My family “celebrated” Mother’s Day last Sunday because they forgot when it actually was. I came home to this:

It’s thoughtful, yes, but let’s take a closer look.

Do any of you really want to be called the “boss?”

That aside, let’s take a peek inside the card.

That’s Gideon, who usually is the nice one.

Here’s the other weighing in:

Perfect sentiment, even down to the signature. Dominic actually does have some self awareness after all!

Anyway, Happy Mother’s Day from one beleaguered mom to another.

I’ll raise a glass (or seven) to you.

Love,
Beth

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United States Olympic Training Center this ain’t.

Dear H2Oldsters,*

Now that I’ve lost the equivalent of nine five-pound bags of sugar (!), it’s time to firm up what remains. Taking on those wobbly bits means I take on water — aerobics in the YMCA pool.

Why that and not some other group exercise class?

  1. I don’t like to sweat.
  2. It’s easier on the joints.
  3. I feel like a badass when I can do all the exercises you can’t.

Sorry. (Not sorry.)

Yes, I’m about 30-40 years younger than you. Wet behind the ears, even. (Yuk, yuk. Sorry. I am sorry.)

But it isn’t that.

Here’s the thing:
I bet you COULD do all the exercises if you would SHUT YOUR BIG YAPPERS and try.

Elderly avengers assemble!

From the moment you get in the pool, you do not stop talking. The class begins, you keep at it. People like me who are there to GET STUFF DONE have to swim around you.

Why you gotta be like that?

For real: Why are you there? Why bother putting on a bathing suit? Just meet the other crones at Starbucks or whatever. Or hang out in the Y lobby and chat. There are comfy couches there. Easy on the bones.

At the very least, go to the other end of the pool.

If you do, all this will be water under the bridge. (Sorry. I can’t help it. It’s too easy.)

Yours through hell and high water,
Beth

* Come on! That’s a little funny, no?

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