Friday, March 30, 2007
  Lobster Bits and Pieces

Back in the day of variety shows on television, there was a popular juggling act. The performer would set up some tall flexible poles on stage, and then would spin plates on top of them. First, one, then two, then four, then ten ! All spinning at the same time. The juggler would run back and forth from pole to pole as the plates would start to wobble, to keep them all spinning up in the air. I know how he feels. There is much going on at Sarcas-house. But I have taken a break from my spinning plates to share two stories I heard at work.

Story One:

Last Sunday, Sally, the seafood manager sold two live lobsters to a customer. Not long after Sally made a trip to the ladies room. While in the stall she hears some strange goings on in the next one. Lots of bag rustling and cracking noises. As she told me, she is the seafood manager and she knows the sound of a lobster shell cracking. She tried to look under the stall, but they are not very roomy and she couldn't maneuver that way. So she peeked out the door and saw the lady who had ordered the two live lobsters leave the adjoining stall. Sally followed her into the store and when she did not see the lobsters in the customer's cart she alerted the person in charge of the store. He was a bit hesitant to approach the customer, but the Sally was not at all shy.

"Where"s my lobsters" she demanded of the customer. The customer immediately went into survival mode and pretended she did not peak English. Sally starts poking the woman and demanding her lobsters (while the manager is begging her to stop touching the customer). Realizing that the jig is up, the customer pulls a lobster claw from her jeans pocket. And a large chunk of lobster from under her shirt. Basically she had pieces of lobster all over her body. Her English skills improved rapidly when the store manager mentioned calling the police. She produced a hundred dollar bill. You know those lobsters cost $50 a piece!

Story Two:

A young man who works part time stocking shelves is a full time teacher. His classroom is in a rather tough inner city neighborhood. The kind of place you don' t want to be after dark. He teaches sixth grade social studies. He gave his kids a test. For part of it they were to name one "right" and six "duties". Rights refers to our constitutional rights, to assembly, to free speech, to form a militia and so on. Duties are things like voting, paying taxes and jury duty.

The teacher said that about 85% of his students told him that they have "the right to remain silent" and that it is their "duty to appear in court when they get a subpoena". On the bright side he said they correctly spelled the word "subpoena", which is above their grade level. Most of them did however, misspell the word "because".

I hope your plates are all spinning nicely.

Monday, March 19, 2007
  Fairy Tales Can Come True

You know the part in Sleeping Beauty where the Prince awakens the sleeping maiden with a kiss. I had a similar experience the other day. I was roused from slumber with a kiss and words I had longed to hear: "I found your lens."

The day before I set the alarm for 5 am so I would have time to shovel the promised snowfall from the sidewalk and steps before leaving for work. Good plan, except the snow was more like three inches of ice that had fallen and frozen overnight. I tried to be considerate of sleeping neighbors at that early hour on a Saturday morning, but the ice required some muscle to chip it away from the concrete.I am sure my name was being muttered in bedrooms up and down the block. And it took me 45 minutes just to get a path down from my porch to the front sidewalk and in front of the house. I felt badly that I didn't get my neighbors steps and walk cleared as well. Especially since the last snowfall ,my neighbor shoveled my front walk, my back deck and a path to my car. Of course that snow was all light and fluffy, and not at all icy.
Already 15 minutes behind schedule I went in to get my shower and get ready for work. As I was putting my right contact in it stuck on my eyelashes. I went to retrieve it and I heard it go "plink" as it fell to the sink below. In this situation it quickly becomes clear that you would be in a much better position to find the contact if you could just see what you were doing, but of course you can't because you dropped the stupid lens. I have an old pair of glasses I keep in my bedroom. They are ugly, but functional. I searched that bathroom from top to bottom.With glasses, and without. On my hands and knees. In the dark with a flashlight. No luck.
So now I'm really late for work.

Eventually I decided to call it a lost lens and go to work. With glasses. Not the ugly functional ones. I have a pair that actually look nice. I even get compliments when I wear them. I just don't function well in glasses. I feel like I am looking at everything from behind a glass door. So now I'm late and dysfunctional. I tried t call my eye care professional to order a new lens, but the office was closed, probably due to the snow. It would be Monday before I could reach them.

To the rescue, my prince. Armed not with a sword, but with a toothbrush. He found the lens in the cup that holds them, where I had looked several times. After a proper cleaning, I put my lens in and it fit like a glass slipper. ( I know. I'm mixing my fairy tales here.)

Now, I'm off to clean the bathroom. Even without my contacts in I could see that it needs it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
  SHHHHH. The Auction Is Silent

It has been a while since I mentioned Star here. Even so, she is a part of my everyday. On her blog, Sarcasmo's Corner she touched now and then on how she would like to be remembered for posterity. Just this past May she wrote:

For the record, no funeral for me, please. Let them harvest my organs and whatnot for science and torch and scatter the rest. Use the life insurance money to throw me a small going away party full of laughing and music and silliness and dancing. After that, my beneficiaries should feel free to use the remaining funds on whatever brings them the most joy. Seriously, I don't want anything done with my remains that involves "upkeep" or "maintenance" or future spending of any kind...and that includes annual memorial flowers. (I'm not really a huge fan of cut flowers in real life, it seems a shame to kill something just because it's beautiful. I doubt very highly I'll appreciate them more post mortem .) Remember me in stories and with wacky adventures; that's what I say.

And so we shall. In April we are throwing a big shindig. A pirate themed party / silent auction that will benefit the Star C. Foster Writers Prize at Star's high school alma mater.

When I say "we" I mean Sarcasdad and myself, Sarcas-sis, Sarcasmo Jr. and a groups of Star's friends whom shall here fore be known as "the kids", because that's what we call them. They have been with us every step of the way.
It was the Sarcasgirls and "the kids"who morphed from party to pirate costume mandatory fundraiser in about thirty seconds. It was a Mickey Rooney "come on kids, lets put n a show" kind of moment.

So come April we will be hosting a silent auction.All the kids have worked hard, and we have some awesome items to put on the block. Including donations from the lovely Leanne and the very busy Jazzy. We have evites and invites, catering menus, a ballroom and song lists. And there is talk of a plank to walk. What we don't have is any experience with auctions, silent or otherwise.. Minor detail. We're a smart bunch, and what we lack in knowledge we make up for with enthusiasm. But should anyone have any been there and done that advice to offer, we're all ears.

Sarcasdad & I rented our costumes, but I am not all that pleased with mine, which I refer to as "frumpy pirate". I was hoping to be much more swashbuckling. So I'm going to see what I an put together myself. I promise there will be pictures because someone else will be taking them and putting them online , so you won't have to wait for me to post them.

So gangway ye landlubbers. For the next month or so , it's a pirate's life for me.

Sunday, March 11, 2007
  Relativity, In Theory

The CP spent the night at Mom Mom's and Pop Pop's. Lest you should think it was all fun and games, I submit to you the following:

Theorem: The speed at which a person can move is relative to the task requiring the mobility.

Step 1.Tell child it is bed time. Said child unable to climb the stairs to the second floor and needs to be carried up and tucked into bed.

Step 2. Tell same child it is time to put on clean clothes. Sad child made it from the sofa, up the stairs to the second floor, totally unassisted and in record time. Was found in bed under the covers.

Theorem: Proved. However it is noted that the speed achieved in step 2 may actually have been hindered by the silly giggling of said child.

Sunday, March 04, 2007
  When the Moon Hits Your Eye

Yesterday there was a total eclipse of the moon. Even though I was out of doors during the peak eclipse time, I couldn't see it because of heavy cloud cover in these parts. Even though I couldn't see it, I knew all about it. Because I work with the general public. And yesterday, Mr. & Mrs. John Q. were just plain nasty.

People who work in retail, or public service can call a full moon without the aid of a calendar. It definitely affects the public's demeanor. They are usually a little more oddball than normal. But yesterday,they were right in your face complaining and looking for an argument. Here is the nicest thing I heard from a customer all day:

"Are you the Manager?* Well, your boy over there (points to cashier) did a good job. And you wanna know why? "(customer , a large man who towers over me, leans in for effect) " Because he didn't squash my freakin' bead and eggs, like you people usually do."

The way the day was going we took that as a compliment. I am pretty sure the eclipse affected me as well. Normally I can blow all this off as all in a day at "The Fresh", but yesterday I really felt like giving it back to them. I didn't, drawing on years of customer service experience, and some chocolate. But I wanted to.

So is it any wonder that I practically begged my daughter to go out so I could babysit last night? If the CP was affected by the moon it only made him cuter. We were a two man band, we colored Blue from Blue's Clues and sometimes we colored him green. We danced with the Wiggles and we marched with Barney. And we cuddled, which was just what I needed.

*A manager I worked with said that when he writes his book about working in a supermarket he is going to title it "Are You The Manager?", because anything that comes after that is never un-interesting.

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