Leavin’ On A Jet Plane, Don’t Know When I’ll Be Back Again…

Posted By Tempest

Let’s recap, shall we?

-Driven to Newark Airport by a women clearly older than I, but who told me that my generation screwed things up for her younger generation…

-Flight to Nashville delayed twice, gate changed once, hilarity ensues…

-Overall, my class goes well, but 1st day facility issues made me want to drive solid, sharp objects into people’s heads…

-Flight home cancelled midday on 2nd day of class, requiring me to scramble for over an hour to find a new flight (one day later) and scramble for another hour to find a new hotel room (after all were sold out), hilarity ensues…

-Wake up in hotel on Day 3 of a two-day trip to a lovely, free, hot breakfast in hotel’s greeting area, only to be accosted just as my waffle was nearly done by a big-eyed 5-year-old named Robert who told me how he dreamed about having waffles in the morning but was now worried that there wouldn’t be any left for him since the line was long. I ended up eating oatmeal with nuts…

-Flight home to Newark was no longer non-stop, but thankfully not the TWO stops they originally wanted me to take. Now, just one stop in Dulles where I will wait for several hours on my layover. I notice that I am not wearing the, apparently, required cowboy boots in the Nashville airport and hope that it won’t cause me to be bumped from the first flight for inappropriate dress…

-Nashville to Dulles flight is uneventful except for the flight attendant spilling water all over my leg…

-Layover in Dulles is uneventful except for glass of Prosecco that I spill all over my leg…

-While waiting right next the gate door for before boarding my flight from Dulles to Newark, the gate attendant standing next to me announces my name through his microphone over the loudspeaker. He tells me that I will need to pre-board before the other passengers. I am excited and feel special. I should know better. My rescheduled flight has me in the last row of the airplane (a small 1-seat, then 2-seat configuration). I need to pre-board because they are loading a bunch of off-duty flight attendants at the rear of the plane for some kind of ‘redirection’ (getting them to a new location to work). I must be in my seat in order for one of them to pull out a jumper seat on a track from behind my seat, set it up and then sit IN THE AISLE between the permanent seats.  Tiny plane, now 4-people across in a human sausage roll.  No one suggests, and I don’t even consider, that they might have moved me forward in the plane and squish only airline personnel together. I turn on the air vent above me and ice/snow starts to rain down on me through the vent. Flight attendant squished up to me looks up and says, “Yeah, that happens.” He and I travel to Newark in a terribly intimate embrace. Hilarity ensues…

-Arrive at Newark and wait for my checked bag to spew out at baggage claim. After 3 flights worth of luggage is delivered and no bag appears, the very nice Baggage Claim folks look up my bag, send a note to Dulles to please put the bag they forgot to load onto the next flight, and promise me it will be delivered most likely Saturday.

-Go outside to get a taxi since Thunder had to work at the last minute and was given a cab with a very nice driver. I have no data to support this, but I’m sure he broke land-speed records leaving the airport. Looking at me in the rear-view mirror, he told me that he loved my blue eyes and that the women in his home country don’t have blue eyes like mine. As he says this, he veers off the highway onto the side streets of what looks like the worst section of Irvington, NJ, still breaking speed records, and telling me that it will be the fastest way to get to Route 280. I am skeptical, especially after his last creepy statement, but oddly enough he’s right and we get to next highway much faster than I would have thought.

-Arriving in my driveway, I pay the driver, say good-night, and he rockets off into the night. I get to the front door only to remember that as I left for my trip I deposited my keys in the foyer key basket…in the house.  No worries because I remember the keypad code to the garage door.  As the garage door opens I find that my hard-working husband has piled the lawn mower, the wheelbarrow, the garbage can and lots of empty boxes in our tiny garage. I can’t decide whether I will go sit on the deck for the next 2 hours or pull everything out just to get a pathway. As I consider my options, my bladder reaches up and tugs on my sleeve to get my attention, making my decision easy.

-Once business is taken care of, I greet my doggie who is extremely happy that I’m finally home. He and I collapse on the double chaise lounge on the deck and spoon together to wait for Thunder.

I am livin’ the dream, baby…

Sep 16th, 2016

Does This Look Infected To You?: A One-Act Play about Employment Options

Posted By

Setting:  Early evening.  Tempest and Thunder are driving to a restaurant in the next town to enjoy a leisurely dinner.  Thunder is driving, and Tempest is looking out the window.  As they drive down the local highway, they pass a business with a full parking lot.


Tempest: (reading the business sign out loud) Route 46… Adult… Romance Boutique.  Hmmm…they make it sound like such a warm and friendly place, you know?

What makes you think it isn’t a friendly place?  Maybe all those cars are just the locals catching up with each other.  You know, like an old-time General Store kind of thing?

Hmmm…so it would be okay with you if I got a part-time job there?  See what’s it all about?  HEY!  Maybe it would be interesting to see how many of OUR clients show up to shop there!

(pause) Yeah…you realize…that sword has two edges…right?

(thinking) Huh!  Yeahhhh…   Okay, maybe I wouldn’t want them to see me there, either.

You find our clients annoying now.  You hate cleaning up after them and hate it when they make odd requests.  And we own our business.  Now…translate that behavior to this job…AND you’re a mere employee…

Ugh…and yet!  Might be some interesting but disturbing conversations, no?

(pausing…thinking) “Sorry, sir, but I don’t think batteries are included.”

(pause) “I’m sorry that it chafes, sir, but we can’t accept returns on this item.”

(getting into it now) “No, sir, I don’t think she made a sequel to ‘Twilight Saga: New Boobs’.”

“I’ll check in the back, but I don’t think they make this with a curve to the left, sir.”

“I’m not a doctor, but, no, I don’t think it’s supposed to turn that color, sir.”

“I believe that’s the reason the manufacturer suggests extra lube with this product, sir.”

“I can’t really answer that question since I don’t know just how much friction you require, sir.”

“You can name her if you’d like, sir, but hey, why not wait until you get home, okay?”

“You’ll find a Wet Wipes dispenser just inside the door, sir.”

Ewwww…okay, done?

(thinking) “Are you sure these are the correct measurements for your dog, sir?”



Sep 9th, 2016

Persians And Spartans And Pirates – Oh My!: A One-Act Play about Dreamy Computer Graphics

Posted By Tempest

Setting: Living Room, flipping channels on the TV

Tempest:        Hey, wait a minute! Back up, please. Isn’t that Gerard Butler?

At Berlin Film Festival 2011 - IMDB

At Berlin Film Festival 2011 – IMDB

Thunder:        Who’s Gerard Butler?

Te:      He’s THIS guy…you know from that pirate movie…with the abs…

Th:      *blink* *blink* Pirate movie with abs?

Te:      (struggling to find the right description) I haven’t seen the movie…he’s like…a pirate… or a …something… he wears a costume…he’s really good looking even though he’s swashbuckling…or something like that.

Th:      Is this a real movie or one you dream about every night?

Te:      No…but he IS dreamy and that IS a good idea…No! He’s in that movie… all the pirates run off a cliff or something?

Th:      (thinking) Are you talking about “300” – THAT movie?

Te:      Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah..

Th:      You’re right…you have NOT seen it!

Te:      Yea, but it’s this guy…and all the pirates follow him, right?

Th:      Not unless they’re Persian and Spartan pirates, no.

Te:      So he’s a Persian…or a Spartan…and he’s a dreamy pirate?

Th:      Second time you’ve said dreamy. AND NO pirates!

Te:      Okay, but I’ve seen trailers and pictures. He IS dreamy – he has lots of abs!

Th:      Yes, I believe you’re right – Gerard Butler is in ‘300.’ But he does not have *those* abs.     They’re CGI, right?

Te:      Oh, no, I’m sure the man worked out before filming!  He must have those 300 abs.

Th:      How many abs?

Te:      The abs…required for the movie…

Th:      Just a heads up: the movie is NOT about Gerard Butler’s 300 abs.

Te:      If he ate a slice of pizza, would he be down to 299 abs?


Te:      Wow! Your head almost spun around 360 degrees there like in “The Exorcist.”

Th:      If we talk any more about dreamy Gerard Butler’s 300 abs, I think it might actually spin completely around! And not even in a CGI way!

Te:      Hee! THAT I would pay $12 to see.



Sep 4th, 2016

But…You Know…For a Fat Lady…

Posted By

So here’s what I knew at this point:  I’m sitting in a salon chair.  I’ve already had my roots “refreshed” and my hair “glazed” and “cushioned” with special conditioner.  As you might guess, every time my hairdresser – excuse me, hair stylist – uses one of these words, the price goes up.  By the time Ruby has plunked me into the final chair for the “diffused blowout” and “negative ion” straightening, I’m going to need a bridge loan just to make it to my car.

Here’s what I didn’t know at this point: The big finish would not be how great my hair looked (although it did).  The big finish would be the “high-value entertainment” that was about to begin.

As Ruby goes off to gather supplies to finish my hair, I spy in my mirror a grandmotherly woman and a young boy in the chairs behind me.  The young boy is chattering, chattering away and Grandma is trying to keep up and occasionally shaking her head.  I learn in the next few minutes from Ruby that Grandma is Maria, the mother of the salon’s owner.  The young boy is Zachy, Maria’s grandson and the owner’s nephew. Zachy.  Not Zach.   Zachy.  He is 8 years old and Zachy…  Never. Stops. Talking.

Zachy wanders over and stands right next to me, looking at me in my mirror.  At this point, my naturally curly hair has begun to “sproing” long loose, carefree curls all around my face.  Zachy smiles at me, and says, ” I like your curls.”  But it comes out, “I! Like! Your! Curls!”  He’s not shouting; he’s merely emphatic. Everything he says oozes confidence and expertise.  And it’s this approach that makes the rest of our time together so highly entertaining.  No matter what information he offers, he is completely self-assured of his facts.  It’s as though he’s gone to Oxford and Cambridge and Harvard and Yale, and is the supreme authority on his subjects.  But there’s no swagger or conceit, just exuberance about every pronouncement he makes.

Strap in…it’s worth the ride…

Ruby returns to the station while Zachy and I are talking and removes my wet hairdressing cape in order to replace it with a clean one.  Under the cape I am wearing my usual ragged and low-cut hair-salon shirt – don’t want to wear anything good during this entire process.  As the cape comes off and Zachy looks at the cleavage and the soft curls…

Zachy:   Whoa!!  (steps back, planting both feet and pointing both index fingers at me)  You are SEXY!

Tempest:  (momentarily stunned and trying not to laugh)   Huh?  Wha?

Z:   …not like Beyonce…but…you know…for a fat lady…

T:  (barely able to contain my amusement)  Excuse me, but can’t fat ladies be sexy too?

Z:  (looking at me like he can’t believe his ears)   Yuh!  Look in the mirror!

At this point Ruby is nearly beside herself and has to walk away.  Grandma Maria is still visible in the mirror behind me and she’s shaking her head and rolling her eyes.  Ruby returns and continues the process of blowing out and straightening my hair during the entire next series of conversations.  During this entire exchange I have to keep reminding Ruby to keep the hot straightening tool moving through my hair to avoid burning it completely off.  She would freeze in disbelief during some of Zachy’s more interesting pronouncements. Everything Zachy says, though, is thoughtfully offered.  He considers each sentence he’s saying, as though he wants to be sure I understand the importance of his information.  He uses very mature voice inflection for a kid.  Most of the time he maintains eye contact which is kind of unusual for most kids, but I really think Zachy wants me to truly understand the importance of it all.  If an adult acted this way, it might come off creepy.  But a kid…it’s absolutely hysterical.  Here are some of his most interesting monologues/exchanges:

Z:   How come you’re straightening her hair?

Ruby:  She wants her hair straight today.

Z:  *sigh*  Okayyyy… I guess you have to give the ladies what they want…

then to me:

Z:    Hey!  I know how Scotland got its name.   Well, there was this land (drawing a flat circle in the air, palm down).  And this guy, Scott…he found it!   And everyone agreed that Scott found all this land.  Soooo, they decided to name it Scotland…he’s probably dead by now…I think Scotland is pretty old…it’s probably older than you…(then, gesturing with right hand, thumb out, backwards toward Maria still sitting in the chair behind me)…but SHE’S gotta be older than Scotland!


Z:  Did you know that pretty soon all birds will only have one leg like flamingos?  It’s called he-volution. They don’t really need two legs, you know.  They fly all the time!  They only need a leg once in a while. They’re either flying or sitting.  That’s what happens when things change; they get modern.  Like my dining room chairs…they have four legs, but they’re old.  My new kitchen chairs…one leg.  It’s like a pole and the part on the floor is like a circle.  Looks a little like a bird foot.  See…new stuff…better.  You should keep watching birds…pretty soon they’ll allllllll have one leg just like flamingos.


Z:  I know where pears come from.  Pears are fruit, but they start out as vegetables, did you know that?

T:  (I can’t help myself at this point)   Really?  How does that work?

Z:  (so proud of himself…he’s going to take me through the process step-by-step)    Well!   All pears start out as peas…did you know that?  They do!  Some farmers just grow peas, BUT some farmers let the peas keep growing and growing.  They get bigger and bigger.  When you let something grow a long time, it tastes different, did you know that?  When they get really big, they become pears…they stick an “R” in the word, and supermarkets sell them as fruit.

T:  But Zachy, not all pears are green.  Some are yellow and some are brown.  Have you ever seen those in the store?

Z: (not to be dissuaded)  Awwww…they’re just trying to fool you with those.  They’re no good.   You shouldn’t eat those.  You can’t believe everything you read, you know.

T:  Zachy, how do you know so much about so many things?

Z:  (thinking about that for a minute and excitedly offering)  You know what?  I think it’s been in my head the whole time.  I think I was born with it.  And I just DISCOVERED it one day!  Isn’t that great!

At this point I’ve spent about 20 minutes of listening to Zachy’s non-stop view of the world, trying so, so hard not to laugh in this earnest little boy’s face.  As Ruby finishes my hair and puts some final touches in it, Zachy looks at me in the mirror.

Z:  Yeahhhh…she’s good to go…

Maria (from behind me)   Zachy!   Get over here!   (I guess at this point her eyes were about to pop out from all the eye-rolling).

Zachy wandered away without a goodbye.  I was longer a captive audience; I’d outlived my usefulness.  Ruby leaned in and said, “He comes in once in a while, and he is always, always funny.  I don’t know where he comes up with this stuff.”

My guess:  someone’s been feeding him all kinds of misinformation and getting a kick out of it.  Zachy is going to grow up and discover everything he knows is wrong and he’s going to be pissed.  That…or he’s going to grow up and become a game-show host.

So after all the “refreshing” and “glazing” and “cushioning” I paid for, it was the “floor show” that made the price of admission worthwhile.  Clearly I’m going to have coordinate my schedule with Zachy’s in the future to get my money’s worth.

Sep 2nd, 2016

Reason #42 Why Tempest Won’t Survive The Apocalypse

Posted By Tempest

I’ve been trying to get my cherry tomato plant – loaded with fruit – to turn red.
My tomatoes won’t budge from yellow to red.
I’ve search the Internet for help. I’ve watered, pinched straggling vines, talked sweetly to it.
I’ve been really stressed and a little pissed that I can’t get what looks like ripe cherry tomatoes to turn red.

Showed this picture to one of my tomato-growing clients on the way out of work tonight.


Me: I don’t understand! My tomatoes are yellow. Why can’t I get them to turn red?

Client: *looking at pictures* Because you have yellow tomatoes.

Me: Yes, I know they’re yellow. That’s the problem. They won’t turn red! Why?

Client: *looking at me like I’m a 4-year-old* Because you have yellow tomatoes. You planted a yellow tomato plant.

Me: OH! *Yellow* tomatoes. That’s why when I tasted one last night, it was sweet and tasty. It’s *supposed* to be yellow.

Client: Yep, and by the look of them, they’re ready. You’re going to be eating yellow tomatoes for the next two weeks.


I gots me some skool smarts, but I am dumb as a rock about common sense things.
So, it’s okay…I’ll understand when you cut me loose from the group after the Apocalypse when I can’t offer anything useful for our survival.

Jul 25th, 2016
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