Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Mom Song

This is brilliant on so many levels.
I can't believe she gets through this without stumbling.
And the lyrics are genius.
I'm sure Anita Renfroe was channeling my mother when she wrote this.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How are you?

It's a rhetorical question, really.
'How are you?'
No one really cares about the answer.
It's asked more out of habit rather than a need to really know.
And yet, we ask it all the time.
We know in our heart of hearts, that if someone were to respond
with tales of their failing eyesight and acute lumbago,
we'd cringe and curse ourselves for asking in the first place.

Many years ago, I asked a colleague about his response.
As usual, I said good morning and asked how he was.
"Fine," he said, then proceeded to talk about something else.
I cut him off.
"Joe," I said, more than a little annoyed, "I just asked you how you were."
"Yeah," he says. "So?"
"Common courtesy dictates that you, in turn, respond with 'Fine. And how are you?'"

He looked at me, and with a small laugh, said "But, Mo, I don't care how you are."

I was insulted.
A million things flew through my mind,
all of which would have got me fired if I'd actually said them.

We stared at each other for a moment.
I could tell from his expression that he was waiting for me to get it.
And then I finally did.

He was right.
Of course he doesn't care how I am.
Why should he?
And I certainly could care less how he is!

So I stopped using the token response
and now only say "Fine" when someone asks.
Don't ask.
Don't tell.

If I really want to know,
and have time to hear the response,
I'll ask.

Not too long ago, I was working overtime.
Overtime at my office means
working with the night staff
(a group of secretaries who work the night shift,
assisting lawyers who are working late into the evening).
I call up the lawyer who is my assignment for the evening.
He answers the phone all cheerful,
knowing from the call display that it's me.
I have to admit that I'm immediately annoyed.
Fake jovial banter pisses me off.
We're not friends, you and I, and we both know it.
You don't need to butter me up.
I'm getting paid to do your work.
It's going to get done.

"Hey, Mo!" he says. "How are you?!"
It's like we're long lost friends.
I may have thrown up a little in my mouth.
"Fine," I say, waiting for him to get on with his instructions.
Time is money.
Chop chop.
Sun is shining.
John Deere combine's running.
Hay is waiting.
Let's go.

There's a pause.
Then he says, in his annoying, insipid way,
"I'm fine, thanks for asking."
(Insert Big Gay Al voice here)
And immediately carries on with his instructions.

Since then, each time I've seen him,
he ignores me.
We're standing in the lobby by the elevators,
waiting for a car.
He makes eye contact with me,
then immediately looks away,
says good morning to the building janitor,
(like they're best friends, no less)
then turns away and goes into the elevator,
never saying a word to me.

Ask me why I don't care how you are.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grover and Old Spice

I know it's weird, but I'm a commercial junkie.
(though none of you should be surprised by my weirdness at this point.)

Ask TH.
I love commercials.
Well, not the ones that are actually trying to sell you something.
Those are boring.
Why would I want to watch those?
I want to laugh,
and if a commercial makes me laugh,
then I'm sold.
Probably not on the product,
but at least I'll make a point of NOT changing the channel
when their bribe comes on.

One of my current favourite commercials is the Old Spice Commercial.

Ah ... (wipes tear of laughter) ... that cracks me up every time.

But not to be outdone, Sesame Street has taken a crack at spoofing it.
And no one is hotter than Grover.
I mean, just look at those hairy, blue pecs!

HA! (wipes more tears) Brilliant!
I am on a horse. (MOO!) Cow.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

R.I.P. Memère Rosa

I am sad to announce that Memère Rosa died on Sunday, October 3, 2010 at noon. Leave it to Memère to arrange it so that she dies at an honourable hour.

It's not as though she didn't arrange everything else. My mother told me that on Saturday, she insisted on telling them which clothes she wanted to wear and selected the jewellery. She even patted her white curls at one point and asked "Does my hair look ok?"

I'm sad that I won't see her again and hear her laughter, but I know that she's happy now. There's a card game somewhere that's been on hold waiting for her to deal. And I'm positive that the old saying "you can't take it with you" doesn't apply to her. She has thrown her dimes into the pot and ordered everyone else to ante up.

It is only fitting, then, that I announce that I've been invited to read at the Totally Unknown Writer's Festival at The Rivoli, on November 10, 2010. I'll be reading Memère Rosa, a story that pinpoints Memère's personality. For a sneak preview, you can listen this Sunday, October 10 at 9 p.m. to CKLN 88.1 FM Life Rattle Radio where you'll hear four stories written and read by me. Three stories have previously aired on Life Rattle, including Memère Rosa, but there is also a new story titled Hare of the Dog. Listen in on Sunday and stop by the Rivoli in November and say hello.

Je vous aimes, beaucoup, Memère. A la prochaine.