Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Why Can't I See My Potato?

I just got my insurance physical to reassure those soulless number-crunching bastards that I don’t have any pesky pre-existing conditions—like a heartbeat or occasional gas…or God forbid, BOTH. 

After every check-up, I hear another rusty nail being hammered into my coffin of denial drowning out my shouts of, “Back off, Reaper Dude! I’m not that old yet!”

During my exam, the 12-year-old Nurse Practitioner (a.k.a. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Child) took my blood pressure and babbled on about prescribing “her new fave BP med” to help with the one I’m already taking.

Great.  Please add another pill to the ones currently bursting out of my daily Pill Minder.  BTW, these are meds I can only recognize by their varied geometric shapes and pastel colors…kind of like a grown-up version of “Garanimals… Garani-Pills!

Okay, now Cindy-Lou-Who-Nurse-Practioner is gazing into my left ear with that ear-thing-a-ma-jig. I breathed a much-needed sigh of relief.  No one has ever found anything wrong using that ear-thing-a-ma-jig.
I was silently cursing my blood pressure update when I heard her Tinker-Bell-Just-Turned-30 voice, “Hmmm… there seems to be something in your ear.” 

Wait. Didn’t she just read that last paragraph?

“Something in my ear…like what? An earworm?  Please just tell me it’s not “ABBA!”

BTW, in my will I have a Do Not Resuscitate, (DNR) ) in case any ABBA song was to lodge itself in my ears.  I'll pull the plug myself if I hear even the opening notes of “Mamma Mia.”

“Nope. Not an earworm,” said the adorable toddler wearing a white lab coat and a stethoscope.

“A growth? No way. What in God’s name ever grows in anyone’s ear except hairballs and wax?  Oh! Oh, wait!  I bet it’s one of my wax earplugs—thank you snoring husband. I could only find one this morning when I made the bed. I looked everywhere.  Sometimes I find them stuck in my hair. Gross, right?”

“Sorry. It’s a growth, I’m totally sure. I’m going to refer you to an ENT doc. And, I totally suggest you get a hearing test while you’re there.”

I totally called the ENT for an appointment on my way to my annual eye exam.
I read the eye chart at 20-20—thank you, Lasik.  But, when she peered into my eyes with her eye thing-a-ma-jig she had some concerns.

“The optic nerves can get larger with age.” 


I made an appointment for a glaucoma test and headed off to meet my husband for dinner.

I regaled him with the various enlarged things growing inside me as he flagged the waiter over to order drinks.

“Sweetie, I’m sure you’re overreacting.”

“What?” I said a bit too loudly.  “Speak up. I have a growth in my ear.”

I fished my reading glasses out of my purse and perused the menu.

“To hell with my high cholesterol, I’m ordering a steak medium rare with creamed spinach and a baked potato. You only die once,” I joked trying to recover my aging sense of humor.

I put away my glasses as the waiter arrived with our dinners. 

Bob offered a toast, “May this dinner be just what the doctor ordered! To your health, sweetie.”

Clink. Clink.

I grabbed my knife and fork to dig in.  That’s when I realized something was not quite right.

“Bob! Bob! I can’t see my potato. Why can’t I see my potato?”

“Marianne, it’s pretty hard to miss a baked potato.”

I picked up my plate and held it out in front of me.

“Do you see it?  Is it there?”

“Yes, Marianne.  It’s bigger than your steak.” 

“Are you sure?  Oh, wow. There it is! It’s huge. I’ll never finish it.”

He shook his head, "Are you, done? Can we eat now?” 

I sniffled back tears and retrieved my dinner.

“I’m sorry, Bob. I knew I couldn’t read my menu without my glasses but I… I never thought I’d need them to…to…read. My. Potato.”

With that, I quietly sobbed into my napkin, then dabbed my eyes and put my reading glasses back on.

It really was a lovely potato. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Comedy Writer Seeks Job As A Funeral Attendant

While looking for work as a comedy writer, I registered with online job sites “Monster” and “Indeed.” 

The algorithms they use spit out jobs based on my keywords, “Comedy” & “Writer,” that are funnier than most anything I’ve written.

Here is a sampling of some jobs I’m considered qualified to do:

Cafeteria Food Service: As tempting as this one is I just can’t rock that hairnet. 

Low Voltage Technician: Perhaps this is a job requiring me to find fun ways to teach kids why they shouldn’t put a fork in the toaster?

Dermatologist:  Why not? I never went to medical school but I could write funny Excema prescriptions. “Apply cream on the affected area twice daily while patting your head & rubbing your stomach. It won’t cure your rash but it will take your mind off of it for a few minutes. 

US Navy Surface Warfare Officer:  Something tells me these folks found out I dated a Navy Midshipman in the ’70s.  That certainly qualifies me for this job since I was in high school, he was in college, and I wouldn’t let him go below the surface. Guess it was kinda like warfare. 

However, the winner in future job suggestions came from the “Ohio Means Jobs” career assessment questionnaire. According to my answers, I’d make a great “Funeral Attendant.” 

I generally don’t find funerals funny. But I was morbidly curious why I qualify to be a Funeral Attendant. I assumed this job wasn’t for someone who merely attended funerals—like a seat filler at the Emmys. 

I found out that Funeral Attendants are responsible for placing the casket in its proper place; arranging floral offerings or lights around the casket; directing or escorting mourners; closing the casket, and storing funeral equipment.

Nothing about this job involves comedy... or, does it?

Perhaps I could tell jokes about a wailing Italian Grandma trying to climb into Grandpa's casket. Although this might sound like a macabre scene from "The Godfather,"  I actually witnessed this at age nine at my own Grandpa's funeral.   Hmm, "tragedy plus time equals comedy?"  Would have worked in "Moonstruck."

Okay, here's a making funerals funny option! How about me playing "Truth or Dare" with the pallbearers?  TRUTH:  Did you ever get a cramp and drop a casket?"  DARE:  Did you ever think about... (Okay, let's skip this one.)

Finally, how about me as Funeral Attendant who pulls my master "Martha Stewart" impression and loudly berates the Funeral Director for serving stale cookies and lukewarm coffee to the bereaved?  Can't you just hear her screaming, "If this person weren't dead they would be after choking on these expired Chips Ahoy! Or they would have died from the shits after drinking this Folgers crap coffee you're serving. NOT a GOOD THING!"

I'm pretty sure none of the above is going to happen--but you never know.  

Apparently, the only real criteria to be a Funeral Attendant is, ironically, being a warm body.  

Maybe it’s time to reconsider that hair net.  
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