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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cranks Pranks & "Special" Calls

At work yesterday the subject of prank calls came up...memories began to fly through my head. As a child, my cousins (really friends of the family)would call the guy at the bowling alley and ask him if he had 10 pound balls. The seasoned veterans of bowling alley call takers always replied with, "Bowling balls? Yes, we have 10 pound bowling balls." While the newbies would always answer yes and in reply would get a childish, "Then how the hell do you walk?" Yes, yes, I know...adolescent, but it still makes me giggle. I could never get the nerve up to do it myself.

In high school while working retail, I would get obscene calls at work. Usually creeps who found pleasure by calling and talking about disgusting subjects, especially to an innocent high schooler. I, in turn, usually found great joy in finding ways to get the callers to hang up on me. My favorite was usually pretending that I couldn't hear or understand what they were saying and eventually they would get so irritated that they would hang up on me. My favorite call ever had to be the one where a particularly bored creep called the store and proceeded to describe what he was doing...alone! Yes, you get the picture, not a pretty one either. What was my witty (obviously, didn't think first) reply. It was, "Man, get a grip." His unfortunate reply, "I am." Yup, needless to say I started laughing so hard, I had to hang up on him. At least he was somewhat quick witted and provided me with a chuckle to this very day.

Just an aside before I continue...For those people closest to me, you know that I love to aim sarcasm at you. If I am not mean to you, don't say sassy things around you, etc. 1) I either don't like you very much or 2) I think you will either cry or get angry and then I would have to apologize. Really, I don't like doing that much either. So, those of you that are harassed by me, are truly loved. If I can have something come back to haunt someone repeatedly, I will do just that, bring it up repeatedly. That's just the way I am. Somewhat evil at times, I know.

The other reason I do these things is that I want to create a better future generation. Which brings me to my modern day pranksters. A young prank caller is so limited in his creativity these days because of technology like caller i.d. I had a kid call my house one day and say, "This is the electric company and you haven't paid your bill." For one, my young friend, that is the lamest prank call ever and, two, you are obviously not the electric company. Of course, after a few questions and remarks from me, the young caller hangs up on me. Most people would let that be the end of it. Not me. Remember, I am evil and this is all about that Clinton era "it takes a village to raise a child." Thanks to caller i.d., this villager called back the young prankster. He answers and when I ask if he was the one that just called me pretending to be the electric company, he hangs up on me. Does it end there? Nope. The villager calls again and gets exactly what she is hoping anwering machine. The message, "Hi, this is the person you just called. I know you are there and will probably erase this message, but just so you know, I will be calling repeatedly until your parents answer the phone. Have a great day."

The villager sat back and relished in the thought that somewhere a young boy would spend the next few days like one of Pavlov's dogs. In this case, no bell's ring bringing on a hunger induced salivation, just a phone's ring bringing on a terror induced soiling of the pants. And that, my friends, is how a village raises a child!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who's "My Copper?"

I just had to explain a few things. I’ve only posted a couple of times to this blog, so before I go too far, I need to clarify a bit.

A friend told me she read my blog and it took her a little while to figure out who “My Copper” was. Since she is a pretty smart cookie, mmmm cookies. Sorry, got distracted there for a minute. I thought I would explain before anyone else gets confused.

I started this blog to write. I love to write almost as much as I love to talk. For those of you that know me…hard to believe isn’t it? I do tend to talk quite a bit. Although I am not a big techy, I know that anyone with access to the internet can view my blog. This would be reason number 2 for starting a blog – FAME. Yup, someday I will be famous for writing about the sometimes mundane, sometimes funny, sometimes unbelievable things that happen to me or around me. And, ooh, a pig just flew past my window.

So, back to My Copper. For my friends and family, you all know who he is. He is the man I married, the man I love, the father of my wascally wabbits, the man that served this country, and the man that might write you a speeding ticket. You can try using my name, but it probably won’t get you anywhere. Yes, my husband is a police officer or cop. Did the light bulb just go on? Cop. Copper. Get it? I am keeping him anonymous, so that he does not have a plethora of people asking him for a break while going 50 mph in a 30 mph zone. Well, at least the plethora of people reading this blog.

The kids, well, they will pretty much remain anonymous as well. My oldest son will be My Oldest Son, my daughter will be My Girl, and my baby boy will be My Little Guy. As for our pets, they won’t be anonymous. Kalani is our, now deceased, Golden Retriever; Brutus is our crazy goat-dog. He’s really a Belgian Malinois, but given the chance would eat anything available. We don’t give him the chance. Marshmallow is My Girl’s lop-eared bunny who is the color of a toasted marshmallow. Here’s a fact: Bunnies do not smell like toasted marshmallows. And, last and definitely least, is Buster. Ahhh, Buster.

Buster is the goldfish won by My Girl at the fair last August. You know those fish that usually last a week or two if you’re lucky. Thanks, Grandpa, for letting her play that game five months ago. She named him Buster because she said he was all “busted up.” This leads me to surmise that these wonderful feeder fish that you can purchase at Wal-Mart for 10 cents are somehow sold off to Carnies when they either aren’t selling or are ready to go belly up.

Think about it…it’s a great money making opportunity. Wal-Mart, who I am sure really owns all the traveling carnivals (see for proof), takes all of these fish and charges $3 for each child willing to take a turn at winning a fish while their parents’ backs are turned.

Now, if the child wins, they make a profit of $2.15. $3 a turn, minus 10 cents for the fish, minus 75 cents for the Carny’s pay. This, of course, is based on 10 kids playing and winning per hour to equal Carny pay of $7.50 an hour. Seriously, Carnies should be paid more than that for standing there and listening to all those kids whining for the chance to throw a ping pong ball at a glass fish bowl. But, when I think about it, where else can you be get paid to be outside smoking a cigarette while talking on your cell phone? Try every office building around!

All I wanted to do was clarify why my husband is “My Copper,” and look what we ended up with…Carnies!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dog Mourning

Honestly, how many times have I said or heard someone else say, "It's only a dog." Why do we say it? I think it is to keep ourselves from facing possible shame of being cast as one of those "dog people." Yes, like the crazy old lady that dresses her dogs and buys jewelry for the canine, spends countless hours talking to the dog and no one else, etc. Well, today I stand proud and say our dog, Kalani, was always a part of our family.

No, we didn't put silly clothes on him. Well, except for the Elvis costume he had for a few Halloweens. You know the one that had pant legs that went over his two front legs, so it looked like "shake your pelvis Elvis" was actually walking. Who knows, Elvis could have come back as a Golden Retriever and lived with us. Kalani did always have a taste for bacon and peanut butter. But, I digress.

It has only been three days since Kalani passed away. We were relieved at the fact that we did not have to make the difficult decision to take him in to save him from suffering. He made the decision for us. We all knew it was coming. Wednesday night was spent lying down with him, talking to him, and petting him. I think we all knew it. The kids, me, and the Copper. My girl skipped a class she loves because we were a little late and she made no fuss like she usually might.

But, maybe, it was meant to be so that a few extra hours could be spent with our dog. The dog that she would fall asleep against as a toddler. The dog who would give me the "help me, mom" look when she did fall asleep against him, but would listen when I said, "Don't move, just let her sleep." She spent many hours sleeping cuddled against his furry warmth. And, I think he liked it, too.

And, my oldest, he took it pretty hard. After all, he was the one that found the classified ad for a Golden Retriever for only $175 back in 1997. We told him that it was a mistake and it was probably $475, but added that if he called himself, he could find out. Well, he did and the ad was correct. We drove an hour met up with the woman who owned both of Kalani's parents and we drove home with Kalani and his sister. The owners of his sister live somewhere around here and we got a $25 discount on Kalani for giving his sister a ride to meet her new owners. I will never forget the two little puppies curled up on my son's lap as we drove home with them. If we were real creeps we could've had two Goldens for the bargain basement price of $150! Of course, we aren't and couldn't deprive someone else of that furry goodness. We delivered Kalani's sister to her rightful new owners.

My little guy, he doesn't get it. When I told the kids that Kalani had died. He asked if he could see him "go up." What? He wanted to watch Kalani go up to heaven. I guess there must be a magic elevator or levitation trick in the mind of a 4-year-old that takes deceased four-legged friends to meet their maker. Abracadabra, here you go God. He was a little disappointed that there would be no heaven destination on Thursday's episode of Beam Me Up Lord on the travel channel of his mind.

The next day he asked if I had taken Kalani to the hospital. I told him I had. He asked when I was picking him up and when he would be alive again. Had to tearfully tell him that was not going to happen. Although, part of me also wishes that a wrinkle of Samantha's nose or a nod of Jeannie's head would bring him back.

Being part Irish, I guess it is appropriate for us to be reliving silly stories of Kalani at this time. My Copper and I were talking about his pubescent days. Yes, our little hormonal Kalani was quite hilarious. He had a special place in his heart for an old ALF stuffed animal. Remember ALF? The Alien Life Form, furry creature with the strange corkscrew beehive of a nose. He was sort of the same color as Kalani. Maybe he thought he was a Golden Girl and I'm not talking Bea Arthur. Kalani carried ALF around, took out all his stuffing until all that was left was a floppy scrap of ALF fur. That poor ALF was violated so many times and in so many ways by Kalani .

Oh well, we hope that Kalani is chasing ALF tail in heaven, eating peanut butter and bacon, and playing in the snow that he loved. We miss him terribly, but know that he was ready to go. Rest in peace, Kalani. We love you.