Archive for February, 2013

There was a story on the Today show about a lady inErin,Tennesseewho went into a restaurant, ‘The Flood Zone,’ to use the bathroom. She was told she could use the bathroom, but did not see the index size card which read, $5 charge for non-customers.’ So, when she was done, she left without paying. She did not know an employee wrote down her license plate and the local sheriff ran her plates. They got her address and sent a bill. When she got the bill she went back to the restaurant to pay the bill. They would not accept her money. So, then she sent a certified money order which they also refused. The restaurant was quoted as saying, “We didn’t want her money. We wanted to make a point.” The sheriff should have arrested them for wasting his time. And they did make a point, but it doesn’t reflect kindly on them.

We’ve all been in situations where we’re in desperate need of a bathroom. Take for example the tourist, inFrance. All morning she walks the streets and takes pictures. Hours later, she is hungry and in dire need of a bathroom. She goes into the first restaurant she sees. The maitre de approaches her and after sizing her up with a disapproving look asks with disdain, “Would you like to eat at the House of Crepes? You can tell by his tone he hopes you will say, “No.” “First I need to use your restroom,” she replies with urgency. He seems hurt and asks, “No crepes?” Now, rubbing her legs together like starting a forest fire, she demands, “Tell me where the bathroom is.” his annoyance matches your urgency and he begins to recite the daily crepe specials. She grabs him by his French collar and starts yelling. The French patrons whip out their cell phones and next thing she knows the video has gone viral. It’s called ‘Another Ugly American inParis.’

Only, sometimes it’s the person who wants to get out of a bathroom rather then get in is the one who can cause a scene. One time I was in a bathroom stall with my then toddler daughter. Well, she decides halfway through what I was doing that she wanted out. She reached for the lock and opened it. She started opening the door. I leaned forward (which was hard in my position) and shut it. Again, she opened it. Again, I shut it. She opened. I shut. Open. Shut. Open. Shut. She starts screaming, “Let me out.” Oh, God, in my mind social services is coming. I don’t want to be arrested in a public bathroom! When we emerge from the stall other mothers and their perfectly behaved children are staring at a child rubbing her tear filled eyes and a mother with her pants at her knees. I’m glad there was no YouTube back then. I can understand perfectly well how some situations can get out of hand.

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the man who slapped the crying toddler on an airplane. This incident has rekindled a debate about whether airlines should carve out adults only sections; surveys done in recent years indicate there are fliers who would like Kid–Free zones and some travelers want family-friendly sections.

On my husbands recent plane trip he sat in front of Abbey. Even though he and Abbey didn’t exchange words he knew her name as her mother kept repeating it. “Abbey, stop kicking the man’s seat. Abbey, it’s not nice to kick the seat.” Abbey, Abbey, Abbey. Abbey was a happy little girl so long as she was kicking my husband’s seat. When made to stop Abbey got grumpy. Abbey made quite an impression on my husband (more importantly his back) and I’m certain he called out her name in his sleep last night.

Funny, but it’s always the misbehaved kids whose names we learn. This is why it’s imperative for parents to pick normal names that are easy to pronounce.

Recently I was in the produce section of my local grocery store when Johnny and his mother entered. Within seconds (thanks to Johnny’s mother screaming at him), everyone in the store knew Johnny’s name. Johnny’s mother’s threats seemed phoned in and lacked passion. They were empty. My guess is Johnny’s heard them all before. “Johnny, get back here. Get back here, now! Johnny, don’t push me. I mean it. Johnny, get away from those apples. Johnny, you don’t do that with a cucumber.” Secretly, I was waiting for the mother to say, “Johnny be good,” so all the customers would break out in song. She didn’t, but she did remove him from the store.

When you’re in a public place like a store or movie theater and your child acts up you have the choice to take them outside and calm them down. When you’re on a plane you’re not allowed the luxury of that choice.

The toddler screaming on the plane was acting his age. The man who slapped the toddler didn’t act his age. He acted like a baby.

McDonald’s is offering Fish McBites, its first new happy meal entrée in over ten years. Fish McBites are crunchy, fried bite-size pieces of Alaska Pollock, the same fish used in its Filet–O-Fish sandwiches.

I know adults who order Happy Meals. You can’t beat a meal that comes with a toy. Why should kids only have fun while eating? Why do you think adults buy cereal with prizes? They claim it’s for their kids, which you’ve never seen. You’re belief in them is flimsy.

Just about all restaurants have a kids menu and a senior menu. Is it just me, but doesn’t it seem the kids and senior size portion are the size of a regular adult entrée used to be before society started super sizing everything. Plates have gotten bigger, drinks have gotten bigger, and in turn waistlines have gotten bigger. This is why experts tell you if you’re trying to lose weight to eat dinner using a small salad plate.

Bigger plates lead to me coming home with leftovers every time I eat out. There was a time when it was frowned upon for a restaurant customer to walk out, holding a doggie bag. Those days are gone. Now you’re advised to cut your entrée in half as soon as it’s served, so you could eat half and bring the other half home.  I’m happy walking out of a restaurant with leftovers as it means no cooking for me tomorrow.  While waiting to be seated in a restaurant, the more people I see leaving with takeout boxes, the happier I get. It means the food’s good. If people didn’t take home leftovers, but rather left them on their table, I suspect the food’s not that good.

I’m sure McDonald’s Fish McBites will be a hit and there won’t be a leftover to be had. I can only say I wish this had existed when I was young. During Lent, my mother would make fish every Friday. Since I hated the fish she made, I always had leftovers. If Fish McBites had existed back then I would have willingly eaten my fish and been happy with my toy. That would have made for a Happy Meal.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, what we’ve all been waiting for – the six foot rose. Grown in the humidity and volcanic soil of Ecuador the flowers are not only taller than average, but have twice as many petals.

Sales for the Ultimate Rose spike this time of year. A dozen roses, with vase, can cost up to $300 through FTD. Well, if you’re shelling out that much money on roses I’m glad to know a vase is complimentary.

Otherwise, just imagine the person who gets a delivery of one dozen, six foot roses, minus the vase. Where do you put them? Not everyone has a six foot vase on hand. The search is on. An old jelly jar won’t do. That oriental vase you got from your cousin you hate as a wedding gift won’t do. You call friends, family and neighbors. None of them has a six foot vase. You’re ticked that your uncle, the hoarder never acquired a vase with all the junk he has. You run to your local nursery. Success. By the time your search is over, you return home to find the roses half wilted. That’s a lot of money and time to spend on something that’ll die in a week.

I don’t know if I’d like flowers that are bigger than me. I wouldn’t be able to display them on my kitchen table. My ceiling’s not that high. I wouldn’t be able to put them beside my bed because I know when I woke at night to use the bathroom I’d think they were an intruder and take a swing. In order for me to stop and smell the roses I’d have to climb a ladder. In order for me to water them, I’d have to climb the same ladder.

We had a five foot Christmas tree which I loved because when I stood next to it I felt tall, even though it was only by an inch or two. It was the only tree I could reach and decorate the top. Every other tree to me may as well be the Rockefeller Christmas tree.  This is why I’d prefer regular roses over six foot roses.

I read that it’s Dixie’s mission to build a better paper plate to be stronger and prevent grease from seeping through. What I’d really like is a paper plate with some weight to it so it doesn’t fly away every time a breeze blows. A weighted plate would be ideal.

We go to this pizzeria that serves its hot dishes on Styrofoam plates. The plastic knife you get to cut ravioli or a meatball is adequate enough for the job. But a plastic knife to cut into chicken parmesan doesn’t quite cut it. A real knife is needed.

I reach for the small napkins to clean the mess, when what I need is big, heavy duty, super absorbent size napkins.

It seems when you become a parent and you go out to eat, it’s in the rule book that you must order extra napkins. When the waiter asks, “Can I get you anything else?” our answer must be, “Extra napkins.” We like to have them stocked and ready for any and all food disasters.

We take precautions with napkins the way some people use sun block on their skin when going out. Ordering napkins is as automatic as ordering dessert. I can’t remember anymore the days before we had to start requesting extra napkins. But kids come along and you find you need napkins the way you need diapers. You wouldn’t think a marshmallow would require a napkin, but you’d be wrong.

When I set the table for dinner I place a stack of them at one end, where I can grab em’. Need to wipe the soda that dribbled down your chin? Here’s a napkin. Need to spit out the piece of fatty chicken? Here’s a napkin.

When I was a kid I would try and hide the food I didn’t like in my napkin. Only when my napkin kept getting shorter and shorter and lumpier and lumpier my mother would get suspicious. I was busted.

To bad there wasn’t a plate with secret compartments back then. This is what Dixie should work on. Just think how much food a kid can hide in that.

The iron is out. The cat is in. This week Hasbro announced ‘Monopoly’ fans voted to get rid of the iron and replace it with a cat. This didn’t come as a surprise since cat videos are popular on YouTube.

Personally, I’m glad the iron’s out as I never chose it. My mother was a master at ironing. I never developed the same love for it; which is probably why I never chose it. When she taught me to iron I learned to spray starch on everything. When my father blew his nose with his freshly starched, ironed handkerchief, I learned not to spray starch on everything.

When I got married my mother gave us an ironing board. She gave them out as gifts the way some people give out toasters. Like the proverbial elephant in the room, at first we tried ignoring it. Then we acknowledged its existence by tip toeing around it, side stepping it and dancing around it. We tried to make it blend with the room and use it as a plant stand. When that didn’t work I would occasionally use it for its intended purpose; although I never used starch.

Over time, it stopped being used and its function became like the piece of exercise equipment which sits it a corner, and is used as an extra closet. At times it was hard to move, heavy with the weight of clothes piled on top. It became the catch-all drawer, only this was visible to all. If someone was looking for their keys or gloves, the question asked was, “Did you check the ironing board?” You could count on it to hold whatever you were looking for.

It became like a family member that you don’t pay attention to until you need something from them. We acknowledged its existence by using it for storage and moving it out of sight when company visited. We acknowledged its existence by using and abusing it for everything other than what it was meant for – ironing.

This is why I never chose the iron and I’m glad it’s out.


Wrangler has a new line of jeans – ‘denim spa jeans.’ They claim the jeans moisturize as they’re infused with aloe. Testing was done on women who wore the jeans 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, straight. Wow! The jeans might be expensive, but think of all the money saved not doing laundry. The ingredients are reported to evaporate in two weeks, at which time you can buy a “reload spray.”

I wonder if moisturizing jeans makes it easier for one to get them on, or if they might still have to wiggle into them. I also wonder if these jeans help to prevent chaffed thighs as now the skin that rubs together is well lubricated.

What concerns me is the girl who wears the jeans for the first time, on a blind date. The girls is pleased with the way her butt looks in them and the fact her legs feel silky smooth.

She’s optimistic about the date as her google search revealed her prospective partner to be handsome and having a great credit score (noted in previous blog.)

Looking out the window, she’s thrilled to see him pull up in a fancy sports car and gets goose bumps on her arms. She thinks she has goose bumps on her legs, but can’t be sure as they’re heavily lubricated.

They decide to take a ride along the coast before dinner. In the car, with the sun beating down on her, her legs start to sweat. When she request for the air conditioner to be turned on he informs her he didn’t get a good credit score by squandering money on frivolous stuff. So she sits with a fake smile frozen into place.

Much to her chagrin she realizes that due to the extreme heat the moisturizer in her jeans is melting and mingling with the sweat from her thighs. This liquid concoction is now flowing at a rapid pace into the crotch of her jeans, causing itchiness. She tries to discreetly scratch by rubbing her thighs together, making matters worse. When they get to the restaurant, she runs to the bathroom. She pulls down her jeans and notices her legs are red and covered in hives. She’s allergic! She realizes her edible underwear has become liquefied due to the pooling of sweat and moisturizer.

She runs past her date, flees the restaurant and calls for an air conditioner cab to take her home. Good credit aside, the guy wasn’t worth it.

That night she bid farewell to her moisturizing jeans and hello to an anti-itch cream for her hives. Her memories of the night fade slowly away, much like the warts.

A French themed restaurant in Tokyo, Ne Quiltez Pas has started serving dishes containing dirt to its patrons. It’s reported the chef uses only the best dirt on earth as it consist of volcanic ashes mixed with soil and plants. What a relief, because if you’re going to eat dirt, you should eat good dirt. A newspaper writer who reviewed the restaurant said, “Although the dishes appear dirty, they didn’t taste like dirt.”

A little dirt never hurt anyone. If you’re really hungry you’ll eat anything. Who do you think made up the ten second rule?  It was made up by really hungry people of course. Why ten seconds? I believe that’s how long it took him or her to bend down and retrieve the piece of chocolate (nothing but chocolate is worth bending down for) off the floor. Let’s face it, whether one or ten seconds, when it hits the floor, it’s dirty. And we all know just how dirty our own kitchen floor is.

Babies eat dirt all the time and it doesn’t effect their growth. They eat hair covered cheerios from up, off the floor. They such on their pacifier which mom just licked clean after it fell on the floor. There is no sterilization after the first kid. They suck their toes. They kiss the family dog that drinks from the toilet. And they constantly suck their fingers (and sometimes a whole hand.) I would venture to guess babies ingest tons of dirt, daily. Babies don’t walk around with a bottle in one hand and hand sanitizer in the other.

Lately, I’ve had some food that gave me reason to pause and think eating dirt may be the way to go. In a restaurant I got eggs with some shell. I didn’t order the shell, it was a surprise. I got cold, burnt toast; which means after it was burnt, it was left to chill. I had a dead bug on my ice, in my water glass; another surprise. I was handed a paperless straw by a waiter who kept touching his nose. And I had a hair in my whipped cream topped dessert. That was a stomach churning surprise. All these surprises have made me certain eating dirt is the way to go.