I Need Instructions on Roasting a Marshmallow?

I can handle many things but insulting my intelligence is not one of them. Maybe you’ve read labels of products you’ve purchased and the obvious dangers jump out at you. No I’ve never considered making my toaster a bath tub toy while it’s plugged in; I might end up looking like boxing promoter Don King. I’ve never thought it a good idea to use my lawnmower as a hedge clipper either. I wouldn’t want to pick my nose with my elbow since all the digits would be gone on my right hand. And definitely I would never want to iron my clothes while I was wearing them. Besides, I never looked good in hot pants. Yes, all of these are warning labels seen on these products.

Well imagine my incredulousness to the new 700 word instruction sheet by the federal government on how to properly roast a marshmallow. The article suggests a ten foot buffer between the child and the fire plus the added 30 inch minimum roasting stick to brown your cubed confectionary. If you’re wondering like me what pray-tell they’re wanting you to use, it think I know. Go to your church with the vaulted ceilings, find the telescopic pole they use to change light bulbs 20 feet in the air, and use it to cook your marshmallow.

Then if those instructions weren’t clear enough, the comprehensive bulletin suggests avoiding those “nasty calories” by substituting your roasted marshmallow with thin slices of fruit and angel food cake and roasting those instead. Isn’t a thin layer of fruit in a cake or crust called a pop tart?

I suggest if the government wants to burn money on things we can all agree on, why not post a 700 word bulletin on how hotels can set up breakfast areas properly. Why is it they always bunch everything into a corner and you’re bumping into everyone?

Or how about spending federal money on an advertising campaign that impacts a large section of society? Full instructions on how to properly wear pants. Isn’t it ironic that using a belt can fix both sagging pants and the attitude of the person wearing them, yet it’s conspicuously absent?  I think it’s time to dust off the old t-shirts that say, “Just say NO to crack!” and be happy knowing the message now applies to two distinct problems within society?

Oh and for the record regarding marshmallows, they said we should try turning over a new leaf. I’ll save you the trouble, marshmallows don’t taste any better wrapped in kale either.


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Back Seat Politics

Whoever said, “confession is good for the soul” was never a politician. When they’re caught in the wrong on anything, they spin faster than a top. I suggest we coin a new word ‘politicrit’. This is a combination of the word politician and hypocrite.

I can remember not long ago when our children were small. As we drove anywhere, I could hear in the back seat repeated over and over again these words, “Does this bother you? How about now? Now, how bout now? He’s sitting on my line, Stop looking at me!! Mom, he’s doing it again!!” I was soooo happy when the kids finally grew up and I could travel highways ands byways without ear plugs and migraines.

As obnoxious as it was then, it’s even more so now. No it’s not my children that is causing me the headaches, it’s the pundits and politicians with their annoying insults. Everyday when I listen to the news I literally feel like I’m cramped in a cheap minivan going on a trip with a group of petulant children named Reid, Pelosi, McConnell and Boehner. Does it matter who started the problem? Just fix it!!! We’re not all rocket scientists but imagine the logic here. If it’s leaking, seal it (border). If we’re over spending (the budget) curtail it. If you’re to blame, admit it.

A government spokesperson recently said, stopping flights to the three countries where Ebola originates would offend an ally. I ask what’s more important, your child’s life or offending someone 5000 miles away you don’t know? And stop distracting me from the ‘real’ news with stories on global warming. It’s 25 degrees this morning in Vermont, you think they’re convinced that a trip to the outhouse is warmer today thanks to a herd of cows belching methane or someone firing up a charcoal grill in Texas?

As we drive the road of life, these angry and obnoxious political children leaders must be told when it comes to their sworn duty, ‘There is no imaginary line in America, there is no name calling, there is no fighting over the best spot to posture and for goodness sakes, definitely no kicking our front seat!’ Because if they continue with this annoying and abhorrent behavior, it won’t be our seats that will get the kicking in the next election.

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The Birthday Dilemma

Today is a special day. It is my wife’s birthday. We’ve been married for so long that her special dinner expectations fall somewhere between Taco Bell and a cheap Chinese buffet. Okay so I don’t have a lot of imagination. She understands being married to me, dinner choices are a potluck; you take your chances on what you get. Our taste buds don’t dictate the eatery anymore, it’s the unexpired coupon in the car’s glove box. I mean, how can you surprise a woman who’s been married to you for 30 years? Buy her a dress she’ll say it makes her look too young, buy her a sweater, it’s the wrong color, buy her perfume, she’ll say she smells like a 60’s incense shop. Trust me, the best thing you can give your wife is not gifts and dining extravaganzas, it’s money.

I remember a man was telling his friends that he held his wife’s hand all the time wherever they went. When asked, “Do you love her that much?” He answered, “No, but if I let her hand go, she shops.”

One thing all married couples will attest to is the longer the relationship, the more practical you become. Choosing a place to eat for instance becomes conversational volleyball. You bat and lob the options back and forth until someone admits defeat or gets verbally slammed. A conversation may go something like this: Wife: “Honey do you want to eat at that new place on Main Street?” Husband: “No, we need an O-ring for the bathtub and that place isn’t near the hardware store.”

Husband: “Well how about the diner?” Wife: “Are you kidding, we’ll run into Agnes and her incessantly boring husband.” How about?……….”Nope, traffic!”

The wife then says, “You choose, I’ll be happy to eat wherever you want to go.” I might remind my younger readers that this statement all women say, is a complete fabrication. It does matter. The moment you say something like , “Well then, how about we go to JJ’s drive-in?” It’s then the wife jumps in and states emphatically, “Oh that place is too greasy, choose someplace else. No matter the place you choose, she hates the place but will continue to recite the words, “You choose it doesn’t matter to me!”

Okay I give up, we’re going through the McDonalds drive up window right now. It’s then that you purchase a happy meal, and smiling, you hand it to her. When she incredulously states, “You bought me a kids meal?” It is then you respond, “Well, if you’re going to be childish about the whole thing, I figured the toy might keep you happy until we get home!”

As a side note, never underestimate the importance of a home’s guest room. It sometimes is a necessary means for achieving marital harmony, the couch is second.

Reverting to the original dilemma, how can you eat out at your favorite place without verbal wrangling with the spouse? Purchase a gift card from a restaurant you like and tell her someone has been generous to you. The wife will always take the bait because if she can get something for nothing, she’ll take that road every time. This theory also proves why your kitchen drawer has 300 warped Tupperware lids that go to absolutely nothing and how she married you in the first place.

“Happy Birthday Sweetie, what do you mean I have to share my Happy Meal toy?


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Vacation Evaluation

There is nothing like a vacation to clear life’s cobwebs from your mind. I just returned from my, “Around the World in 80 Buffets” vacation. I drove from Tennessee to Vermont, picked up my parents and then drove us all to Florida to see the new great grand baby and attend a family wedding.

The night before we left Vermont I was reunited with a childhood friend who was an overnight guest of my parents. We talked into the wee hours of the morning. Despite the twenty-five years since we had last seen each other, her smile and blue eyes were just as sweet as they were when we palled around in our youth.

The next morning at the crack of 11 am, we made our way south via every Golden Corral known to man (we have the App on our cell phones). Though I was anxious to get on our way, I was cheated out of seeing all the brilliant colors of the trees and fresh apple cider which northern Vermont is famous.

Traveling with older parents has it’s benefits. Every teen cashier we encountered in any restaurant thought we were equally ancient. I was consistently given the senior citizen discount along with my parents everytime. The food was easier to swallow than the age gaffe but then again I’ve reached a time in my life where a discount is more prized than a bruised ego.

As we visited numerous establishments along the roads of Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina and others, I was reminded daily my disdain for one particular thing. One-ply bathroom tissue. Do companies really think they’re saving money by stocking bath rooms with rice paper? I haven’t seen anything this thin since a congressional hearing on ethics. Of course I didn’t study the brands side by side, but I bet the comparison to two-ply has to be forty-to-one.

As we made stops in Myrtle Beach, Jacksonville, and Orlando, I wished we had t-shirts that said, “I’m on vacation, my cell phone and mind is on silent.” It didn’t matter where we went, some family with six kids who all forgot to take their Ritalin, would sit next to us. Even one of the hotels we stayed in featured the rhythmic music of an Island themed wedding late into the night. I’m sure the attendees had a blast, but our room was over the ballroom. You haven’t really slept until you’ve been rocked (excuse me…serenaded) to sleep by a calypso band. I had dreams I was in the Desi Arnez Band.

Throughout the trip my mother asked me several times, “Are you going to write about us in your weekly blog? I assured her I would be most complimentary. I will tell my readers if you do have the fortune of going on vacation with me, it will always include three things. Good food, thrift stores, and a comfortable bed. It’s kind of like staying at home but with a different cast of characters to make it a tad bit more interesting.



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