Monday observations following the snow

Tremendous Grammy Awards show last night. My grammy especially enjoyed Elton John. 

It completely amazes me how people are able to perform with such consummate talent. Regardless of your tastes in music, you have to admit that the logistics and physical demands of some of those production numbers were unbelievably intricate and yet mostly executed without a flaw. My personal favorite was the Black Eyed Peas. 

How do they ever remember the words and the moves and the stage direction and the props and how to avoid running into each other? If it were me and my memory, I’d be locked in on a handful of index cards with my carefully spelled-out directions: “Shimmy, then squat. Roll on the floor three times. Jump back up and pull your shirt off. Kick an audience member in the face. Turn to camera three and sulk, then back to camera two and spit.” 

Oh, no! I dropped my cards and now they’re all out of order! Who do I set on fire next? 


A friend of mine just got a new watch as a tenth anniversary present at work. In addition to telling time, it also monitors your heart rate. Now, in the event of some potentially fatal cardiac event, he can look at his wrist as if checking the hour and observe, “Oh, it must be time to have a heart attack.”        


While researching my Friday post, a website review about a prophetic Christian organization called “,” I looked online for the significance of that phrase. Either it represents the seven continents as spikes in the crown of the Statue of Liberty, or the seven sacred flames as described in the New Age collection “Telos, Volume 3: Protocols of the Fifth Dimension” (hope it has “Up Up and Away” in it — I love that song), or a prayer altar, offered for sale in conjunction with “the Planetary and Cosmic Hierarchy, as physically and etherically anchored and activated by the ‘I AM’ University.”  

Because I Googled the term as “7 Flames,” it also came back as the score of a 2004 NHL hockey game: “Blackhawks 7, Flames 1.”        


Sam’s Club announced the layoff of thousands of employees last week. Those affected had been involved in offering the tasting demonstrations in the warehouse club stores. CEO Brian Cornell said the operation would be outsourced to another company.

Well, that’s not exactly what he said. Instead, he announced the following: “In the club channel, demo sampling events are a very important part of the experience. (The outsource company) specializes in this area and can take our sampling program to the next level.” Translation, to the terminated workers summoned to the mandatory meeting last Sunday morning: “You’re fired.”      


A person from the Iraqi city of Kirkuk is known as a “Kirkuki,” pronounced “kir cookie.” Coincidentally, this is also a crisp sweet wafer flavored with black currant liqueur. I hope this isn’t too confusing for our brave troops fighting the war on terror.        


I don’t like to be considered a “regular” at restaurants or other places of business. It makes me feel too predictable, when instead I’d rather be impetuous.   

“Where to today?” I think to myself each morning. “Paris? The Levant? The Amazonian rain forest? Or instead, will I take a coffee break at the Steele Creek Cafe on Westinghouse Blvd., in southwest Charlotte?”   

Obviously, it’s the latter that I do on a too-regular basis. A short walk from my office, I can usually make it there and back in about 30 minutes. I stand at the counter long enough to order my coffee or, on a day when I want to splurge, coffee and a cookie, and then I beat it for a corner booth and my own private world.   

On Friday, I didn’t have time to prepare my lunch before work, so I called in a take-out order for the hot dog platter and picked it up at the drive-thru window. The woman waiting on me there was the same one who often took my coffee order at the counter. Apparently, I was rocking her world.   

“Are you the hot dog platter?” she asked. “Wow, I’ve never seen you get food.”   

First of all, I am not the hot dog platter. I am a human being, an individual worthy of basic respect. Secondly, just because I usually order only coffee doesn’t mean that I can’t occasionally break out in an entirely new and unpredictable direction.   

And finally, yes, I do sometimes get food. All of us do. It’s essential for our survival, in case they didn’t teach you that at cashier school.   


We had an ice and snow storm in the Carolinas over the weekend, making driving treacherous. Like thousands of others, my family had the bright idea of ordering a pizza. The nearby franchise was ready for us when they answered the phone: “Papa John’s Midtown/Take-out only today.” Interesting greeting.      

So we placed the order and it was agreed that I’d be the one to drive out into the storm and pick up the pie. The trip was uneventful, and my family was thrilled to see the piping hot pizza safely entering the house, followed by me (also safe but, more importantly, bearing food).       

On the side of the box, the following phrase was imprinted by the shop’s automated label maker: “Your pizza experience today has been managed by Michae…”. However many characters they had been allowed by this program had apparently not been enough to get Michael’s credit fully spelled out.       

So my so-called “pizza experience” — which involved eating, wiping up the sauce, tossing out the unwanted hot pepper, cramming the box into the garbage, and getting one awful stomach ache — turned out to be incomplete. “Michae” had inadvertently omitted the requested pepperoni.    


Next time I forget to pick up milk on the way from work, fail to clear dishes from the sink or otherwise underperform as a husband, I’ll take comfort in the example set by former Sen. John Edwards. Imagine the questions he faced when he arrived home after a long day at the office.     

“Honey,” his wife asks, “did you remember to avoid having a mistress, not father a child with her, then disown the poor child, all while I’m suffering from terminal cancer?”     

“Damn, I forgot,” John responds. “But I did remember to pick up the 12-pack of Deluxe Charmin.”     

“It was supposed to be Ultra Charmin.”  


Glad to report the malfunctioning toilet in the men’s room at work has been fixed. We were all quite alarmed by the scene that greeted us one morning last week.        

Is police tape with the warning "DO NOT ENTER" at least a little overkill for a broken urinal?

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2 Responses to “Monday observations following the snow”

  1. spicyt Says:

    Very well done! Made me chuckle! 😀

  2. S Fox Says:

    I do love these random thoughts, but part of me wishes some of them were fully developed episode. For example, the ‘I am not a hot dog platter’ is crying out to be its own title and episode. Many questions remain unanswered, such as ‘How did the hot dog feel?’ and ‘what size coffee do you normally have?’
    It could even be mock-cathechitical, a la Ulysses in the Ithica episode, which I’m currently reading, completing a new year’s resolution (You’re not the only one who has decided to reduce the fun in his life!).
    Better get back to that wretched Dubliner…

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