Subourbon Mom


First Responders – Shit Got Real
May 13, 2020, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Beware – this one is not for the squeamish
or the judgemental….

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Amid all the thank-yous and celebrations for our First Responders as the pandemic rages around the country, it’s important to remember that these extra acts of bravery and self-sacrifice are in addition to the normal stupid and often really gross stuff they have to deal with.

A friend of mine who is a firefighter submitted this to me and said I could use it.  (Hopefully, he or I will start another blog about the things they have to deal with – the funny, the gross and Darwinian selection in action.) So here goes – (reminder: this is not for the squeamish!):

I got sent to Station 4 for the medic unit.  A very nice medic named Christy (names have been changed, yadyadayada…) was my partner. We checked out all the equipment;  unfortunately, we never discussed a plan for The Secreting Poop Monster.

The Secreting Poop Monster was found passed out on the floor of a bus shelter.  Christy and I pull up, and “Stacie,” the officer at the scene, met us. 

“That guys smells like shit. That’s why I’m over here. Good luck,” she said. 

Christy and I go over and assess the Poop Monster. He is drunk and hypothermic, and has been laying on the wet floor of the bus shelter all night.  Poop is everywhere on the floor.  It is all over him – as plentiful as trash on Sunday morning after the Virginia Garlic Festival.  

At Christy’s suggestion, I paved the cot with two layers of blue absorbent napkins. Then I paved that layer with two more layers of bed sheets.  Together, Christy and I picked up the Poop Monster and laid him on the cot. He soaked through all the layers instantly. 

Christy yelled “Cover him up!”

I had the presence of mind to bring two more sheets and a blanket.  I instantly threw all three layers down over top of the patient, and Christy worked feverishly to tuck in both sides and his feet. Honestly – it was like trying to wrap a soaked car-washing sponge in a dry towel, and expecting the towel to absorb all the water from the sponge. Within seconds, brown stains began appearing on the TOPSIDE of the outside blanket that was covering him. 

Christy and I had both dressed in full Star Trek, Season Three science fiction outfits. We put the Poop Monster in the back of the medic unit and Christy yelled, “JUST GO! Priority One – Lights and sirens!”

Four minutes later we were unloading the Poop Monster at the hospital. That medic unit likely has a bent frame from me slamming over speed bumps at 50 mph.  We wheeled him into his room – and then, he topped 29.5 years of disgusting calls, including The Bug Lady of Station 5 who had a gangrenous, open toe, a bleeding sore on her chest, a prolapsed uterus and lice, which required me to take a shower in paint thinner.  

Christy and I had positioned the cot containing the Poop Monster along side the regular ER hospital bed. The plan was for the two of us to position ourselves on opposing sides of the cot, reach down into the lower abyss, grab hold of the leading edge of the bottom-most sheet on the cot, pick up and slide the Poop Monster over to the hospital bed.  

All was good. I had my side, and Christy had hers. We had agreed she was the point person and would give the orders. I was looking her straight in the eye across the cot, waiting for the “shift” command.  Suddenly, she gets this puzzled look on her face.  She pulled out her gloved hand, looked at her index finger in utter disbelief. 

In the most perfectly unruffled, even-tempered voice that I have ever heard, she said, “A maggot has just crawled from this man’s ass, and it is now wagging its little tail on my index finer.  Oh my God – what should I do?”

Sure enough, I looked across the cot and poor Christy was staring, fixated, at a white maggot.

“Drown it,” I said.  I grabbed her by the arm, dragging her over to the sink and washed her gloved hand with hot water.”

And that, gentle readers, is the kind of thing First Responders have to deal with during regular times – in addition to the pandemic crises they are being called on to handle as well.  The Poop Monster may have been an extreme case, but remember: First Responders take care of people from all walks of life, in all living conditions and with all kinds of ailments, mental and physical. They frequently put themselves in harm’s way so others can survive.  So the next time you get one of those solicitations from your local First Responders for donations, be generous and be kind.  Write that check and remember to give way on the road when you see them coming. Someday it could be you or your loved one.

Or, they could just be covered in shit.

Either way – be generous.

Be kind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Dungeons, Dragons and D*!dos, Oh My!

If people judged me by the catalogs I receive, they would probably say I am a woman somewhere between the age of 12 and 75, I prefer being athletic outside (true), I occasionally have an interest in high-end hunting attire (nope), and I may have a fetish for dressing like I play Dungeons and Dragons (also no).

It’s the last catalog topic that I find the most fun.  The Pyramid Collection catalog,  which I receive because I somehow got on a list, is a clothing catalog for wanna-be wiccans, female Renaissance Faire attendees, and those on the fantasy side of Goth (not the EMO, skeletal, dyed black hair and white-face makeup Goths). It bills itself as “Myth, Magick, Fantasy & Romance.”   All true, if your idea of romance is to meet fellow wiccans wearing flowing blouses with  lacy sleeves (think Seinfeld’s “Puffy Shirt”),

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you want to meet prince charming after a joust at your local Medieval Times,

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or your idea of fantasy is to meet a fellow enthusiast at ComiCon while waiting to do a meet-and-greet with the cast of Outlander or Game of Thrones.

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But the most interesting thing about this catalog is that right in the middle, where the staples are and where it falls open is a double-page spread of a variety of sex toys for women.  So, in addition to buying the many fantasy-related accoutrements, you can also purchase some toys to help you relieve the loneliness that apparently is assumed will follow the initial purchase. It’s genius, really – cater to women’s fantasies, then cater to them not panning out – all in one catalog.

Perhaps other catalogs should follow suit, in their own way:  Athleta and LuLu Lemon could also put a spread in their catalogs that include the inevitable cheese boards, pizzas and wine that somehow seem to follow those departed New Year’s resolutions.

W CatalogMen’s catalogs could offer sleek suits and upscale weekend wear, but also include a spread with wings, onion rings and a selection of porn (not that I condone porn in any way) when the suits don’t hide the douchey-ness beneath, and they once again are seated with their buddies on a Friday night at BW3s instead of out on a date.

I just can’t believe this marketing trend hasn’t caught on before – addressing the “Who I Want to Be” part of the customer, as well as the “Ok, This is Who I Am” portion, all in one place.

Land’s End is gonna have to step up their game.

 

 

 



Stop Over-Achieving – Just Do Your Best

Do Your BestThe New Year is often touted as a time for reflection on the past, making plans for a better tomorrow, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah…

F*#* that.

My reflections on the past come at two or three o’clock in the morning after being awakened by especially searing hot flashes. And, since my hot flashes appear as often as Trump recklessly tweets on foreign policy, I think I’ve reflected a lot over the last 365 days. When I wake up like that, the world seems like a dark place and everything I ever said was wrong…I What was I thinking? That was the worst parenting decision I’ve ever made…Please God, let that email not have been Reply All…My hair does not look like Farrah Fawcett, I don’t care what they said at work…

My plans for the New Year are what they should always have been – just do your best. Note to self: be happy being a 70-percenter.  C’s get degrees, and average lives deserve high-fives.  Quit freaking out that your list isn’t done, you over-achiever – at least you have a list. In fact, at least you have a pen and paper and you were allowed to learn how to read and write.

Some days, doing your best may mean cranking out that detailed, raise-inspiring report for work, driving your child to a specialist appointment and hearing bad news but giving them a reassuring smile, or helping a friend who’s parent has passed away by organizing the wake.  Other days, doing your best may be as simple as remembering to undo the seat best BEFORE you try and get out of the car (yes, I forgot).

Doing your best is relative. One of the things the Orange Theory Fitness program has taught me (besides that I HATE riding the bike and most lunges are worse for me than burpees) is that everyone’s “best” is relative.  You probably don’t know that the man next to you on the rower had heart surgery a year ago, and he’s struggling to make his heart stronger so he can play with his grandkids; or that the woman two spots down who can’t plank for more than 10 seconds has shoulders that dislocate habitually and she’s willing them to stay in place so she doesn’t have surgery again; or that the girl on the treadmill who’s walking flat when everyone else is running on a hill is just trying to get through one class without using her inhaler (that’s usually me).

Just do your best, even if that means wearing slippers on your feet to work because you forgot to change your shoes (yep, did that too).  You got there, didn’t you?  You clearly were not meant to be there, so you’re already over-achieving, right? Way to go!

But for the record, your best better include using your freaking turn signals when you’re driving.  Seriously – the 30% that’s not my best will make an appearance if you make me guess what you’re going to do at a stoplight, or why you’re randomly slowing down for no apparent reason.

So…just do your best.

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HGTV – Where’s All Their Stuff?

In recent years there has been a lot of backlash against the fashion industry for promoting unattainable ideas of what beauty is – and to some degree, it has responded – models are heavier, they are more athletic, and they have some visible flaws. In fact, studies have shown that just looking at a skinny model in a magazine can make you feel bad about yourself.   I’d bet money that seeing a house or well-designed room that you can never hope to attain because of either lack of money or lack of design ability also makes you feel bad about yourself.

Or maybe that’s just me.

I think HGTV needs to take a page from the fashion industry’s book and inject some real “reality” in their shows. I don’t know how many divorces that channel has caused, but I’ll bet it’s quite a few.  So many of the homes they renovate or purchase are out of reach of the average homeowner, or the costs of the renovations are misleading.  Now, I’ll admit I’m just as much an HGTV junkie as anybody else, but I constantly have to remind myself during the shows that what I am seeing is not an accurate depiction of what it takes to renovate, well, anything in your home.

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I fell in love with Chip and Johanna Gaines (Fixer Upper) like everybody else. I love her style and their TV marriage, and I even subscribe to their magazine – excuse me…their “Journal”. imagesBut there is NO WAY on God’s green earth you can do the renovations they do for the amount they say it cost. Unless…. you have decades of experience flipping houses (which by the way, is done on the cheap for maximum profit), own your own real estate company and your own construction/design company, which Chip and Joanna do. So, during every episode, in my head I add at least $5k – $10k at the end of each reno cost to be realistic.

UnknownOnce I ran through all the episodes of the Fixer Upper, I watched Love it Or List It. Hubby and I even talked about trying to get on the show so they could fix our upstairs. However, the producers never show these people moving all their crap and their kids and pets into an apartment and two pods while the renovation is going on, or the fact that they are on this show in the first place because one wants to stay and one wants to move.  I think there are already marital issues piling up that need to be discussed, and probably not on reality TV. And, nothing says fix those problems like since buying or renovating a house – one of the top 10 stressors in life.  You can’t tell me there aren’t some serious plate-throwing arguments during the process.

I really have only one question about those shows: what happens when the stagers take the pretty fruit bowls and candles away, and people have to move their old, crappy, dog-chewed, not-the-same-size furniture and towels into the newly-renovated home?

What I really want to see, HGTV, is a show about decorating with what you already have.  Show me how to display the glass bowls, framed menus stacked in the attic, blue coral my cousin gave us for a wedding present, decorative metal bird cage, and our three autographed footballs in a way that doesn’t make my house look like an upper-crusty Goodwill store.  Show me where to put my couch so that I can see the TV, the snow outside and still work on my computer with having to throw a blanket over my head to cut out the glare. And show me how to hide the damned cat litter so I won’t smell it, but I won’t forget it for so long that the cats get revenge and pee on the carpet.

And for God’s sake, will someone please explain what Joanna’s obsession is with shiplap?

But for now, until they can produce a show that accommodates my middle class budget, I’ll keep watching, getting ideas for Hubby to do, and then seeing which one of us breaks first – me deciding I can live without it, or him going ahead and building it so I’ll shut up. And while I watch, I’ll remind myself to look around, see that I live in a home with my loved ones, that is warm enough, cool enough, full of memories and souvenirs and things that make my life very easy in all the ways that really matter – and I’ll be thankful.

 



PSA – You Don’t Want Princess Leia Ears
October 22, 2019, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , ,

Like many middle-aged women I know,  I recently had to get yet another piece of my face removed because I used to lay out on the roof with tanning oil, sauteing myself for future meals made of  wrinkles and regrets.

This time, however, it was a basal-cell something or other, and not just a precursor to skin cancer.  And, since I’m vain and didn’t want my dermatologist to cut a Franstein-looking chunk out of my face in an effort that may or may not get it all, I opted for undergoing the MOH procedure. In the MOH procedure, the dermatologist/plastic surgeon numbs you up, cuts one layer at a time, bandages you, tests it to see if they got it all (this takes about 2 hours per slice), and repeats the process until they know it’s all gone.  This can potentially take all day.  It has something like a 99% removal success rate, and these surgeons also tend to leave less scarring.

The process for me was a one-shot deal – we didn’t have to repeat the excision, and it was pain-free. However, there were a couple of things I didn’t anticipate:

First, HOLY SHIT WAS IT EXPENSIVE!! Even with insurance…so investigate before you get your vanity on.

Second, I was the youngest person there by 30 years.  The only people my age were the ones helping out their parents for the day.  I felt like a toddler.

Third, it looked like a Leper colony had taken up residence in the waiting room. These folks didn’t just have a cute little bandage on the sides of their faces like I did.  The men had great, whopping bandages covering their ears, like old, weather-beaten Princess Leah drag queens.

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And/or they had giant bandages over their noses and on top of their heads. It was like sitting in the aftermath of the best geriatric bar brawl ever. (I’d post pictures but HIPPA frowns on that, so I didn’t take any.  You can Google it, but it’s pretty gross.)

And finally, I had no idea what getting your face stitched up feels like.  For the record, it’s weird, and I felt like I looked like Heath Ledger’s Joker afterward (it actually looked pretty good).  Since mine was by my ear on my jawline, the internal stitches were deep and right by the jaw hinge.  As the doctor was tying the internal stitches, it didn’t hurt, but I could feel her tugging hard – MY WHOLE FACE MOVED.

I finally had to say something: “You know that’s my face you’re pulling on, right?”  She replied, “Yep. It’s the face lift you never wanted.” To which I said, “Well, just make sure it’s even.” Afterward, I has to ask:  “So is that my future sitting out there? I’m not a big Princess Leah fan.”

“Oh honey, no,” she said. “Those are the guys who’ve had a bump on their nose or scabs on their ears for years, and finally decided it’s not a cut or a bug bite.  or their wives finally made them come in. You come in every year, so you’ll be fine.”

You can imagine my relief…so consider this your Public Service Announcement: Go to your dermatologist, even if you think you don’t need to.  Chances are you won’t need to have this procedure done, but let’s face it – not everyone can look as beautiful as Ingrid Bergman with a face bandage.

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