Monday, March 23, 2009

Wacky Hair Day

My in-laws are coming to visit.

I want things to be nice for them when they arrive. So I’ve been doing a little cleaning. I’ve been doing a little fixing up. I’ve expanded the honey do list. And I’ve planted a few pots with seeds and a few spring flowers—a bit early perhaps—but I really wanted things to be nice when my in-laws arrived.

And then it rained, much to my dismay. And then it hailed. And then it snowed.

And then… it froze.

So then I brought my pots inside to my dining room.

I didn’t want to put them directly on the carpet. So I quickly grabbed some thick poster board the boy had brought home. The boy is on the student council for his grade school. He is responsible for making posters for special events and spirit days at the school. When the event has passed, the boy gets to bring his posters home. And so he did. That is when I grabbed a few from the recent “Wacky Hair Day” event at his school. I put them on top of my carpet and under my pots. I decided I would house my pots indoors until the nasty weather had passed.

I laid down the boy’s used poster board on my carpet, right next to the backyard sliding glass door. I left the pots there for quite a few days. Despite a few cat paw prints in the pots, they seemed to take their indoor vacation in stride. When I finally moved them back outside to the patio I was surprised to find a few beautiful sprouts of life. The pots had thrived.

My carpet had not.

I went back inside the house and started to clean up. I picked up the boy’s used poster board. It was wet. Apparently, when I had brought the pots inside, a few still had a little moisture in them that drained out their bottoms and on to the poster board. The ink on the other side of the poster board had then bled onto my carpet.

The carpet right next to the patio doors and my dining room table, where my in-laws would eat, now advertised, in bright red ink, “Go Wild! Be Wacky! Don’t Be Normal!!”

In mirror image, of course.

Oh dear.

Did I mention that my in-laws are coming to visit? Did I mention that I want things to be nice when they arrive?

Did I mention that I just added cleaning the carpet to the honey do list?

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Slightly Exaggerated highly recommends the Coconut, Lime and Verbena, Bath and Body Works lotion. We’ve received a sample size bottle of this lotion in the past and have been hoarding it like it was gold. Recently however, we have discovered the Wal-Mart, Bodycology lotion in Coconut Lime. It is almost as good for a whole lot less money. Now I must tell you that the teenager prefers the Wal-Mart, Bodycology lotion in the vanilla butter cream variety. It smells like cookies. Whatever lotion you choose to rub on your tired feet and legs, make sure you are doing it during the most recent episode of 30 Rock. 93% of Slightly Exaggerated subscribers and viewers are fans of 30 Rock and you should be too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blood on the Court

“Oh yeah buddy, yeah you missed it!! Oh you sure missed that one! What are ya, blind?”

Down on the junior high basketball court the referee turned to look at the man. We all turned to see him standing up in the stands and yelling quite loudly.

“Yeah buddy, I’m talking to you. You missed that call and I’ve got it on tape.”

“Shut up, honey” the man’s wife hissed under her breath. “We’re winning by 21 points.”

The stands were full of people voicing their opinions about the players and the coaches and the referees. You couldn’t escape hearing the comments and accusations. Apparently, this game that the teenager’s team was playing in was a complete mess.

According to the people watching the game, the players were incompetent. Their passes were inaccurate. Their shots were pathetic. They were too slow. They were too fast. They were too cocky and selfish. They were too meek and insecure. They didn’t think before they dribbled. They thought too much before they shot.

The coaches didn’t play the right players. One coach put up with too much backtalk from the superstar player. Another coach was too hard on the sensitive player. One coach let one player play too much but never let another player play enough. One coach had the nerve to stand up while he was coaching, temporarily blocking the view of a spectator. The other coach had an ugly shirt on.

The referees were complete bozos. The referees favored one team. The referees favored the other team. They apparently hadn’t visited the eye doctor in a long time. One referee forgot to bring his glasses to the game. The other referee forgot to bring his rulebook to the game. Both referees forgot to bring their brains to the game.

Even the woman running the scoreboard and shot clock was a complete idiot. She was always too slow to buzz the substitutes in. Apparently, she needed to get her hands out from under her…um…behind, so that she could hit the buzzer a bit faster.

I watched with great fear as the teenager was finally put into the game. She was safe from the opinions of the crowd when she was on the bench. She was safe from the harsh swarm of negativity if she didn’t play. I was nervous for her. Little did I know, however, that it would be the teenager that would cause the crowd and their comments to finally take a positive turn.

The teenager proceeded to play her usual form of basketball which is something like 80% true basketball, 15 % tackle football, and 5% nervous panic. She spent almost as much time sprawled flat on the court as she did upright. She plowed right into large, scary, manly looking girls. The manly girls pummeled the tiny teenager to the ground.

After a few minutes the referee blew the whistle and the game came to a screeching halt. The referee walked over to the teenager and pointed his finger right in her face. “Number 24!” he yelled for the entire crowd to hear. “You’re outta here!” The teenager turned white with fear and embarrassment.

“What did she do wrong?” her coach asked as the crowd hushed for the first time that night to hear what the referee would say.

“She didn’t do anything wrong.” the referee answered. “But she is bleeding quite badly all over my court. Someone should really take care of her.”

As the teenager limped off the court, blood running down her leg, the crowd began to mumble to itself. Then they began to chuckle. Then they began to clap in honor of the teenager’s ability to tackle in a basketball game and still walk off the court unassisted. And then the loud man stood up and started yelling. And for the first time that night, he yelled something positive. He yelled in support of the teenager.

“Blood on the court!! That’s fantastic! Now that’s what I call playing some good basketball! Can’t get any better than that!”

The crowd chuckled and the teenager’s teammates gathered around her somewhat in awe of her blood.

But the loud man wasn’t done yet. After a brief pause he continued yelling.

“Hey ref! When are we gonna start this game back up? Have you had a long enough rest yet?”

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This week at Slightly Exaggerated, the husband is recommending that you check out his favorite car of the week: the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. The boy is recommending that you get your own Nerf basketball hoop for the back of your door. I am recommending that you plant your blueberries, raspberries and strawberries pretty darn soon. And the teenager is recommending that you always carry a few extra band-aids with you. You just never know when you will need one.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Sweet Little Felon

It was because of a couple of apes that my sweet, innocent boy became a felon. No, he hasn’t been convicted yet. No, he hasn’t even been charged yet. But my little boy is most certainly as guilty as any felon ever has been.

The boy had been waiting for quite some time for Netflix to send the third installment of the Planet of the Apes movies to our mailbox. He waited as the teenager kept secretly moving sports movies up to the top of the queue. He waited as his mother kept secretly moving award winning documentaries to the top of the queue. Finally, after weeks of waiting, it was the boy’s turn to get his movie.

The boy didn't usually get the mail. But on this day, he was in a hurry to get his ape movie. The boy walked to the end of the street with the keys to the mailbox in his hand. The metal box housed a number of locked mailboxes for the neighborhood. The boy put the key into box number 14, turned the key, took out all of the mail inside, locked the box back up again and ran home with the pile of mail.

The boy was disappointed to find that the Netflix envelope was not in the pile of mail. I was surprised to find out that none of the mail was for our family. I was a bit embarrassed to see that all of the mail the boy had brought home was for our neighbor. The boy was shocked to find out that our mailbox was actually number 16.

I had no idea how the boy opened the neighbor’s mailbox with our key, but I knew I had to put the mail back. I had to cover for my boy. I had to undo his crime. We tried to make the number 16 key open up the number 14 box again. We tried to unsteal the mail. We couldn’t do it. The key wouldn’t work. The criminal boy and his “accessory to the crime“ mother stood in the street with the stolen mail in hand. We were dumbfounded at our bumbling inability to unsteal the mail that the boy had stolen so easily only moments before.

We ran home and pulled the blinds shut. We looked up stolen mail on the computer. We found that if you willfully take mail from an authorized depository and have that mail in your possession, with the knowledge that it had been stolen, then you can be charged with a class D felony. The boy was screwed. And having already read half of the neighbor’s stolen Country Home magazine and given their bills a serious once over, I speculated that I wasn’t much better off.

We nervously hid out in the house for the next few hours. We peeked through the blinds each time we heard a car, hoping it wasn’t the neighbor. When the husband and the teenager got home from basketball practice we sent the teenager to the mailbox to get our real mail. We sent the husband to return the mail “accidentally delivered to our box” to the neighbor. We told them nothing.

As our family sat and watched the Planet of the Apes that night, the boy and I tried to forget our eventful afternoon. We were ready to shake our criminal pasts. We were ready to be good, law abiding citizens. And we vowed to each other, that this unfortunate incident should never be spoken about again.

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The snack of the week here at Slightly Exaggerated is dried cherries and almonds. The retro entertainment of the week is Dan Fogelberg songs, especially the lesser known, Times Like These. And the movie of the week is, of course, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, especially if you’ve already seen the first two in the series. Feel free to watch it with the blinds open.

Friday, March 6, 2009

As Good as New

I’m certainly not a laundry queen.
I barely manage to get the clothes clean.
But last week my normal laundry routine
Took a very bad turn for the worse.

The squealing noise made the children annoyed.
They asked to have the dryer destroyed.
I knew that I would have to avoid
Doing laundry when they were at home.

The dryer was surely not working quite right.
But things really got nasty on last Monday night.
When I smelled that smell I thought it might ignite
And burn down the house where we lived.

I yelled to the husband, “Oh no! It’s not good!”
And I wish I could say that he understood.
But he kept on reading like I knew he would
A magazine that had come in the mail.

So I patiently waited ‘til he smelled the smell.
And I must tell you he didn’t take it so well.
He looked up from his reading and started to yell
“What the heck smells so horribly bad?”

He unplugged the dryer and complained of the fumes.
Our dryer was dead-I quickly presumed.
But the husband was not so fast to assume
That the thing would end up at the dump.

I said to the husband, “I saw one at Sears!”
I’ve been drooling at it for quite a few years!”
He muttered something about motors and gears.
I don’t think he heard me at all.

I said to the husband, “It’s gorgeous and blue!
The neighbor has bought one, last year, brand new.
She said it dries things superfast too!
I’m sure we could find one on sale.”

I then left to put the children to bed.
And when I returned I was filled with dread.
With screwdriver in hand, the husband then said
“I think I can fix this thing.”

My dryer was not in the house anymore.
The husband had hauled it out to the garage floor.
He took things apart. He began to explore.
And I began my assault.

I said to the husband, “What can you be doing?
I’m not sure I like what you are pursuing!
I really don’t want you to be screwing
With a dryer I want to be dead!”

The husband then said, “It’s a very good dryer.
We’ve done all the upkeep the manual required.
Now I realize that you have “new dryer” desire
But a new motor is all that we need.”

I said to the husband, “How much could that be?
I bet it’s expensive! I’m sure that you’ll see!
I’ll go do some research and I’m sure you’ll agree
That a new dryer just makes more sense.”

I spent the next day researching online.
The dryer I liked, that was nicer than mine
Cost a whopping big thirteen hundred and nine
And that was a whole lot too much.

So I found a dryer that dried just as good.
I gave up the blue color like I knew I should.
I gave up LED like I knew I would.
On sale it was four twenty eight.

I then searched for motors but not very hard.
To the husband’s wishes I gave little regard.
I basically acted like one big retard.
Cause I wanted a new dryer soon.

But I did find a motor and it was quite cheap.
Perhaps my dryer would not see the junk heap.
I slowly realized that I’d have to keep
The dryer I wanted to ditch.

The new motor did cost one hundred and four.
The difference in price I couldn’t ignore.
A new dryer would cost a whole lot more.
I had to face the facts.

The facts were that I had married a guy
Who wanted to fix things when they went awry.
So with a major big huff and a sad little sigh
I ordered the motor online.

My ugly white dryer that’s not pretty blue
Now acts like it did when it was brand new.
The husband has fixed it like he said he would do.
And I told him that he was “the man”.

The next morning I got up somewhere near dawn.
I put toast in the toaster ‘cuz breakfast was on.
The husband came down and let out a yawn
And asked what the heck that smell was.

The toaster was surely not working quite right.
The toast came out black which was not alright.
When I smelled that smell I thought it might ignite
And burn down the house where we lived.

I said to the husband, “Don’t worry, my dear!
I saw a super great toaster at Target last year.
And as the husband then spoke he was quite sincere
“I think I can fix this thing.”

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The Slightly Exaggerated family has spent this past week enjoying the Cranium card game Zigity and the movie Harlem Globetrotters: The Team That Changed the World. You'll be surprised how much fun you can have playing Zigity and you'll be surprised at the impact the Globetrotters had beyond the world of basketball.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Magic Scale

I held the underwear that was too big for the boy in my left hand and a Target receipt in my right hand. I was second in line. The lady in front of me held a bathroom scale in her hand. She walked up to the Target employee at the customer service desk and dropped the scale on the counter.

“I need to return this scale.”

“I’d be happy to help you with that.” the Target employee replied. “I just need a receipt and your reason for returning the scale.”

“I don’t have a receipt. And I’m returning it because it doesn’t work.”

“Ok, that’s no problem. We allow two returns without a receipt in a 12 month period. I’ll just need your driver’s license number. Oh, and you don’t by chance still have the box the scale came in, do you?”

“Hell, no! I bought that scale months ago. It’s never worked!” the lady barked. “The thing is a piece of junk. Every time I step on that thing it never says the right thing. I’m convinced of it. Every morning I go in my bathroom, pee as much as I can, get myself buck naked and I step on that scale. And every morning that frickin’ scale tells me I’ve lost weight.”

That lady then proceeded to untuck her shirt and pull it up just a little too far. She grabbed the elastic waistband of her pants and pulled on it. “Now I want you to take one good look at these pants. “ she said to the Target employee. “Do they look too big to you? No. Of course they don’t. But that piece of crap scale claims I’ve lost 16 pounds. Now if I really had lost 16 pounds don’t you think my pants would be a bit looser than this?”

When it was my turn, I walked up to the Target employee at the customer service desk and dropped the underwear on the counter.

“I need to return this underwear.”

“I’d be happy to help you with that.” the Target employee replied. “I just need a receipt and your reason for returning the underwear.”

“Here’s my receipt. I accidentally bought the wrong size for my son. The underwear is too big for him.”

“Ok, that’s no problem. Would you like to exchange it for the right size?” the employee asked me.

“No, I’d like to exchange it for that last lady’s broken scale. A scale like that is very hard to find. And I know I’ll get more enjoyment out of that scale than my son would from underwear.”

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This week at Slightly Exaggerated we are obsessed with the CBS show The Big Bang Theory, the very inspiring garden book down-to earth Gardener by Suzy Bales, and with adding butter beans and salmon to our salads. These things have made us happy this week and we strongly suggest that you check them out.