Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

I Hate a Parade

Therefore, the festival parade got rained on.

Rom said, “You should post more frequently so you don’t forget stuff.” Yeah, good intentions, what the road to hell is paved with, etc. I’m inclined to think the road to hell is not well-marked, either.

The bus today was standing-room-only, thanks to a woman whose attitude was, “I can’t be expected to move over. I have a tote bag.”


Speaking of which, in that blessedly cool and quiet setting, a woman marched up to the counter with 2 orders of fries and said, “These are cold and nasty. And I want 3 orders back.” OK, if you paid for 3 orders but only got 2, fine. If someone in your party already ate one order even though they were cold, or you expect to get an additional, free order of fries as compensation, too bad. And try not to be such a bitch. See, if my fries aren’t hot, I consider it to be in the nature of fast food, and better luck next time.

This is why they never made me the supervisor of anything.


My 3rd post (“World Without End”) was about how I got religion, if anyone has been wondering. Trust me, I was not Likeliest To Attend Church when I started at Dispatch. In the interest of brevity, that post featured only why I became religious in the first place, not why I embraced any particular religion. So here’s that explanation:

After my initial ecstatic experience in March of ’95, I feverishly read up on various religions, but came to no firm conclusion. Then I decided that, if God really was trying to get in touch with me, surely guidance would be provided, so I prayed for that. Around dawn on a day in  June (those who know me at all will know I was staying up late, not getting up early), I was idly paging through an old Bible I still possessed, and my eye fell on the verse in Matthew that says Ask, and you shall receive. This felt like a Sign to me, and I started attending St Paul’s Episcopal church downtown (that being the denomination I was raised in). And yes, I am aware of the objection that I probably chose it just because it was familiar to me. I’m pretty much aware of any objections to faith that can be found.

My conversion to Catholicism was more of an intellectual decision. I had been reading church history, and was troubled by all the divisions that had arisen, from the Orthodox split in 1054 to the Protestant Reformation. Jesus is on record saying that Christians should all be one, and we Episcopalians prayed for unity at every service, but we were part of the problem! So on Ash Wednesday 2002 at St Paul’s, I was gazing out the stained glass window that had been refurbished thanks to my contribution that year, and thinking, “Too bad that window has my name on a plaque, since I’ll be a Catholic now.” Since I hadn’t consciously made the decision yet, I was a bit unsettled by that thought. But I got my ashes and headed for the bus stop to go home, and prayed, “God, if I ought to  become a Catholic, let someone ask me if the ashes on my forehead mean that I’m Catholic.” In the past, comments on my ashes were either “You have some dirt on your face,” or, “Are you in a cult?” (Seriously.) When I got on the bus, a guy pointed to my face and said, “Are you a Roman Catholic?” So there you have it.


Sarcastic Shorts: Festival Report

It’s the Fall Festival, when you carefully plan the fashion statement you then deny intending. Rom referred to “hipsters with sarcastic plaid Bermuda shorts.” He actually owns some, but I gave them to him as a gag gift.


–Preppy guy hurrying to catch up with his friends: “This vodka is great! And this is my 3rd bottle today!” Dude, you have a problem. Ironically, he then filled his empty vodka flask from a can of Mountain Dew he’d just bought. “No, officer, this is just Mountain Dew!”

This is the year of man-buns and leggings as pants.

“It’s just gloop! It was gross!” Could have been referring to any number of Festival atrocities.

“Mom! Look at that guy!” Ditto.

I have so far been there 3 times. On Wednesday, I went with Rom and we got separated, but were far too grown-up to, you know, go to the Lost & Found and resolve our problem immediately. Not everyone was that grown-up–when I went today, there was a continuing litany of “Firstname Lastname, please report to Eleventh & Franklin.” Where the person you lost track of will yell at you.

Spotted on pavement: pile of vomit, or maybe it was some food item that looked like vomit.

: splash of blood, or maybe it was ketchup.



Remember my whining about lack of material? (“Which time?” they inquire.) Well, I have been informed by a former co-worker (I guess all my co-workers are “former” now) that Nick got involved in a situation on patrol that would make a good story. And so it shall, once I figure out how to Glitterize it. Did it occur to me to ask my (former) colleagues to send me good stories they encounter? No, it did not. “I fear no blogger,” Nick says, but maybe he should.


still dream I show up at work, and then realize, “Hey, I don’t have to be here! I’ll just stay and eat donuts.”


Time to use both boldface and italics? No, time to criticize holiday decorations. Not that I object to the idea of a spider skeleton. It just makes me wonder how many people think spiders actually have skeletons. “Well, I saw it at Walgreen’s, it must be true.”


I never did tell you what I spent my retirement gift cards on.

–Walgreen’s card from Ms. Tragically-Hip–red nail polish, base/top coat for same

–card from Noelle–gave CVS a turn and got a vat of body wash, one of those mesh puffy things (I normally use a washcloth, so I’m Trying New Things), and a tub of sugar scrub. I will be slicker than owl droppings, as Rom so poetically says, although I don’t think that substance is actually known for slickness.

The jury, by which I mean me, is still out on what to spend the rest of the retirement cash on. The longer I wait, the more ideas I get. How about a bright pink pantsuit? Rom will probably try to talk me out of that one. I think I’d look quite sixth-Rolling-Stone, with the addition of my black t-shirt. The ad for the suit says, “You can’t go wrong with slim-leg pants.” You can if you have big feet.


“I’m goin’ away, baby, and I won’t be back ’till fall

If I find me a good-lookin’ woman, I won’t be back at all”

I detect a lack of commitment to this relationship.


Post #2, “How I Got Beaten Up At Work,” (Feb. 2013) is self-explanatory. I see that one person re-read it, so they could envision it taking place at a massage parlor. Make sure you envision it with mirrored walls and red and green shag carpeting. Oh, and 70’s hard-rock radio. “More Than a Feeling,” indeed.


I Am a Cannibal

Hey, they said to start with an attention-grabbing title! And now that I’ve got your attention, since I screwed up the punchline of the joke I ended with last time, here is the actual joke, for the 2 people who haven’t heard it:

–A farm boy and his girlfriend are walking along a country lane through his father’s fields. They see a cow and a bull doing, um, what a cow and a bull do when they love each other very much. The boy turns to his girlfriend and says, “I’d sure like to be doing what that bull is doing right now.” The girl says, “Go ahead. It’s your cow.”

What I am getting at here is that I will be cannibalizing previous posts, since there’s funny stuff in them, especially from work, that I’d forgotten. Sure, you could say I’m doing it to make up for the fact that I no longer have access to fresh material along that line. You could say that, but you’d hurt my feelings.


Did you know that blogging is something you can do while you have the hiccups? As opposed to saying the rosary, or reading aloud to myself (one of my autistic things, I’ve done it since I learned to read), which are my other options at the moment. But, lest my faithful FanBase feel like a mere convenience, let me also observe that as soon as I sat down here and started, I thought, “God, I love this! Why don’t I do it more often?” This may be because I’m drunk, but in vino veritas, as them ancient Romans used to say, and I’ve found it to be frequently true. Or to be true frequently. Syntax is not my strong point at the moment. I’m actually not even sure exactly what syntax is, but it sounds good. (Charles, can you help? I remember you mentioned it once in an email in the 90’s.)

(“Stop pounding the keyboard!” Alien Finger whines. Why did I need to dislocate that finger, anyway?)

WordPress is now telling me, “Subscription required for speech features!” I don’t know what button I hit. I wasn’t trying to talk to anybody, God forbid. I can barely handle what to italicize.


“Deaconess Comprehensive Pain Center.”


Dear A Certain Person, I saw 2 items at Walgreen’s you need–a spider skeleton, and a Mexican Day of the Dead-style Rottweiler. Sure, I could just send you these items, but then I’d need to pay for them. (“Does she know my address?” A Certain Person wonders nervously.)


I said it before and I’ll say it again–“tactical pants” is a silly term. “My pants are an integral part of the plan.” Right, Nick? Rom says he’s holding out for strategic pants. Until then, he wears Real Workwear jeans from Rural King, the official men’s pants of the West Side. Rural King is Rom’s favorite designer.


They do, too, have pumpkin pies. The Marketing Book lied to me. They are not quite the same as the previous ones, but are “pumpkin cream pies,” with a quantity of white stuff which has a cheesecakey quality. I eat them every chance I get.

Donald Trump recommends Big Macs and Quarter Pounders. Of course, this is a man who believes that exercise is bad for you.


The only thing I found of note in my very first post (“What Are You Doing Here?” February 2013) was the observation that “The Internet lets a cult of personality develop around a person with no charisma.” Um, yeah.

The Title I Almost Forgot


First you forget that you need to do the laundry. Then you think, I’ll get to it when I finish this can. Then you think, How important is laundry in the scheme of life, anyway? Even though WEDNESDAY IS LAUNDRY DAY, for no other reason than to commemorate that my final day of work was Wednesday. Or my first day of retirement. Or something.

Speaking of which, Redd’s Wicked Apple Ale, which I just finished my Labor Day carton of, has a commercial in which drinking it makes your friends develop animal heads, like the Taheen in the Dark Tower. If anything like that happens for me, I’ll let you know.



I sure own a lot of pants.


…because alcohol affects memory, who knew?

Dress code: Casual. I was overdressed, since my t-shirt didn’t have writing on it.

Announcement on sign: PUMPKIN SPICE IS BACK–without the customary exclamation point. They’re jaded about it by now. But they will not have the pumpkin pies they had a few years ago–the manager checked the Marketing Book for me. I wish I could see that Marketing Book, and report back to you on its contents.


I will be re-visiting old posts, partly to satisfy my own curiosity. Sure, it’s cannibalizing my own material, but, as the old joke says, it’s my cow. (Everyone rushes to look up that punch line on Google. Or it might have been a sheep. Or something.) 


More Stuff

Not really up for an imaginative title, so this will have to do.


…because, pizza.

–McDonald’s 80’s soundtrack provides some of the finest listening. It’s not the stuff you always hear, either. Today’s offering: Devo’s “Satisfaction,” where someone obviously asked, “Can the Stones classic be redone without the iconic riff?” and the answer is, “Yeah, I guess so.”

Senior discount at McD’s is a small beverage for a reduced price, and no, I can’t remember what the price is. I seldom choose that option, since I prefer the large Styrofoam cup (bumper sticker: “My other water bottle is 10,000 Styrofoam cups.”). YES, I SAID STYROFOAM, I’M TOO DRUNK TO CARE IT’S A TRADEMARK. Or to remember what the non-trademarked term is. I don’t know the age limit for the discount, either, since one employee told me 55 and another said 65. (Hey, is that a legal defense in court? “I was too drunk to care”?)

Also, I can imagine someone–OK, Nick, I can imagine Nick–saying, “What do you mean, the new seating arrangement makes it harder for you to sit in the corner? The building still has the same number of corners.” OK, I mean THERE ARE NOW SO MANY DIFFERENT CHAIR VS. TABLE OPTIONS THAT I HAVE TO RETHINK WHERE I WANT TO SIT EACH TIME I GO THERE. OK? ARE YOU SATISFIED? (Nick, loftily: “You’re hallucinating and making stuff up again, but I am just glad any time my name comes up.”)



Life’s Rich Pageant: McDonald’s

I bring you the first of my Unwanted Restaurant Reviews. Any typos are the responsibility of Redd’s and not, for example, me.

No sooner did I say that there was probably already someone on YouTube doing this same thing, than I saw someone, a guy who wears an over-sized suit and Brylcreem in his hair while he criticizes Domino’s Pizza for being too doughy. (Pizza can never be too doughy, in my opinion.) Instead, you will have to visualize me in a t-shirt and hair without any styling product, and indeed, without any style.

Jimmy Fallon once said, “‘Thank you for choosing McDonald’s?’ You don’t choose McDonald’s. You end up at McDonald’s.” Aside from not being exactly true (Rom observed the other day, “I could go for 10 McNuggets right now,” without actually being moved to do anything about it), this is actually a plus in my book. Why do I like McDonald’s? Because of the ambience, believe it or not. Everyone ends up there eventually. This is where you can observe the difference between a Hippie and a Hipster, as follows:

Hippie: dreadlocks, full beard, tie-dye t-shirt

Hipster: goatee, backwards ball cap with lightning bolts on the back (thereby revealing that you’re supposed to wear it backwards and be ironic), black t-shirt with kittens fighting on the front upon a background of flames (you can only wear this ironically–the irony is built in)



By the way, this subject matter, if I ever get around to it, is brought to you courtesy of Nick, whom I unwisely notified that I was going to do this, and is now not speaking to me so I won’t be distracted. I feel used.

For a representative experience, you should go to McD’s on a weekday. Saturday is Baby Daddy Day, and Sunday is Everyone Is Eating Somewhere Else Day.

I gave my order to an employee who then said, “I hate McDonald’s food. Can’t stand it.” Way to insult the customer’s tastes right out of the gate! In fairness, she wasn’t speaking to me, but to a colleague who was ordering their employee meal.

Speaking of which, I witnessed a guy getting his Employee Evaluation (something we never got at 911, by the way). He got a good review, since he had corrected his previous problem of neglecting to wear his apron regularly.


Fish sandwich, no tartar sauce, because that is just mayo with boogers in it. This menu item is brought to you courtesy of the Catholic Church–one franchisee was finding Lent was cutting into his sales, so he came up with a Lenten-friendly entree (Ray Kroc’s suggestion was a pineapple slice on a bun). HONORABLE MENTION: McNuggets. These are useful, because I don’t have to make any special requests. They’re acceptable even without sauce. This comes in handy when I’m not alone, because being with someone rattles me just enough that I’m prone to forget my special needs, and end up having to scrape boogers off my sandwich. Speaking of which, McD’s current menu board is not autism-friendly, nor even friendly to other people. Not only is it constantly flashing and changing in a sensory-overload sort of way, but it will change to something else just as you’re trying to figure out, for example, what the price of an item is. There is also an apparently-still picture of a Coke, but I thought, “Are those soda bubbles moving? They are!” and there proved to be a moment when an ice cube enters the frame and dumps itself into the drink, and then I get fixated on staring at it until the ice cube falls into it again, so it’s a good thing they know what I usually order.

Speaking of innovations, I have spoken of their Retro Moderne remodeling before. I have not encountered chartreuse chairs at any other establishment. There is a middle area I call the Senior Corral, where the village elders speak of the issues of the day. (Is Obama a Muslim? Are Catholics brainwashed?). Rom hates the Senior Corral, and positions himself as far from a colorful wall covering as possible. There are two of these, one in the Corral and one on a side wall. I was greatly disoriented the other day when I went in and the central Corral one was gone, replaced by a plain white wall. I thought, That wasn’t white before, was it? No, I know it wasn’t, because I remember comparing the two walls and thinking, It’s OK that they are two different patterns because they use the same colors. This is what I do when I wear my navy-and-white-striped pants with my navy-and-white circle-print shirt. (This is called having a Fashion Sense.) Then, because they weren’t finished facking with me yet, the colorful design reappeared on that wall the other day. You gotta wonder.

My seating preference is to wedge myself into a corner, but the current free-form seating arrangement makes that more difficult, so I usually sit by the window.This has the advantage of swivel chairs, so I can make myself my own fidget spinner.


McDonald’s fries are consistently good. Rom insists they have never been worthwhile since they stopped frying them in beef tallow. I can’t really tell the difference, but he is a professional cook, after all.

McDonald’s sodas (or soft drinks, as we call them in this part of the country–I didn’t know anyone outside of commercials called them that) are also good. However, at the St Joe location, the right-hand Diet Coke spigot tends to give you more carbonated water than syrup, and the center one is prone to splash all over you. You want the left-hand one for optimal performance.

I cannot report on the sweet tea, tea being loathsome.

I finished with a hot fudge sundae. Running an ice-cream machine is a skill McDonald’s is having trouble mastering. I remember reading about a DQ that put out a sign “OUR ICE-CREAM MACHINE WORKS, UNLIKE THE GUYS ACROSS THE STREET!” until the DQ lawyers made them take it down. However, it was working on this occasion, and as good as the equivalent item at DQ.


–Rhetorical question from parent to a heck-raising child: “You ever had a spanking?”

–Another parent to a toddler: “Why are you crying? Because you want my newspaper? Really?”



Decommissioned & Refurbished: A Bedtime Story

The last post title, “Dragons and Roses,” may have led some people to believe that the post would be about my mythical police beast Nick, who is more like a dragon than he is like anything else. For those who were thus disappointed (Nick assures me it was disappointing, though I have reason to question his objectivity), I offer this update.

I had, I thought, no further responsibility for said beast once I retired. The department merely said he would be “decommissioned,” which sounded vaguely ominous, but surely it meant an honorable retirement with his owner, playing with his cubs, etc. Surely? So I was surprised to hear a splintering crash in my front yard, followed by my neighbor exclaiming, “What in the hell is that?”

I ran out, and was greeted with a sad tangle of wings and tail, spread out in my flower bed. Nick had knocked down the trellis and now had morning glories all over him. Luckily he had missed the oak tree.

“What is that thing?” my neighbor asked.

“A…co-worker of mine,” I replied.

“I thought you retired.”

“So did I.” Nick raised his head, but his eyes were tight shut. “I know that voice. I must be in the right place, then,” he murmured, as if talking to himself, and laid his head back down.

“Where have you been?”

He raised his head again, but his eyes were still shut. “I’m hungry. Do you have any cats I could eat?”

“No! I have the same two cats you can’t eat.” I could see Glamour in the window, staring at him with frank curiosity. I knew from previous experience that Esmerelda had darted behind my laundry basket as soon as she heard his voice.

“Could I eat these sunflower seeds, then?” Without waiting for an answer, and still without opening his eyes, he ate an entire sunflower, then began crunching the stalk.

“Stop that, it’ll make you sick,” I said, although I had no idea if it would in fact do so. He ignored me. “I asked you where you’ve been.”

“Hmm, am I still required to obey your orders?” he mused, until I shoved him with my foot, and longtime habit kicked in (so to speak).

“I–I’ve been on a journey. A Quest,” he corrected himself. “That’s more important than a journey, right?”

“You’ve never been on a Quest in your life.”

“I was on a Quest to avoid…to escape…” He took a deep breath, and suddenly words came rushing out. “When you retired, they said they were going to decommission me, and I thought it must mean that they…that they…” I touched his head gently, in spite of the terrible teeth. Understandably, he has never been able to utter the word “euthanize.”

“Did you think your owner would let them do that?” He laid his head down again, then went on (head still down). “I heard they were having a problem with clowns in Orlando, so I flew there to help out.”

“Did your owner know you were going?” He flipped his tail over his head, and said (voice muffled), “I’m trying to tell you a story.”

“Carry on.”

“Carry what on? Oh. OK, so I flew to Florida, and you wouldn’t believe it! Clowns everywhere, and giant mice wearing clothes, and dogs that talk–it was out of control. I pounced on them all.”

“Then what happened?”

“Well, they wouldn’t let me eat any of them. They wouldn’t even let me kill them. The laws must be different in Florida. You can’t handle a clown problem that way, you know,” he said, raising his head so his tail slipped off it.


“Well, I could tell they were dissatisfied with my performance, and I was afraid they were going to…decommission me if I stayed, so I took off to leave there. And you’ll never believe what I saw when I started to take off!”

“Probably not, but try me anyway.”

“Try you? Do you mean…for dinner? Wouldn’t I get decommissioned for that for sure? Oh, I get it. It’s a Figure of Speech,” which is what he calls anything I say that he can’t understand.

“So I crouched down to take off, and looked up, and…the sun was getting eaten up by something! I didn’t know that was possible! It looked kind of like PacMan.” I got the feeling he’d be frowning in puzzlement, if his armored scales would allow him to frown. “I knew I couldn’t let them destroy the sun–the sun is very important, you know–so I took off to save it. I flew and flew, but I never got there…and I finally went blind. Then I tried to get away—and I flew and flew, but then I couldn’t fly anymore, and then I smelled roses, so I knew this must be your house, and then I started falling…and here I am.” He nosed blindly at his side. “I think my wings are melted.”

“So you have been on a Quest after all.”

“But I couldn’t save the sun.”

“I don’t know about that–it’s still up there as usual.”

“It is? Wow!” He looked very proud of himself. Well, as proud as you can look with limp wings.

“I’ll call your owner to come get you.” He began to croon, sounding like a cross between a purring cat and a baby raccoon.

She arrived quickly, in the specially-equipped red pickup truck, which has chains in the bed to secure him. (Mostly for his safety, we tell him.) After hugging his neck as he wrapped his tail around her, she said, “Now jump in the truck.”

“I can’t! My wings are melted, and I can’t see!”

She rolled her eyes. “They are not melted, you’re just tired from flying, and your eyes are just sunburned.” She turned to me. “This happened once before. I told him not to look at the sun, so he insisted on staring at it for half an hour. He was fine again in three days.”

As he–well, I guess “clambered” is the best word to use–into the truck bed, and she secured him (he whimpered a bit when she touched a wing), she told him, “You might have something to do once you’ve been refurbished.”

“Does refurbishing hurt?”

“Usually not. Guess what–the U.S. Army has expressed an interest! Would you like to go fight a war?’

He put his tail over his head again. “Not right now. I just want to eat a clown and go to bed.”

Disclaimer: No clowns have been harmed in the making of this story. Although maybe they should have been.



Roses and Dragons

…sums up my outfit today. Speaking of which, Vogue magazine said the fall fashion collections were chock-full (what is a “chock” in this context?) of rose prints. I hope so! It’ll be 2014-2015 all over again!


…sums up yesterday’s post.

First, I’m surprised nobody caught my mistake that “couponing is not a verb.” What I meant to say was that it’s not a noun. Second, when I said, “Nick, consider yourself teased,” I gave him the perfect opportunity to respond, “Then you can consider yourself tased,” but he did not do so (either verbally or in actuality).


I was so confused by the Jeep commercial where the song lyrics seem to start out with “Jonny Webb is PacMan Lee” that I googled it. It’s “Show me where this pathway leads.” You’re welcome. Kind of like the Channel 14 commercial where “On air and streaming” sounds like “on air and screaming.” Something I never did in my 30 years.


I was telling Rom that I opposed something “on general principles,” and then said, “Shouldn’t General Principles be the superior officer of Captain Obvious?” Rom said, “The one between those two is Major Mistake. Then there’s Colonel O’Truth and Private Citizen.” And, of course, one can’t forget Corporal Punishment.

Pizza time, bye!


The Beast Is Back

But first (Nick groans and slouches down in his seat)…


I refused to look at it. It isn’t even September yet.


“Extreme Couponing Workshop.”

Every word of this is wrong. “Extreme”–really? I lead a dull life, and even I think coupons are boring.  “Couponing”–is not a verb. Spellcheck backs me up here. “Workshop”–how hard is it? Cut them out and you’re done.


The deodorant function still works. The antiperspirant, less so.

Speaking of which…


Me: “Why is she spraying antiperspirant on her chest?”

Rom: “Why is the bottle shaped like a dildo?”

Well, drat, it’s later than I thought. So I’ll just post this much now. Nick, consider yourself teased.

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