On Infomercials

I was introduced to infomercials a few days ago. I have to admit, I had never before felt as deprived of the good life as I did after an evening of watching infomercials. One may wonder why anybody would spend an entire evening watching these endless shows of screaming people and the truth is I was 1) mesmerized by their excitement and, 2) too lazy to change the channel.

My epiphany came on a recent trip to Georgia. The day of driving was over and all I wanted to do was lay around the hotel room and be lulled into mental oblivion by the TV. The first thing I saw was a commercial for a genuine, real life, honest to gosh, real McCoy, certified, shiny fifty dollar gold piece. The announcer informed me that to possess one of these gold-clad coins struck exclusively by a mint I never heard of would make me the envy of the entire county. Such was the huge demand for this remarkably detailed and authentic gold-clad coin; the company had placed a limit of five per person. I was further surprised to discover that the mint was selling these rare fifty dollar coins for a mere nineteen dollars and ninety-five cents.  I was even more excited to find that, if I called in the next ten minutes, they would double my order! Well, I certainly wanted to be the envy of the county so I reached for the phone only to discover that my bride had snuck off with all of the credit cards a few minutes earlier. She had locked them in the car as a preemptive move. Being far too lazy to go get them, I reassured myself that I would call and get a couple of coins the first chance I got.

Settling back in front of the TV, I was overjoyed to find another infomercial with yet an even more incredible and exciting product that I just HAD to have. This one was a rag of some sort that was so great it would change my life. It would, the announcer shouted, be such a life saver I would want one for my house, my cars, my boat, even my golf bag. I was thrilled to find that it too came at the very low price of $19.95 AND, if I called right away, they would send me TWO rags of wonder (pay extra processing and handling of course). I was so jazzed at the prospect of having these rags; I almost got off my bed and went to the car for the credit cards. I said almost.

Well, the evening went on and I watched infomercial after infomercial. I saw everything from magic dust mops to some machine that will, in a mere ten minutes a day, give the user  “rock-hard” abs, or something like that. The last product I saw before switching off the lights was some such nutrition pill that promised to “enhance” my life. I was pretty sleepy by then so wasn’t real sure what they were touting except they kept saying “enhanced” over and over.

It’s no wonder I had nightmares.

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Southern sayings and other stuff

                  I love southern euphemisms and phrases.  Some of them I have known since I was a “young un,” and some I have picked up over the years. I like them so much that I will use them when I am speaking to a group and am frequently motivated to post one or two on-line on a semi-regular basis.

                All of this comes with the constant and loud criticism of my eldest son. He did not have the advantage of growing up in the south (a.k.a. the Promised Land) so does not share my appreciation of the colorful southern way of saying stuff. Why, just today in the presence of my dear wife and his girlfriend (none of which have spent any amount of time down south) he lamented my announcement that I had found a whole new collection of sayings and phrases.

                In fear of its affect on his own name and reputation, he begged me to refrain from publishing what would no doubt be a long and embarrassing list of phrases and sayings that would be understood only by me and any other southerners that might be around (so he said). He concluded by reminding me that we live in the north now and it is high time I joined the rest of the family. I politely demurred and proceeded on with my project.

                So…in view of all of this, I herewith publish my ten most favorite southern phrases of all time. They will remain my favorite list until I find another.  Enjoy.

  1. He runs faster than a scalded dawg
  2. That’s hotter than donut grease
  3. That’s about as handy as a back pocket on a shirt
  4. He’s meaner than a striped snake.
  5. That’s the greatest thing since sliced bread
  6. She’s madder than a wet hen in a tote sack.
  7. (Here’s a great southern pick up line, fellas!) Girl, you look so good I’m gonna take you home and sop you up with a biscuit.
  8. It’s so dry the trees are bribing the dogs.
  9. You’re lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.
  10. Bout as useful as a screen door on a submarine”

Nuff said…

Sneaky women

               (Previously published in the August 24th edition of the Franklin Township Informer)

               The other day, my wife and I had just finished supper and were sitting at the dinner table visiting. We are empty nesters now so our meals do not produce a lot of dirty dishes. We’ve taken to hand washing the dishes as it is easier and uses less water. We also get a chance to visit some more while I wash and she dries.

            This particular evening, my wife had gotten up to clear the dishes away and fill the sink up. Just as she started that process, the phone rang. It was our daughter. I spent a few minutes catching up with the doings in her life. By and by she asked to speak to her mother. I took the phone to my wife and found her just about ready to start doing the dishes. She asked me if I could “take over” the dishes while she had a “brief” talk with the daughter. Being the kind and oh so devoted husband that I am, I agreed to work on the dishes. The wife took the phone and went off to the next room. I should’ve known better….

            I took my place in front of the sink. There before me stood stacks and stacks of dishes, the number and size of which I had never seen before. It turns out that the dishes from breakfast, lunch, and now dinner had piled up until every dish, cup, plate, bowl, pot and frying pan in the house was dirty and now awaited my attention. I gave brief thought to using the dishwasher but decided against the idea because the sink was already full of hot water and soap (and I am a tightwad).

            I dug into the task and quickly found that the grease, grime, and who knows what all had fused with every item I took hold to clean. Such was the difficulty in getting these things into what would pass as clean, that I actually broke a sweat (not to mention the resultant dish pan hands). I also had to stop occasionally to dry stuff and put them away. It was an arduous task made more trying knowing that I was plowing ahead without any assistance whatsoever. I had, in fact, become a martyr to marital bliss.

            After what seemed like an eternity, I finished the last plate and put it away. I was drenched with sweat. Just as I put the dish towel on the rack to dry, the wife walked in. She had finished her nine hour “brief” phone call and was now ready to help. When she realized that I had finished on my own, she said, “Great! Now, I can relax.”

            You know, a lot of people say that women are sneaky. I think I agree with them….