Tuesday, September 24, 2019

St. Bob or Sgt. Bob?

          Have you ever had a policeman tell you to stop being a policeman? St. Bob has. 

          We used to live near a high school where teenagers would go  speeding by after school, often running the stop sign on our corner.  Several times Bob would jump in his car, somehow pull them over (I wasn’t in his car, so I’m not sure how he did this), and tell them to obey the laws. He may or may not have threatened to tell their parents, as well.
          One time I was bringing him back from knee surgery for a torn meniscus when he literally got out of the car and shook his crutch at a kid speeding by.
          Another time (I believe it’s called a stake-out) he watched a “beggar” in a parking lot who approached various shoppers for money, each time with a different story. He finally approached her, SAID HE WAS AN UNDERCOVER COP, and that she had better get out of there if she didn’t want to get arrested.  What—for lying? And isn’t he caught red-handed in the act of lying, himself?
          Finally a very kind officer came to the house and explained to Bob that, technically, he isn’t really a policeman.  No kidding. Who else has to have this explained to them?
          The officer was even nice enough to acknowledge that Bob was just trying to do the right thing (what—impersonate a policeman?), but that he needed to stop now.  This is exactly how I would speak to the patients in my mother’s care facility when their Alzheimers would make them forgetful, and they would steal pastries from the dining room.  Okay, it was just her. But I tried to use the same patient, understanding tone of voice. It’s a voice that says, “I know you’re crazy, but I’m trying not to judge.”
          The other day we were on the freeway when a dreadful driver swerved in and out of traffic. Bob, at the wheel, was appalled. “Pull ‘em over,” I said. Hey. Plenty of people  go into retirement and then come out again— Garth Brooks, Cher, Joaquin Phoenix, Jay Z, Michael Jordan, Frank Sinatra. You’ll be in good company.
And every one of those people has ordered my books. Okay, that's a lie. I just didn't want Bob to feel as if he's the only fibber in today's blog.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Mud Makes You Happy

          Ding, ding, ding—stop the presses! Scientists now claim that dirt can prevent anxiety disorders.
          You think I’m kidding. Nope. In Neuroscience Psychology they’ve cited a study that claims a fatty acid in soil can lead to a “stress vaccine” and that people who like to garden are just happier, better people. Okay, I  added that last part about gardeners because I like to garden.
          But they’re dead serious about the mental health benefits of playing in the dirt. For years folks have believed the “hygiene hypothesis” that exposure to germs makes you more immune. Back in 1989 it was found that lack of exposure to microorganisms in childhood led to higher rates of allergies and asthma.
          But now they believe it impacts mental health as well. One study shows farm kids being more stress-resilient than pet-free city dwellers. (Like that’s the only variable, right? Could it be chores? Fresh air?  Lack of traffic noise? Gimme a break.)
          So I was skeptical. But then they found that a certain bacteria was like an antidepressant in the brain and even impacted PTSD. They’re looking into injecting this bacteria into first responders and others in high-stress careers.
          Meanwhile, it sounds like mud pies could be just what the doctor ordered. I do know that my gardening buddies all claim an unexplainable joy they get from getting their bare hands into the soil.  
          And taking a mud bath? Well… now you’re talking heaven in a bathtub, my friend.
Surely you wouldn’t dream of bathing without a good book to read, right? Find my latest and greatest right here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Think Before You Ink

          Ah, the things we can learn from tattoos.  The other day I noticed my supermarket checkout guy had a gigantic tattoo on his arm, of a girl’s name. Let’s say it was Doopsie, just because I don’t know any Doopsies.
          “Oh, is Doopsie your wife?” I  asked. 
          “No, no!” he said, leaving a string of exclamation marks in the air. “That’s my daughter.”  
And now, the TMI part. “I’d never get a tattoo of a wife’s name,” he explained. “’Cause tattoos are forever, y’know?”
I nodded.
“And my daughter, now she’ll  be my daughter forever. But with a wife, you never know.”
Indeed.  Those fickle wives, coming and going like the latest cell phones. 
By now I had my groceries, so I didn’t get to inquire for more information. Also, I didn’t want any.
But it got me thinking. First, why would you marry someone you weren’t sure about? Second, how many wives are we talking, here? I mean, there’s a lot of square footage on the average body. 
Third, what if you have six or seven kids? Then do you get equally gigantic tattoos for each child, lest one feel left out? Has he thought ahead about this? And he can protest all he wants about only wanting one or two kids, but we all know who’s in charge of efficient prevention, right?
Also, what’s his wife’s reaction to a lavish hearts-and-roses mural for Doopsie, but not one for her? And does the wife have a matching Doopsie tattoo? What happens when Doopsie grows up and then has a bunch of grandkids for this guy? Will they also be emblazoned somewhere?  And, by then, what places will be left?  Armpits? Buttocks? Who wants their name there? I’m just saying. A tattoo is forever, after all.
I suppose the pages of my books are tattooed with text. But it's doggone good text, so get started on your Christmas shopping here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Signs of the Times

          I’m walking through the hospital hallways to get a CT-Scan, and I see a door bearing this sign:
          I can’t help wondering how an alarm can be silent.  Does that not negate its very ability to sound an alarm?  Or does a mime burst into your office trying to look like the Silent Scream painting?
          What is it with facilities and their signs? You may remember one of my blogs from four years ago that featured this goody, again from my hospital:
          Seriously? We’re to respect rattlesnakes at a HOSPITAL? Why not just be honest, and post a donation box with a sign that says, “Saving up for an exterminator. Please contribute here”?
          And you may recall another of my blogs that featured this puzzling sign in a local office building:
          I can only assume it’s a lab we do not wish to know about,  where the animals have taken over, tied up the scientists, and are now roasting marshmallows over a fire made from lab coats and paperwork.
          I can’t help wondering what the office parties are like at sign factories. I’m guessing they have a contest to decide the craziest projects they’ve worked on. But you probably wouldn’t want to open that door, either.
Speaking of doors, St. Bob used to host Let’s Make a Deal, and would offer Doors Number 1, 2,  or 3 to contestants. But even the zonks were better than what I imagine hides behind some real doors.