Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Attractive Pose...

You know it's my job in life to bring to you anything that you might not get the occasion to see for yourself and many of you don't peruse the dating sites, like I do.

If a serious pose is your best look then by all means, show yourself with a serious look, but if you're best photographed with a smile, then I say smile wide for the camera. Only you know your best look and what might sell you to a perspective mate.

This is also true of the lady that I am about to show you. Although this 58 year old lady did show a rather average frontal pose, it was the following pose that made her most notable. Have a laugh.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Identification and Ice Cream Panic

Recently at a doctor's visit, I was asked to produce picture ID in order for the receptionist to check me in. I guess people use other people's insurance cards to get medical attention. This started me thinking of all the times in my life that IDs were required.

It began when I was about 17 and I wanted to purchase alcoholic beverages. It occurred to me that when I first got my driver's license, it had no picture on it because there simply was no way to generate a picture into it in those days. We had not yet reached that point of technical sophistication. One year and I'm not even sure which it was, suddenly your photo was capable of jumping from your wallet onto your driver's license. Before that, I think it simply said under 21 or over 21 on the license so perspective liquor vendors were capable of differentiating legal versus illegal. Now those two terms refer to something completely different, but I digress.

In my own particular case, I was kind of lucky. I had a brother that was 3 1/2 years older than me and I simply stole his identification out of our mail, before he ever saw them. I had his draft card and voter's registration at the age of 17 1/2 and was able to frequent all the local Rush Street saloons. All my friends had fake IDs too and they got them in a multitude of ways, but without pictures on the IDs, it was your word against the merchants. I was even tempted once to vote.

Denali Bear Claw

On the topic of ice cream panic: Earlier today, I was casually watching the 5 PM news when this blood curdling scream came unannounced from the kitchen. It screamed something to do with ice cream, like "How in the "F" am I supposed to get the G-d blanking child proof lid off of this Rocky Road ice cream?"

Believe it or not, from the mouths of babes this scream came for the Lovely Jules, who was unsuccessfully opening a 1/2 gallon of ice cream. That's when she grabbed the pairing knife and slit it's fattening little throat from ear to ear! In the years that I've known her, I've never seen such passion and enthusiasm as she tore into the plastic top, just screaming as she finished her attacker off. In this house, the recorded life span of a carton of ice cream, that has not been hidden under the ice cubes, still remains at 3 hours and 12 minutes, (even in the child proof container).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Never Say No to a Buyer...


After buying this really cool Volvo C-70 convertible, I got to thinking about it and I really don't drive that much anymore and I do like the Volvo a lot better than my 2004 Toyota Corolla with 135K miles on it, in spite of the fact that the Toyota had literally been trouble free since I bought it on 4/17/2007 with 115,433 miles on it. I drove it quite a bit when gas prices sky rocketed towards $4 around that time. I drove it a lot, I loaned it out to friends a lot and just stored it a lot. The only problem I ever had with the car was that really that of my image. I'd see men my age driving Mercedes and BMW's, even a few antiques in Cadillacs. My image, driving the same car as a college kid, didn't really make me happy, but I was enjoying 30 MPG.

Mostly on a whim, I put a free ad on and started getting calls. One gentleman showed up on Saturday morning, telling me he was looking for a car for his son that was about to turn 16. They are my least favorite people to sell cars to because for whatever reason, they NEVER buy. They're too indecisive about what their offspring even likes. Not to mention Mom really makes all of their decisions. So I entertained him and he wouldn't leave until he dug a business card out of his back seat, while his rather large rear end was directly in my face. Not a pretty sight. Upon entering my garage and waiving goodbye to Mr. Businessman, I tossed his card into the garbage. Think about it, what was I going to call him about? Possibly a membership to the gym?

Last evening, at about 7 PM, a young man of Middle East origin called and his name was Danial. He told me that he was new in the area, did not know his way around and was residing in Tempe. Sounds like an ASU student to me. He told me he would be over around 2 PM and would call if there were any changes or if his friend/ride got lost. At about 1:45, the car and I were both ready. I took the trouble of rinsing off the engine compartment, as it was kind of dusty and I then took the trouble of rinsing myself off, since I was kind of dusty too. That's when the phone rang and it was a new woman calling about my Toyota and she wanted to know if she could come right over, since she lived in a place called Surprise, Arizona and she felt it was about 30 minutes away. I told her not until later, since I already had an appointment with a young man that was due here about 2 or so. I gave her the address and instructed her to call about 3 and hung up.

That's when the light bulb lit over my head and I thought, "Gee, a woman just called and wanted to come right over and look at my car to possibly buy it and I just told her no, because a kid named Danial was due here. I immediately called her back and said I was under the influence of a new mystery drug that caused me to turn away perspective buyers because I was actually going to believe the word of a kid, that wasn't sure if he could find Glendale. I told her to come right over and if she has to wait 5 minutes, I'll be sure to give her lemonade.

At 2:45 a Lexus pulled up and two ladies got out and approached me. The first lady introduced herself as Erlinda and the second her apparent "partner" was Cindy. Both very charming, both capable of both finding Glendale and buying my car. They took it for a long ride and returned with smiles, always a good sign. They asked me if I was set on my price and of course I said no, I'll accept more! (That's my car salesman joke.) She asked me if I'd accept $500 less than I was asking and I acted like I was really thinking, but way down deep, I knew I would. I replied by saying, "How about I split it with you"? She lit up in 3 different shades of "YES" and then looked at the driver of the Lexus and said, is that okay? A hearty nod was giving we had a deal!

It appeared that they were a little longer getting to my house because they went to the trouble of stopping at the bank and getting cash. I owned that car for 4 years almost to the day and drove it 20,000 miles, exactly. Danial never did call of show up! Whew!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Joey's of Chicago

Mel F.
Glendale, AZ

"We slammed on the brakes when we came across Joey's of Chicago on West Bell Road. We were looking for a place to have lunch and being from Chicago, the Italian beef sandwich caused a watering effect in my mouth........ until we tried it. Ugh! I was expecting a treat, if from nothing but the price, as it indicated an expensive meal ahead. Two beef sandwiches were over $20 including the fries and drinks. By the way, they should stick exclusively to fries, they were excellent.
We waited an exasperating 20 minutes for two lousy sandwiches, that were delivered to our table by a polite young man. The beef was tasteless, the roll was nothing like what I was expecting and half the size of the Chicago variety. I ordered mine wet and from experience I knew what to expect, but it was dry and tasteless. We savored the fries and took the leftovers home to the dog. He was also disappointed. First and last try."

It was the afternoon of our Garage sale and both Julie and I were pretty hungry, so we stopped at this welcoming sign that read "Joey's of Chicago", and flew the flag of Vienna Products. Being from Chicago AND being very hungry, this was very meaningful for me. So as the rant begins, I literally slammed on the breaks to make our turn into hot dog happiness. An elderly couple were exiting as we entered and I asked if they were from Chicago and they replied, no. I figured that's why they were leaving, they'd been thrown out.

The first thing I noticed that was a little unusual, was the McDonald's atmosphere that their ordering system took on. I ordered an Italian beef sandwich (wet). Julie being from way off in Indiana, hadn't yet experienced the Chicago style delicacies and ordered hers (dry) with au jus on the side and cheese of all things? We were seated in the restaurant to await our lunches. We chatted and laughed about the garage sale and discussed some of our outrageous buyers of the day, when LJ mentioned that it was sure taking a long time for two lousy sandwiches. about 20 minutes of waiting and a polite young man delivered our selections to us. Uh oh, not good. My sandwich, although I ordered it wet, came on a dry 2" roll that was about 6" long, sparsely covered with tasteless meat.

We both agreed that the fries were excellent, however. Actually, you know all of that from my commentary above. After writing my rant on Yelp, I was contacted by email by a woman that claimed to be Tammi, the wife of the owner. She went ahead and explained that although they take a lot of heat on this website, it's all wrong and their products are really excellent, their prices are perfect and it was our mistake that we were dissatisfied. She wanted to know precisely what time we were there, because her husband was there most of the day and what I'm complaining about is all wrong. I read her email that also offered to mail me a gift certificate, if I'd supply her with my address. I did. Julie was pretty excited because she said we could sell the gift certificate on eBay and possibly recoup 1/2 of our money? Then we exchanged a couple of more emails, as Tammi wanted to know where I had eaten in the Chicago area and from where I acquired my expertise in Vienna Products? I explained that when I moved out of my parent's home, I was 6' 1" and 135 LBS, then got my own apartment and gained 40 LBS in a few months on Laurie's Pizza, where I ate an entire sausage pizza and an Italian beef sandwich almost every night for dinner.

Well, here it is 15 days later and it appears that Tammi's word is about as good as their Italian Beef, because the gift certificates never did come! I'm sticking with Luke's at 16th Street and Indian School.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Doctor is Kevin Spacey

Today at 11 AM I showed up right on time, although I was told to show up 30 minutes early to fill out paperwork. I ignored that request, since they sent me a packet to fill out in the mail ahead of time. Seems like this new guy is running his practice like a business. Inevitably, I still sat there reading magazines for over an hour, when my name was finally called and I was escorted to a private office where I was abandoned for 45 minutes. It's now 12:45 when the doctor knocks twice and opens the door for my 11 AM appointment. I literally was about to leave without saying anything to anyone when he finally entered and guess who it was?

In walks this dude, wearing a yarmulke, (a Jewish skullcap) about 50 years old, in perfect physical shape, dressed to the hilt with matching grays, striped shirt, plaid tie and $300 slacks. He had that, "My education is really paying off look". After I got over the concept of a Jewish doctor, not that common in Arizona, I realized he looked just like Keven Spacey................with a yarmulke! Without saying a thing, he stuck out his hand and I shook it and asked if he was Jewish or did he just have a hair transplant? That broke the ice indeed. He burst out laughing and the tension was gone. Then I reiterated, make that Kevin Spacey with a yarmulke. Again he laughed, I guess I wasn't the first to notice the resemblance.

He looked at my file and said, what's with the kidney problems? I told him that I was merely the host and that's precisely why I was here to see him. Turned out that after all the kidneys tests I'd gone to the trouble to sit through, he didn't even have the results of the latest one, the one he needs. I took that test 5 days ago and it was only one block away from his office and I offered to run over and get it. He said he was due in surgery and didn't have time, but he made an appointment for 3 weeks from now, so we can do this all over again. He did tell me that he saw my report saying that I had kidney stones and they were in my bladder and the last thing he said to me was, "I'll see you in the operating room", and left. How's that for a cliff hanger? Don't you just love doctors? FYI, I'll not see another Kevin Spacey movie!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Groupies with Stinky Feet.

Around the year 2001, I acquired my own groupie. For the sake of anonymity, let's call her Big Lots. Big Lots showed up on an Internet chat room, approximately the same day that my 3rd wife walked out the door, never to return. I was weakened and depressed and open for a helping hand. Big Lots supplied all of that, along with expensive gifts and everyday conversation. She more or less prayed upon my emotional weakness at the time. Don't misunderstand me, I was thrilled to have a new pen pal that called everyday and told me how wonderful I was, who showered me with presents and never overstepped her boundaries. But what car salesman has a groupie?

Big Lots had an array of reasons for why she couldn't come to AZ from her native state of New York. There was work, her panic attacks, family obligations, anything you can imagine to keep us 2500 miles apart. This went on for about a year and a half when suddenly I got a call one day that Big Lots was here at a Scottsdale hotel. I jumped for joy! Big Lots had sent me numerous pictures of herself, showing off her 5' 7" frame and 127 LB weight with model proportions.

I leaped up the stairs to get ready for my impromptu date with destiny. Speeding all of the way. Keep in mind, I was totally overcome by the affection and caring ways of this woman. By the way, Big Lots was 22 years younger than me and clearly a woman of means. I arrived at the Scottsdale hotel and waited rather impatiently in the lobby. Along comes a woman that was about 5' 3" and 180 LB, with jet black frizzy hair and a yellow stripe along one side of her head. She looked like a skunk left out in a rainstorm. She was less than attractive and the only thing that I remembered was her voice, with it's annoying nasal New York accent. I was speechless!

Okay, fast forward a couple of years. This woman was like the herpes, I couldn't seem to shake her. She was everywhere. I'd walk into my favorite restaurant and the waiter would tell me I had a phone call. She'd call and email relentlessly. In spite of my ignoring her, she persisted. In January of 05 I suffered heart surgery and Big Lots was there, but this time she was helpful. After all I couldn't do anything myself and Big Lots brought me food and took me out for rides around town. I didn't mention it, but by this time, Big Lots had moved here to Phoenix and rented an apartment 4 blocks from my house. That's right, full blown stalking.

I ignored her as much as a person can humanly ignore someone else, but she would still text me late at night to tell me my garage door was open. How would she know? Well, I told you all of that, so I could tell you all of this. At some point, Big Lots decided that Arizona was not the ideal place for her and had decided to move back to New York. Here was the problem that she presented to me. Her boss offered her double her salary to stay and train the new replacement, but her apartment lease was up, so could she please stay with me for 2 weeks?

Look, she just devoted her life to get me back on my feet and how could I possibly say no? I did have several extra bedrooms and if anything she would feed me. I told her I'd be happy to accommodate her. Big mistake. Two weeks went by and then three and four. No mention of moving. She was as happy as a clam. Finally I said something about getting my privacy back and of course she was insulted. Finally I heard her calling the movers.

Many items that she no longer wanted, she just wanted to leave here with me. Since they were already placed in my home, there was no work involved in just saying fine. There were stereos, a TV, mirrors and tables and chairs. Basically all of the things we sold in the garage sale. One item in particular was called Magic Feet. For Magic Feet, you poured hot water into this creation and then plugged it in and it vibrated, supposedly massaging your feet, only it didn't do anything but annoy you. I tried it one time and decided it was a Ron Popeel disaster and put it on a shelf in various garages.

Yesterday, as an afterthought, I put a $5 price tag on it and waited. Nothing. No one wanted Magic Feet, no one! About 11 AM, we were tired of garage saling and wanted to close up shop, at the desire of LJ. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a single couple walked into the driveway and the woman picked up Magic Feet and continued shopping. Both Julie and I immediately perked up at the sight of Magic Feet going to a new home, along with the memory of this short fat girl soaking her tired dogs in the solution with flies flying around the entire caboodle. After investigating, it was determined that the new potential owner just moved her from New Jersey, due to the second bad winter in a row. So evidently, soaking your feet is an East Coast thing. She was not the first person to attend out garage sale that was a recent transplant from New Jersey. Julie and I both looked at each other and quickly decided that New Jersey might be empty soon!

Here was the killer. The woman after telling us that she bought the house just down the street, asked LJ how much for her purchases? Julie said, how about $10 for everything and Jersey had acquired 2 blouses in addition to Magic Feet. Nice blouses that were not going to cover Jersey's rather robust bust! Without missing a beat, Jersey says.................$9? Julie yells, sure. I was ready to knock her down! Who does that? Who introduces themselves to you as your new neighbor, then chisels you out of a buck? Who I ask you? Who? Jersey did, that's who!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Going Saling, Garage Saling...

I've never been involved in a garage sale before. I've always had too much respect for my belongings and never wanted to rid myself of things in the past, however that was all different this past weekend here in sunny Glendale, Arizona. This weekend marked the day of the semi annual garage sale for the Arrowhead area.

I've been selling things, one way or another, all of my life. Whether it was selling me to a used car manager to win his favor or romancing a customer on a 1997 Buick Regal that I had owned for 8 years. So selling is nothing new to me, but garage sale selling was new. I pride myself on being a fast study and picked up the momentum rather quickly. At first, I watch LJ and learned the attitude of the sale. It was a friendly one. Most people wanted to begin by mentioning the 95 degree temperatures and the direct sun. Usually a good ice breaker. There many interesting sizes and shapes attending and LJ wasted no time mentioning to me in an undertoned whisper that that ladies boobs were bought and installed. I enjoyed pointing out a toupee or two by mentioning that you really can't tell!

The story that I'm about to tell you was my favorite of the day. In 1987 I married my second wife. Along with her was a teenage daughter and an ice cream maker. One of those electric ones. (The ice cream maker, not the daughter) We used it one time and it was just awful. It created an ice cream that was neither solid of soft. When you froze it, it became a mass of solid ice and when you let it melt, it was a puddle of sugary milky water. Basically, it was a failure. In 1991 that wife went on her way, but didn't think enough of the ice cream maker to take it along on the journey. I was pretty much stuck with it. I stored it, moved it and stashed it away in a lot of curious and out of the way places. When I moved in with LJ, I found myself placing it on the garage shelf and when she screamed "GARAGE SALE TIME", I knew it was going to be a sale item.

Friday morning it stood proudly on the table waiting for an interested buyer with a sale price of $5 marked on it. This thing must have cost over $50 new. Towards the end of the second day, it was still standing, although not so proudly, as things around it were quickly disappearing as they went to their new homes. Along comes a heavy set woman that was wearing a plain white men's T-shirt and her Wrangler wearing husband, both in their 70's and both right off the farm. She asked if I had the owner's book along with it? No I replied, otherwise we'd be asking an extra dollar. She said without it, it wasn't worth anything. I asked if she got the Internet and he piped up with a proud, yes! All you have to do is look up the instructions and ingredients on how to make home made ice cream. This confused the elderly lady, while her husband was saying, "We can do that"! Mom interrupted with, "that's too confusing for us". I said, how about I knock 5 bucks off the price and you just take it for free. NO, she replies. "Without that instruction book it's of no use to us"! She was getting angry now. I said, "I'll throw in $5, but that's my last offer"! No, even more exasperated, she replies, when suddenly Pops takes over and grabs the ice cream maker and says, "We'll take it for free and you don't have to give us no money"... Do I know how to make a sale or what?

That pretty much summed up my career, I had a lot of fun, but never did make a lot of money.