Posts filed under ‘Myrt’s Blurts’
I know I’m hogging IRF this week, but I would be remiss not to share this with you.
Indeed, what would one expect from a homeless man?
Shopping cart? check
Army duffel bag? check
Grocery bags spilling over the shopping cart filled with who knows what? check
But an igloo? That, I did not expect.
What the what?
I actually had to chase after him to capture it.
You can’t make this stuff up.
A clever man across the street was sporting a fantastic Ferrari t-shirt, which was pretty spectacular in and of itself. As I pulled out my iphone, ready to take a photo once he turned around, a honk urged the front car at the light to move along. From whence did the horn come? Well, let me show you.
Yes, there are matching t-shirts involved.
To reiterate the symbol hoisted on the back of their bike, God bless America!
The view from my desk yesterday for a good 10 minutes straight. Exactly like that. And I sit 3 feet from the window.
It was a touch unnerving.
I came late in the game to Facebook, but I have happily enjoyed reconnecting with friends around the globe, cyber-stalking crushes of friends, getting daily mundane updates from everyone, and other forms of entertainment. In short, it’s been a fun six months.
And yet, with all its benefits, I have maintained slight skepticism of the site, especially when my mom – who called to figure out how to turn off her iPod and uses the internet primarily to forward spam emails* about lost children, princes in Uganda needing money and making you money, and religious propaganda – joined a few months ago. But with her participation limited to only a few comments on her children’s walls, I thought little of it.
When I got a friend request from Jerry – the iconic 80-year-old stranded-in-the-closet man in my church.
So just as MySpace became the Digital Detroit, I suspect Facebook is slowly but surely turning into the Del Boca Vista of the internet.
*Okay, so not these emails specifically, but if she could just figure out snopes.com.
My office has a big window that looks out onto a bus stop across from the ER of the hospital for which I work. The window has a mirrored finish on it—so I see them, they don’t see me. You truly cannot imagine the endless entertainment garnered from this. Just today, this seemingly normal woman on her cell phone was screaming, “I can’t f-ing HEAR YOU, I can’t f-ing HEAR YOU!!” over and over. Ummmm, try taking it off speaker, dumb, crazy lady. Over the last year, there was the young aspiring artist singing karaoke into the window and contorting in ways I suspect were trying to imitate Timberlake. Then the old bat in shorts that were pulling double duty as her bra, yelling at cars and motorcycles to turn down their music or, in the case of the motorcycle, their engine. Two teens trying to make a getaway were tasered by hospital security—apparently it wasn’t their ipod. And of course there are the everyday commuters concerned over their hair, teeth, tongue, nose hairs, zippers, crotch (can I use that word?), and boob situation. Not to mention the countless teenagers barking into their cell about their baby daddy. Sadly, this list has been edited.
But of all the characters I’ve seen, these are my top four.
1. Not two minutes after the crazy lady from today boarded the bus, The Lesbian came by. Capital T, Capital L. Why, you ask? Jean shorts, see-through tank with braless sagging man-boobs, bad hair situation, and no makeup tipped me off. But she could be the hippy tree hugger Urbana is known for, right? Wrong. Look closely and you can see a 4-inch tattoo on her arm of two naked women humping. If only the picture were better.
2. The urban cowboy roams up and down University Ave. three, four times a week. He’s often in a bright blue polyester suits with a cowboy hat on, carrying rope, a large walking stick and myriad other outfits and accessories I’m convinced are just to make people scratch their head. I met him once – he was quite friendly. We finally got a picture of him in a nearby park.
3. Jesus. I wish I had a photo, but alas I do not. Suffice it to say he spent Easter weekend trolling the streets of C-U dressed in a white robe lugging an 8-foot wood cross on his shoulder. Ironic that the cross had a huge shoulder pad and was on wheels. But let’s not get picky.
4. And finally, here is he whom we have dubbed Exhibit A. The photo isn’t great, but yes, it’s mid-November and he has jeans, no shirt, and a parka hood on. Where’s the parka you might ask? I’m guessing it’s stuffed in the army sack he’s lugging around. But it’s anyone’s guess.
Sometimes to my delight but more often to my chagrin, the window is not soundproof. So I also get oodles of information about goiters, corns, colonoscopies, hemorrhoids, boils, cancers, and you get you picture. But it’s not just the people I “meet” or overhear. It’s also the objects left behind. So far this year I have spotted: a condom (used, of course), jar of peanut butter, bag of bread, vomit, baby formula, bag of bagels, and panties. Luckily not in that order and not at the same time—that would be one wacky night out.
Oh the joy I get from these crazies who are three feet from me and have no idea I am there.
Those of you who know me understand the relationship I have with jackassery. For those who don’t, you’ll be there at the end of what I’m about to share. There is a certain amount of opportunity cost I take in making this information pseudo-public, but for some unknown reason, I’m willing to underwrite that risk. Two caveats: one, some of these stories may be a rerun to a few of you; and two, I appreciate and apologize for the Ayn Rand-ish length.
Let’s inaugurate this posting with the recent occurrence that started me thinking about my precarious flirtation with humiliation. A couple weeks ago, a friend-of-a-friend sent me an invitation to shelfari – an online book club. After three reminders, I got tired of it and thought, “I’ll just sign up, so they’ll leave me alone.” In the rush to get it done, I failed to take the time to figure out why they were asking me for my gmail password. As I clicked on the button to add the friend who invited me, I realized why: Shelfari sent a bloomin’ email to every person I have ever emailed. Ex-boyfriends, people I hoped would never contact me again, coworkers, my vice-president, my CFO, my old boss, potential employers, my bishop, the entire Sunday school and relief society. EVERYONE. All now invited by spam to join my on-line book club.
Flashback to my awkward adolescence when one afternoon, my sister, friend and I decided to go skinny dipping in our neighborhood pond. As I slipped off the suit, it slipped away. Fifteen minutes and several deep dives to the bottom later, it was gone for good. My nefarious companions refused to fetch my towel, forcing me to run out of the water and across the beach naked. That story spread through the middle school faster than coke through Lindsay Lohan.
Frustrated that my boss had answered only one of my five questions, I forwarded his email to my coworker, complaining about his lack of response. Trouble was, I hit reply and not forward. It was a long walk of shame into his office that day my friends.
On the long ride up the ski lift at Sundance, I grew tired of the discomfort the dangling skis were causing on my poor knees and ankles. But then, it occurred to me: Take them off! Sitting there with my feet swinging weight-free and the skis and poles laying over my lap, I relished in the genius that was. But alas, it was not to last. As the lift skirted over the drop-off for the bunny hill, the toe of my boot clipped the top of the hill, propelling me, the skis, and the poles into mid air and down the slope. The teenaged lift operator stopped the lift and waited impatiently for me to detangle, redress with my skis on again, and reboard (a good two minutes). As if it needed to be said at that point (not that it should have in the first place), the operator smugly lectured me on why it’s imperative I keep my skis on.
Sorry for the somewhat, um, unsavory subject matter in this next one. In preparation for an IVP, a medical test in which they shoot iodine into the veins to watch it stream through the kidneys and bladder, I had to have my system “cleaned out” with the assistance of laxatives. At the local CVS, I hurried to the aisle, grabbed my product and a few others as camouflage, purchased, and went home. Only to discover that I had bought the wrong type. So I went back. As I headed to the checkout for the second time, now with the proper product in one hand and the old product to return in the other, I thought I was in the clear – no one in line. Just as I stepped up to the counter, however, the other checkout closed, and the three good looking guys in that line file in behind me. No big deal. Until, as it turned out, my checkout asst was new and didn’t know how to return an item. She called for the manager, and as we waited, she kept trying to figure it out – the machine started beeping incessantly, the guys got impatient, and I stood there dumbfounded. After five minutes of this, the manager finally came over to help, held up both items for the entire line to see and asked which one I wanted returned and which one I wanted to buy. I finally finished paying and took what little dignity I had left home with me.
One last one. On our way to an Illini basketball game, I got out a couple of quarters to feed the meter, realized it was late enough I didn’t need to, and put the two quarters in my pocket. During the game, I went to the bathroom, and while squatting in my stall, I heard a quarter drop and land between me and the stall next to mine. Yes it was a bathroom floor, but hey, it was a quarter. So I reached down, grabbed the quarter, finished my business, and left. As I emptied my pockets that night, I pulled out three quarters. That’s right, three quarters. Now imagine you’re in a stall, you accidentally drop a quarter, and before you can reach down and fetch it, a hand pops out from under the wall and snatches it without a word.
Yesterday in east central Illinois, a couple of guys stole a van, fled from police triggering a high speed chase down the highway, careened off the road, and proceeded on foot to the nearest bank in a small Amish town, taking five hostages.
My coworker’s response on the FBI negotiator showing up: “He should start by offering free checking, overdraft protection, and no ATM fees.”
On the 6 o’clock news: an Amish woman with a camcorder out, recording the play-by-play. Seemingly normal, until you remember it’s against the Amish religion to own/operate electronic equipment and be photographed in any way.
During the press release when there were still three hostages, a silly reporter asked the spokesperson, “When will this be over?” I hoped and hoped the answer would come, “At precisely 5:13 today” with a massive eye roll.
So that reminds me of another reporter, well sports reporter, Lesley Visser, who has been known to ask her fair share of silly questions. When she asked Bobby Knight, the then coach of Indiana, how they won the game, he retorted, “We scored more points.”
Which then got me thinking about other awesome things I’ve seen or heard over the last few years.
Lunchtime in a busy city square. Man laying out on the grass with nothing on but a tight, turquoise speedo. A 15 foot radius of empty grass around him.
Homeless woman with a grocery cart and a bag of cans going through a trashcan, wearing a big straw hat, Jackie-O sunglasses, a bright blue bathing suit, and silk pink granny underwear bunched and poking out of the legs of the bathing suit.
Luxury van with curtains in the window. Purple and green streaks down the sides of the van. Cover on the spare tire on back silkscreened with a dog and the words: “We will never forget you, Trixie”.
A woman calling into a radio stations requesting: “What’s Up, by Four Non Blondes.” The DJ: “Um, okay, so what else do you want to hear?”
This one from LeMare several years ago: A wedding invitation with a little vellum card that read: If possible, please come at the assigned time:
A-I – 7:00-7:45
J-O – 7:45-8:30
P-Z – 8:30-9:15
A Relief Society lesson on the Word of Wisdom that started with listing the things we love that our physical bodies allow us to do or enjoy. Sleeping, taking a hot shower on a cold day, food, the exhaustion after heavy exercise, feeling a hug, etc. One woman made the comment that she loves being able to pick up her nephews, and the teacher wrote on the board: “Touch Nephews” – it wasn’t up for long.
An email to the entire hospital for which I work from the Engineering Services guy: “Tomorrow evening, 3/29, we will start repainting the stair tower between Parkview and Rogers bldg. on second shift. … In advance I am sorry for any incontinence this will cause…”
Another email sent to the entire hospital from our Compliance Office, Letha Kramer. A coworker’s response to just a few of us: “Thankth Letha.”
I’m sure there’ll be more…
Dos and Don’ts
Volume I: Cars
The list could go on and on, but for now, I’m keeping it to things I’ve seen in the last few months.
Personalized license plates: Don’t. I hope never to be in the same room with you, GASMAN 67.
Decals: Don’t. Putting two decals of naked women with their hair blowing in the wind on the back windows of your SAV (sexual assault vehicle): bad. Screwing on a Jesus Fish no more than 2 feet from them? Even worse.
Speaking of Jesus fish: Finding a Jesus fish magnet at the dollar store, putting it on your husband’s car as a joke, enjoying the month it takes for him to find it? Do. Definitely do.
Riding down the road on a motorcycle with a T-shirt that reads, “If you can read this, the bitch fell off:” Do. Hey, there comes a time when one should embrace the WT.
Bumper stickers: Don’t. But I must admit, I do get enjoyment out of a few. Seeing “I Love Porn” and “Jesus, protect me from your followers” on the same car made my day. Another classic: “We have enough youth; how about a fountain of smart?” And this one might get me into trouble, but I’m willing to risk it since it’s been two years since I first saw it, and I’m still laughing:
Seven years of the “tell him I’m not here” routine with the Myrt nickname, and it resurfaces like the pesky ex who always seems to craft one more scheme to inch back in. Alas, I’m choosing to embrace this old friend rather than flipping off the lights, hitting the ground, and belly-crawling around until he finally gives up and goes away. So without running that hyperbolic metaphor further into exhaustion, I give you my column. Myrt’s Blurts: meanderings, musings, and maybe nonsensical but mostly inane mishmash of life as I see it. Frightened as I’m sure you are to read on, my only defense is this: blame JL and LeMare.
Rob with Oldtimer’s in Walla Walla, Washington
In my middle school health class, we were discussing neglect, and I relayed the news bit about a man with oldtimer’s disease left to fend for himself. Back in college, my mother read an article in Ricks’ newspaper about a student excited to make his first voyage to the Big Apple. On his list of things to do: see the newly hyped Broadway play, Lame Is Rob.
I understand and often forgive these gaffes, blunders, and phonetic mishaps. Until only a few years ago, I thought a quick bite could tie me over. All too frequently, I hear or read “for now on,” “I could care less,” “first come, first serve,” and a plethora of other misused idioms and mixed metaphors.
But nothing prepared me for this. Working on an article submitted to the publication for which I am the editor, I came across this gem: “After you review the information, you will click the “accept” button and WALA! You are done.”
What do you even do with that?