Friday, September 26, 2008


I had to go to the police station recently (for the first time, I swear!) to get a background check for a new job. My observations during the hour I spent there could fill several blogs, but I want to chat about one of the interesting blanks I had to complete on my application.

After the standard height, weight, color of eyes, and color of hair (you see my picture---I answered "CLEAR"), the form asked for my "complexion." H-m-m-m---I knew where they were going here, but I decided to screw around with the lady behind the window when my number was called.

I thought maybe she'd be up for a little frivolity because when she called #76 she followed with a short rendition of "76 trombones led the big parade----." So when it was my turn I said, "Hi. Since you called #76 I've been anxious to see what you might come up with for my #83 because I couldn't think of a thing. Now if I'd been #96 you'd have probably done that one by ? and the Mysterians, right? 'You're gonna cry 96 tears-----.' So what have you got for me?"

Silence. And a stony stare. Wow, tough crowd.

But I persevered. "I didn't know what to put for this one about complexion. Take a look. Would you say I'm oily or T-zone?"

"Your choices are fair, medium, or dark, sir."

Well, that's still tough. Dark's out of the question, but I've got a pretty good tan going. Do you think fair or medium?"

"We're not here to tell you what to write, sir. We take your $10 and hand you a piece of paper."

Oof. Sorry, Cyndi Lauper. I guess girls don't just want to have fun.

Every other question required a specific answer, but when it comes down to the color of your skin, your "complexion" (ie. your race), we now speak in code? Come on, people, have we sunk this deep into the quagmire of political correctness? Say it ain't so.

By the way, I picked "dark." "Fair" enough? Or should I have settled for a happy "medium"?

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Sorry to be slow posting--it's been a bizarre week. In honor of the "pig with lipstick" comment from you-know-who, I've resurrected a children's poem I wrote 20+ years ago.

What's that pig doing in my dress?
Get it off before she makes a mess!
Surely even a piggy knows
You don't wear someone else's clothes
Without at least asking permission
But I've got a sneaking suspicion
She's trying to make me upset.
No, not about how it will get
So dirty dragging on the ground
Or that the hem may come unwound.
The thing that makes me start to cry,
The thing that makes me want to die
Is seeing my dress on a sow
And knowing that no matter how
I fool myself, or at least try to
The pig looks better in it than I do.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


(-----------IN 25 WORDS OF LESS)


"The easiest journey has the least baggage."
-anonymous Chinese sage

Please do not discount the contents of this book because of its brevity. Until one has mastered basics what good are specifics?


Life is simple.


Eat less.
Exercise more.


Spend less.
Invest more.


Pay attention.
Live long enough.


Say less.
Do more.

Saturday, September 6, 2008



I know, I know. I PROMISE this will not be a political blog. God knows there are enough of those already. But the subject of my previous entry followed by the events in the days since demands a follow-up. After this let’s move on for awhile.

If you didn’t grow up in the South as I did you may not know about Uncle Remus stories. He was a Negro (the term African-American hadn’t been invented then) slave who told moralistic tales about Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear to the white chillin’s (that’s “children” to those who don’t speak old school Ebonics) on the plantation.

In one story Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear finally succeed in catching the wily and elusive Br’er Rabbit. They do it with a Tar Baby of all things, but the inferences there are too treacherous to pursue. They’re about to toss him in the stew pot when Br’er Rabbit persuades them that throwing him in that awful, prickly briar patch would be an even more gruesome fate.

Once they’ve done so Br’er Rabbit pretends to be in agonizing pain, then hoots and hollers as he reminds them that they’ve just returned him to the place where he was born. Curses, foiled again.

Will the Democratic Party be tricked by the same strategy? In offering up Sarah Palin as VP the Republicans tempt their opponents to get off their message of “change” and begin assailing her lack of experience. But this “Death Wish” brand of politics (what if something happens to McCain?) poses an interesting question in response.

What if something doesn’t happen to Obama? By attacking the readiness of the second fiddle on the Republican ticket which, let’s be honest here, comes with job responsibilities we’re never quite sure of, Democrats leave themselves wide open to a counterattack on the abilities of potential President Obama. And most of us have a pretty good idea of what the leader of our country is supposed to do.

Whichever side you favor, Sarah Palin hit a home run Wednesday night in her first official at-bat. If Br’er Barack and Br’er Joe (neither one of those names sound quite right in this context, do they?) get so riled up by her sudden and unexpected ascension that they throw their energies at the Republicans “briar patch”, they may find themselves explaining more than they want to about how a one-term Senator who now “runs” (isn’t that what the campaign manager does?) a staff of maybe 60 people and a budget measured in millions is qualified to oversee the lives of millions of Americans and a national budget of gazillions of dollars.

Well, chillin’s, dat be enuf fo dis blog (not being condescending---that’s really the way those stories were written. No wonder Uncle Remus isn’t often quoted these days!).