weekly writing challenge: dna analysis

I’m a comic.

No. Not the Sunday news kind or the Superman kind, but the stand up kind. My daughter threatens to follow me around with a video, recording me as I mouth one-liners. And, of course, you know what comes next? She wants to share me with the world by uploading the video to YouTube! Yeah, right! Like that’s ever going to happen.


It’s not what you’re thinking, that I’m shy or humble. Heck no! It’s because neither of us knows how to upload a video onto YouTube. We’ve got the brains…we just lack the motivation. 

Funny thing about being funny. It just comes naturally, for me at least. I can’t remember anyone else in my family being funny. With 9 kids to raise after my dad died, funny was probably the furthest thing from my mom’s mind. Most likely she was thinking…life sucks…those stupid kids…I gotta get me some…I need a drink.

My siblings can be funny, when they’re not reminding me that they’re older and smarter. My brother Ed never does that though. He knows I’m smarter. I’ve got a college degree to prove it. Even though I know diddly-squat about computers, something at which Ed’s been working for 40+ years, only retiring a couple of years ago. And when it comes to being funny, he just had to open his mouth and cackle, and I was on the ground laughing my head off while holding my pee. A couple of missing teeth in his wide grin was enough to set me off.

Adolf Hitler, head-and-shoulders portrait, fac...

Talking about toothless grins. My once exuberant smile is nearly nonexistent now, unless I’m with close friends and family. That’s about 4 people.  You see, I’m in the midst of a tooth implant. Since it’s a couple of teeth back from the front left side, my smile is the length of Hitler‘s mustache. Get the picture? I could wear the retainer which the dentist made for me. It’s got my old tooth where my new crown will be. I’d have my old smile back, but then I’d have to take the retainer off every time I ate. You can see my dilemma…smile or eat…smile or eat…smile or eat. My ingenious solution? I eat during the day…and I smile when I go to bed at night. My husband likes my smile, although he wishes I wouldn’t wake him up to look at me…smiling.

It could be said that I cornered the market on funny because my siblings beat me to everything else…beauty…brains…brawn…booze. Being the youngest, I had to settle for the leftovers. Except there were no leftovers. So I went outside my family and found…funny. 

I probably caught the bug when black-and-white TV was invented. I learned funny from the masters…Laurel and Hardy…The Three Stooges…I Love Lucy…The Honeymooners…Abbott and Costello…George Burns and Gracie Allen…Red Skelton, Jerry Lewis, Art Linkletter, Milton Berle, and Jack Benny

Lucy watches Little Ricky's birthday party fro...

Lucy watches Little Ricky’s birthday party from the window ledge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or maybe I decided to be funny as an attention-getter. My friends and classmates thought I was hilarious when I fooled around, making goofy faces and spinning tales that were only half true. 

Once during elementary school I told a fib that back-fired. I did it to gain popularity among my classmates but wound up making enemies instead. I don’t remember what the lie was; I only remember crying and sweating…profusely. I forgot to mention one minor detail…I was in Catholic school where the nuns taught us…not to lie. I must’ve been MIA during those lectures. 

I was cured of fibbing, but I went on being funny. Like the time I pulled a papaya tree completely out of the ground. I didn’t plan to, of course. It just happened while my best friend and I were taking a breather from hunting down a litter of stray kittens in a neighbor’s backyard. I leaned against the skinny fruit tree, wrapping my arms around its trunk. When I moved to leave…the tree came with me. We had a hard time “replanting” it, especially since we were laughing so hard. We finally leaned the papaya tree against another one nearby, and ran like the dickens before the homeowners found us trespassing on their property. The hard-working Japanese couple might have beaten us with their shovels! Can you blame them? Of course I never did tell my mom. She would’ve beaten me for sure.

My daughter thinks I’m at my funniest now, when I’m on a rolling laugh. It only happens with her. One of us starts laughing, then the other. Then it’s as though we’re hitting a ping pong ball back and forth over the net. It’s even more hilarious when we’re on our cell phones. Using TANGO, we get glimpses up each other’s nostrils or deep inside our cavernous mouths. Jiggling our phones as we rock back and forth with uproarious laughter, we catch site of pimples…blackheads…”crow’s feet”…snot…drool…perspiration…smudged eyeliner. Not a pretty sight, I guarantee you. But one worth all the gold in Fort Knox

…a 27 year-old daughter cracking up at her 64 year-old mother’s…funniness.


Papaya trees

Papaya trees (Photo credit: 4nitsirk)

for always being there…

…A GREAT BIG THANK YOU!!! Yes, yes…I mean you!

Whether or not I’m all present and accounted for, you seem always to be there…hovering…waiting…poised to pounce…when finally my fingers hit the keyboard once again, and my postings fly fast and furious.

I’m only one of millions of bloggers who thrive on having our voices echo throughout cyberspace. Without visitors like you, storytellers like me would cease to exist.

So please…take a bow…pat yourselves on the back…lift a glass of vintage bubbly, or chug-a-lug that amber draft…admire your magnificent reflection in the bathroom mirror…nibble on that sinful, chocolate-covered strawberry, or savor the delicate flavor of Russian caviar. Whatever makes you happiest…please…indulge.

It’s my turn to…honor you…for your…

…staying power…god bless!!!…


English: Convenience food Why bend the neck to...

daily post challenge #195: top 10 or 5 lists

LaVon Hardison - Choices

Image via Wikipedia

The question presented is what’s my opinion about top ten or top five lists? Am I pro, con, or indifferent. I guess I don’t personally pay heed to someone else telling me what their top choices are; I’m going to decide what they are for myself…if I’m interested. And I guess I’m only interested if it pertains to my life, as I’m sure is true for everyone else. 

The younger crowd are probably interested in the top 10 hit songs, or the top 10 celebrities, or the top 5 night spots in a major city. Parents of babies and toddlers are probably searching for the top 5 pediatricians, or day care centers, or babysitters. Those of teens are looking for the best in colleges. Law school grads are searching for the tops in employers. And my generation of baby-boomers are definitely poring through magazines, news articles and travel guides for the top 10 places to retire. 

We are all constantly searching for top vacation spots, no matter our status in life. Getting away from the drone of eking out a living makes the search for the perfect diversion, top priority.

So I guess my answer to the question of top lists being relevant is that they become so when the need to know arises. Otherwise, I don’t think many of us are going around contemplating “What’s tops today?”

…i for one…have a lot of…other fish to fry…hugmamma.  

How Much Is the Fish?

Image via Wikipedia

daily post challenge #193: how many friends can a person have?

Just saw a Toyota commercial which answered this very question.

A woman typing on a laptop

Image via Wikipedia

A teen is seated at the dining table, laptop computer in front of her. Smiling she says something like “Old people are such sticks-in-the mud. They don’t like to do anything new. ” She goes on to say she got her parents to join Facebook.

Peel away… to her parents driving a Toyota SUV heading out on the open road.

Back to the teen who informs us that her parents have 19 friends on Facebook.

the lone bicycle rider

Image by onkel_wart (offline, most of the time) via Flickr

Joining her parents once again…they’re out of the car, dressed in cycling wear, dark glasses and helmets in place. They pull their bikes from racks on top of the car, and turn to join friends. All ride off, the wind at their backs.

We rejoin the teen who gleefully announces “I have 743 friends!!!” In the remaining seconds of the commercial, her voice trails off “Cute bunny…aaawww…”

…get the picture?…quality vs. quantity?…hugmamma.

(note: blogger friend pocket perspectives was kind enough to place the youtube video of the commercial in her comment below. didn’t nail all the specifics…like the teen referring to her parents as anti-social, her facebook friends numbering less than 700, and there being a picture of a puppy, not a bunny, on the laptop screen. truth be told…i was just checking to see if you’d seen the commercial…and if you’d catch the mistakes…it was a test…you see. did you pass?  😉 

daily post challenge: my preferred mode of getting around…cars, trains, or planes?

First flight of the Wright Flyer I, December 1...

Image via Wikipedia

In recent years I’ve traveled to visit my daughter pretty regularly…by plane. Hence I’m eternally grateful to Leonardo da Vinci for thinking man could mimic the bird, and fly. And I appreciate that the Wright brothers advanced the cause by crafting the first flying machine that actually flew. But apart from allowing me to be here in the morning, and with my daughter that same evening, spending 5 hours or more compressed into an uncomfortable seat pains me no end, especially where my sacrum and ilium meet.


Southwest Airlines

Image by kevindooley via Flickr

While I could walk the length of the plane to stretch my legs, it’s not without its minuses. Squeezing past another passenger walking in the opposite direction is doable, but awkward. Getting past the flight attendant while she’s offering snacks out of a box is a game of “wait-and-see.” Waiting to see who moves first, her or me. And then there’s the inevitable warning from the pilot to sit down and fasten my seat belt. That means “Hie me back to my seat pronto; strap myself in toot suit; and stay put until I’m told otherwise…or else.”

I can deal pretty well with a 2 or 3 hour flight. Four hours makes me antsy; at 5, I’m maxed out. An 8 hour trip to Europe has me looking at the nearest exit, wondering “Excuse me. Can I possibly get off and walk the rest of the way? I’ve changed my mind.”

As I’ve gotten older, adhering to the same ritual, more or less, has helped pass the time on a plane. After settling into my seat, I glance through the shopping guide provided all passengers. There’s always some gadget that compels me to think it’s something I might need. So I squirrel away the magazine in my carry-on. Then I might read a few pages from a book I brought, while munching on a snack purchased before leaving. All told, I probably used up 30 minutes of the several hours I must stay put. So I sleep, or try to sleep. When all else fails, I will myself to sleep.

I never, well almost never, look at my watch. Doing so, I feel, will only make the time pass ever more slowly. I prefer to be surprised when the pilot finally announces that our destination is a mere 30 minutes away. Yippee!!! Let me out of here! I’ve got to go to the bathroom…now!

Southwest Airline Boeing 737 N926WN

Image by tomfs via Flickr

That’s the final downer about traveling on a plane. Trying to get to the bathroom. The anxiety begins with trying to get the aisle seat, not the middle seat, not the window seat. If my husband is with me, I let him have the aisle seat, and I occupy the middle seat. He’s more comfortable, and I can inconvenience him when I get the urge. No longer wanting to bother a stranger to make a trip to the restroom, our family opts to fly Southwest Airlines whenever possible. I always get to choose an aisle seat, or a middle seat with my husband sitting on the aisle.

When we were younger, and more inclined to do long road trips, my husband would determine “pit stops” according to how many miles we’d driven, and how much longer it was to our destination. In older age, he’s been more conciliatory, taking the cue from me…“I gotta go…now!”

As far as trains go, I spent enough years traveling on the Long Island Railroad, to and from Penn Station on NYC’s west side, and then on the New Haven Line from Connecticut to Grand Central Station on NYC’s east side, to know that unless it’s the Orient Express, train travel is…okay. Of course I’ve not been on many scenic, cross-country carriers to decide if I’d make it a habit. Maybe when hubby retires, we can do a leisurely trip.

…only trouble is…the toilet “shakes, rattles and rolls”…on a train…hugmamma.