Something’s Fishy Here

fishHave you heard about the hottest new pet to hit the market? It’s called the ElvisFish. Who would think people would get so excited over a tropical fish? But, this is not just any old fish. It’s a fish that does not occur in nature, and it GLOWS neon blue when exposed to rock music.

The reason it glows is what is making it news. It has been genetically altered! A gene from an old Elvis costume was transplanted into the egg of a fish to make it glow. Amazingly, after being genetically altered, the fish can reproduce and have baby El- Fishes.

Welcome to the future.

People often get bent out of shape over genetic engineering. “It just isn’t natural,” they say. But it isn’t as if biotechnology is a new thing. Plants have been genetically altered for ages to improve food products. So what’s wrong with a having a pet fish that glows and wiggles like Elvis?

The same researcher that developed the ElvisFish previously developed the genetically altered Jackson-Salmon. It was not received well because the fish attempted to mate with baby fish. If introduced into natural water, who knows what sort of unnatural creatures might be produced, or what hideous damage to the environment we might evoke?

People have always been a bit leery of scientific creatures that could not naturally occur. We envision a science fiction “Frankenfish” and imagine the worse possible consequences. After all, it is a scary thing when a mutant fish can imitate a mutant rock star.  We never seem to think of the possible positive results from genetic engineering, such as cures for diseases like Britany fever and Madonna syndrome.

Although it is not widely known, animals actually have been genetically altered for research purposes for many years. But the most of the genetically altered creatures are rarely seen by anyone other than scientists, even though we often wonder about some of the rock music stars.

The ElvisFish will soon be available in pet stores nationwide and virtually anyone can have one. Eventually, they will come in a variety of glow-in-the-dark, lava lamp colors.

Could these ElvisFish mix with native fish and contaminate the environment? It’s not likely since they are aquarium fish that could not survive in the wild without their prescription drugs. And even if they did survive against all odds, they would not be dangerous to the environment according to the developers.

Actually, the fish were first developed to glow as a signal that illegal music is being downloaded over the Internet. It was only later that the idea of selling them as pets for the amusement of humans occurred.

Most glowing fish occur naturally as marine creatures in the depths of the ocean where there is no light. These ocean creatures are bioluminous, which means chemicals in their body mix naturally to create a glow, enabling them to see prey and find mates. The new species is luminescent in a different way. It is a fresh water species that virtually absorbs energy from being in the spotlight and re-emits it any time rock music is played.

Probably you are already thinking how neat it would be to have a glowing, wriggling, blue neon ElvisFish for your aquarium? Well, you are not the only one. People seem to be very interested in being among the first to have these unusual pets, especially teenagers.

What’s next? Coming soon to southern aquariums will be the yellow, glowing DixieFish, which is now being developed by researchers in Nashville. It is expected to dominate the redneck fish market since it will be genetically engineered to two-step and glow only to the sound of country music.

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Okay, okay, this is a parody and I may have stretched facts a wee bit. But you were warned that there is something fishy here.

 

Advertisements
Posted in Creatures, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pajama Mania

pj

When it comes to teenagers, nothing should shock us any more, especially when it comes to fashion fads. This is why I was surprised to learn that teenage girls wearing pajamas to school in the suburbs is a shocking fashion trend. It’s hard to believe that educators, worried about moral values, are getting bent out of shape over this silly infraction of “The Rules” and are cracking the dress code whip.

It seems the same trend swept the entire country. Like most fads, it came and went in some areas before it was even discovered in others. “That trend is so last semester,” one parent told me. In conservative Tennessee, we apparently are eons behind the rest of the fashion world. The fad most likely started when someone was too lazy to get dressed in the morning.

Pajama pants are usually cotton or flannel with elastic waistbands for comfort, and are mostly worn with t-shirts or sweatshirts. They come in a variety of colorful prints and plaids and are being sold as lounge wear in trendy shops that cater to teen tastes, as well as being mass marketed in discount stores.

Exactly how this all contributes to the moral decay of youth, I’m not exactly sure. It seems to me that a soft pair of comfortable pants would look better than the sea of faded denim that is usually seen at high schools. I suppose it’s simply the idea of nightwear being treated as daytime attire.

After nose rings, tongue jewelry, spiked hair and tattoos, there isn’t much shock value left for mere pajamas as far as I’m concerned. They seem almost like a return to an age of innocence.

Most parents don’t seem too concerned about attire until the kids get into trouble at school. One mother from another part of the country told me, “I had to leave work Monday to pick up my kid because he had shorts on. It was almost eighty degrees! So, the pajama bottom business is strictly verboten here.”

Dress codes have traditionally not addressed the issue of sleepwear in public, so it is pretty much an area wide open for interpretation. While some educators continue to demand that kids dress appropriately, according to their definition, others educators have given up the fight saying they are tired of spending more time worrying about how the kids dress than how they learn.

Some educators believe they need to prepare kids for the “real world” where they will be expected to dress in a businesslike manner. Of course, in the real world the high tech computer types rule these days. They can pretty much dress any way they want, and it is allowed because we need their expertise to run our information systems.

The times they are a-changing. One mother said, “For the record, I’m 37 years old and I have two pairs of pajamas I wear as pants.” Pajamas are not just for sleeping anymore. Who knows, in a few years the teachers may be wearing pajama bottoms to school if things keep going the way they are.

And here I am without even one single pair of pajama pants. I feel so “last semester.”

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor | 11 Comments

Explaining the Winter Olympics

Are you watching the winter Olympics on TV? There are 15 sport disciplines in seven sports and it seems that NBC is determined to cover them all. 102 medals are up for grabs. We will become intimate with many sports, such as, the luge, half-pipe, and slalom, some of which we try to forget even exist except in the Olympics.

As a public service, I will attempt to explain some of the key events.

First, we will talk about the sliding events. I’m sure there is a skill involved in these sports, but it is difficult to know what it is. Take the luge; please take the luge. This involves lying on a sled and sliding down an ice covered chute, sort of like a water slide park in winter. Flip the luge over, and you have the skeleton, riders going down the icy chute head first at speeds of 80-90 mph. Those who survive win a medal and a free brain surgery.

Then there are the bobsledding (a.k.a bobsleighing) events. Bobsledding is an unending, night after night competition. First is two-man, then four-man, then six-man and eight-man, bobsledding backwards, bobsledding upside down, and freestyle bobsledding where bobsleds slide off a steep ramp and turn flips in the air. Bobsled dancing is coming soon.

One of the most popular sports at the winter of Olympics is skiing. Freestyle skiing has five subdivisions: mogul, arial, ski cross, half-pipe and slope style, known informally as bumps, jumps, thumps, stunts, and lumps. In addition, there is downhill skiing called the slalom, which is a Norwegian word for zigzag, not to be confused with the Jewish word shalom.

Cross-country skiing is self-explanatory. When combined with rifle shooting, it becomes the biathlon. There is no triathlon, quadathlon, pentathlon, hexathlon, decathlon, polyathlon or other-athlon, probably because so many guns in the hands of losers could turn into an act of terrorism.

Snowboarding repeats all the events in freestyle skiing on a skateboard without wheels. It still resembles the local skateboard park. Give these long-haired, droopy-drawers wheels, and there is no telling how many medals they could stack up for the US while still managing to hold up their pants by snowboarding upside down.

Skating events are diverse and include hockey and speed skating. Speed skating requires you to be able to skate with one hand behind your back while dressed in rubber diving suit. Hockey is only interesting as long as your team can cheat better and more than the teams of other countries.

The oldest Olympic sport is figure skating. Figure skaters must be able to twirl round and round with one foot over their head without getting dizzy, falling down, having a wardrobe malfunction, or tripping over bouquets of flowers. The skaters must not only be technically perfect, they must be graceful and beautiful. Skaters dress in glittery, designer skate dresses and glue rhinestones on their eyelids. Judging is done by a point system so complicated not even the judges understand it, leading to much controversy over why the Russians always win.

Olympic sports coverage is not complete without the Scottish sport called curling. It has nothing to with styling hair but is about sliding rocks across the ice. The team’s housekeepers sweep the ice with brooms to keep the rocks from getting dirty, making it one of the cleanest sports in the Olympics. I would explain more, except no one except Scots and Canadians really understand it.

So, that’s the gist of the Olympic Games, except for counting the medals awarded to the athletes with the most sunburned noses and flowers. By the way, the gold and silver medals are both silver, but the gold one tastes better when bitten.

Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss
Updated
Posted in Humor, News & Current Events, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

High, Higher, Highest

gas stationI am not going to write a column on the high price of gasoline! Who cares what the price of gasoline is? Well, my honey cares. Every time we drive past the corner station, he complains. “Look at that!”

“What?” I reply, feigning interest.

“Look at those prices! It’s two cents more than yesterday! I’d better fill up before it goes up again.” Funny, I always think that it might go down, which shows how little I know about economic matters.

I know prices must be bad when all the papers say so. I use super premium, so the price sounds about right to me. Of course, super premium will be even higher now too. In our area the gas price is below the national average. We should be happy, shouldn’t we?

And then, there is the way the economists attempt to explain it. “The price of crude oil remains high per barrel.” Wait! REMAINS high? That means it was high already, doesn’t it? So, that doesn’t explain the sudden increase. If it was already high and remains high, the price should be the same, shouldn’t it? I suppose I just don’t understand economics.

Okay, then it was a blackout somewhere that affected production in some refineries. Huh? I might buy that one if a blackout was still going on. How long did it last, two or three days? So, if production was affected for only two or three days, stands to reason to me that prices would only be affected for two to three days. Obviously, I really don’t understand economics.

Well, how about this one: A pipeline broke decreasing the amount of crude oil available. Because they do not have enough oil in one state, they pull from the available resources elsewhere, which makes the supply lower everywhere – or so the story goes. We don’t have enough crude oil to maintain an adequate supply? It must cost more because there is less? That’s the law of economics. But we have pipeline breaks, and refinery fires every once in a while. Couldn’t they factor that in? Some state must be using a heck of a lot of gas if they deplete the whole country when a pipeline breaks.

Finally, the economists blame it on holidays and the greater demand. When people want something, they are willing to pay more. People are not conserving and people are not staying at home. It’s the law of supply and demand again, also known as the law of greed to those of us who don’t understand economics. The more we need something, the more we can be gouged is the way it looks to me.

Yes, I know the price of gasoline affects the transportation of goods and this loss of revenue is eventually passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. Why did you have to bring that up? Anyhow, after the holiday is over, the demand is expected to go down and so will the price. But, six months from now the price of food will go up in the supermarket and economists will say, “It’s because of the high gas prices last August.”

The conclusion seems to be stay at home and not buy the overpriced gas.

And that’s why I’m not going to write a column about the price of gasoline. You won’t listen to me anyhow. So, quit grumbling, pay their inflated price, and you will hardly notice the difference. It’s only an extra two or three dollars per tank.

When the price of goods goes up, blame it on economics instead of greed. And don’t expect me to write a column about that either!

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Edited
Posted in Automotive, Humor, Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s a Dirty Business

old truck

It seemed like a good idea when we bought our home in a distant suburb. Plenty of space, no rubbing elbows with neighbors, peace and quiet, fresh country air. That was before I found out about septic tanks. I’ve been dealing with the distasteful business known by non-urban dwellers as “pumping the septic tank.”

For you city slickers who don’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about, a septic tank is sort of the modern replacement for the outhouse, an individual sewer system for homes that are not on a city sewer system. Periodically, the realities of country living catch up and it is time for the unavoidable chore of getting it cleaned.

The first step is finding a septic service that will answer the phone. Like service people of any sort, they have more business than they need and don’t care whether they get any calls or not. After repeated attempts, however, someone finally picks up the phone. I can almost smell the smell through the phone wire.

Darrell and Darrell from the old Bob Newhart show operated the service I picked. I don’t know why, but it seems to be a family sort of business. They try to be professional asking the usual questions: “How long has it been?” THAT LONG? “How old is the house?” THAT OLD? “How many people?” THAT MANY? I could hear the price going up.

Apparently, Darrell is not good with directions; or else he is in shock over my answers to his questions. He put the other Darrell on the phone. I gave him directions while he repeated them back to the first Darrell. My house is not hard to find, but somehow I knew already that they would get lost.

“We can come right now,” he said, “We’ll be in the area anyhow.”

“Right now? But, I’m at work. Can you come tomorrow?”

“Okay, how early?” We discussed the time I get up, the time I usually leave for work, and finally decided on 7 a.m. That would be great. I could take care of the dirty business and go on to work. I forgot about the Golden Rule of all service people: “Never Show up On Time.”

Sure enough, the next morning I’m ready and sitting by the phone at 7 a.m. It rings. I figured they were lost. Wrong — it’s worse! “We are running a little late.” What a surprise. “We will be leaving in about 15 minutes, right, Darrell?”

Leaving? You are supposed to be arriving! I dared not complain as they perform a vital, if distasteful, service. Darrell went on to tell me about the clutch going out in the truck, how they were getting it fixed, how the repair shop was running late. “We will pick up the truck and be right there.” I could hear the other Darrell agreeing in the background.

Good grief! Why didn’t they tell me yesterday that there was a problem with the truck? “Okay, I’ll be waiting.” I sprayed the phone with Lysol to get rid of the smell, and called work to say I would be late. At 8:30 the phone rings again. They are lost. They took the wrong exit off the Interstate. I can’t stand it.

Finally, they show up and after much mumbling, head scratching, and digging, the tank is found and the foul deed is done. They call me out to inspect the work, as if anything could possibly matter to me more than the smell. After a nauseating look, I praise their excellent work, then go inside and spray myself allover with Lysol.

Finally, they were finished and drove away. The neighbors waved a grateful goodbye from a respectful distance, and the flies returned to the trash can. I may never get the smell out of my nose. However, I guess to those that make a living with that sort business, it must smell like money.

Pardon me now while I gag, take a bath, and spray this column with Lysol.

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Posted in Environment, Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cat Tale

jag

Photo by Cel Lisboa on Unsplash

Some people have to go to the wilds of the woods, explore nature trails, or go on camping trips to encounter wild animals. Around my place, we need go no further than the back door.

Last week, two neighborhood cats were fighting in the backyard, most likely in an undeclared territorial dispute of some sort. Instead of taking the sensible approach of either just letting them fight, or swatting them with a broom, my daughter tried to separate them manually. I can only wonder if she has been brainwashed by watching too many Garfield cartoons on television.

Needless to say, these cats didn’t welcome her involvement in their business, and a big yellow tabby bit her hand as a reward for her unwanted intrusion. It didn’t seem all that bad at the time, and she only screamed loud enough to be heard in two or three of the surrounding counties.

I supposed if I had known, I might have suggested something less fierce than a domestic housecat, like a brown bear or a mountain lion, perhaps.

“Why did you get involved in a catfight?”

“Our cat doesn’t have any claws and I thought the other cat would kill her!”

Nobel thought, but foolish action. As it turns out, it was not even our cat, but a similar cat from the neighborhood. I never thought I would be the mother of a daughter who would disturb the balance of nature by interfering in the process of natural selection and survival of the fittest.

She looked up the neighbor who owned the cat to be sure it had been vaccinated. Of course, the owner felt badly, but probably wondered like every one else, why she became involved in a catfight. “That cat is always giving me trouble,” he declared, making us wonder why he had never noticed that the animal is practically a small jaguar.

By the next day the hand was swollen and an angry red, obviously infected. After two trips to the doctor for antibiotic shots and enough oral medication to shrink my pocketbook into a small change purse, her hand looked worse than ever.

“I’m putting you in the hospital,” the doctor told her, in spite of her gripping the treatment table and begging not to go – until he pointed to the streaks starting to go up her arm.

Who would have suspected that a domestic cat is one of the worse possible animals to be bitten by? Their mouth contains an enzyme of some sort that frequently creates an infection, especially on deep puncture wounds. The saliva carries infectious bacteria with ominous names like pasteurella and staph. And I always thought they were sweet, purring little fur balls.

When I tell people that my daughter is in a hospital because she was involved in a catfight, they invariably think that she was fighting with another woman. No one seems to think of real cats, the kind with fur and whiskers, as being capable of severe injury.

Being the tenderhearted sort, my daughter forgave the cat, which was after all, only defending itself, she asserted. After three days in the hospital receiving antibiotics intravenously and suffering a considerable amount of pain, she felt a bit less generous toward her feline friend. However, I believe she was delirious when she was talking about making cat dumplings.

Anyhow, the swelling finally subsided, and the doctor allowed her to come home. Our cat has no idea that my daughter was gravely injured trying to defend her.

And so, life goes on at our house, just one thing after another.

What happened to the cat? Oh, it’s still around. When I came home from work the other day, I could scarcely believe my eyes as the furry culprit was back sitting on my doorstep as if he owned the place. I’m not certain if he came over to apologize or to look for a second round.

Tempted by maternal instincts to defend my young, I’m wondering why he can’t sense my murderous urges to turn him into a feline fur piece.

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Posted in Creatures, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Closet Gourmet

kitchenMy daughter took over the kitchen at my house. I don’t know why — unless she was tired of eating frozen dinners. Actually, I was getting a bit tired of them myself, so I didn’t object too much, though I was secretly a bit worried about what sort of dinners she might cook.

Day one: Beef stew and biscuit. Right, I thought, it probably will taste like dog food and kibble. Amazingly, it was pretty good. We lapped it down without asking many questions and waited for the second day.

Day two: Turkey and dressing. Turkey and it isn’t even Thanksgiving? She must have spent all day doing this. Well, I have to work and don’t have time for roasting turkeys and tossing bread cubes. We ate it up and praised her cooking skills.

Day three: Chicken and dumplings. Ugh! I remember how my mother made dumplings, all soggy and gooey. That’s why I never bother with them. But these dumplings were light, fluffy and delicious. This kid can cook I decided, wondering where she got the recipe. Not from her grandma, that’s for sure.

Day four: Southwest chili and cornbread. This can’t possibly be good, I figured. How would she know how to make chili? That’s a specialty item. Where is she getting all the groceries, anyhow? I was starting to suspect that she was harboring a chef, hiding him in the attic and bringing him out only during the day while I was working.

Day five: Chicken Casserole. Tender cubes of chicken, lightly floating in a creamy sauce with a medley of vegetables and a crumb topping. This can’t go on. If I didn’t recognize my own casserole dish, I would swear that she was sneaking in food from a restaurant. But as long as I’m not buying, I might as well eat and enjoy.

Day six: Okay, today is the day I find out what’s going on around here. I’m green with envy at the culinary delights that have been parading through my kitchen. But she made spaghetti today. Pretty much anyone can cook spaghetti with a simple meat sauce. Yes, it was good, but what’s going on during the days when I’m not at home?

Day seven: Sneaked into the kitchen at night with a flashlight. Opened the cabinet and discovered the secret at last. A row of red boxes cleverly called complete classic dinners. So that’s the secret! Cans of vegetables, sauces, envelopes of breadcrumbs and spices all packaged up in the same box. They even include the meat! No slaving over the hot stove. No worrying about putting elusive ingredients together. It’s all packaged and ready to cook.

Well, that’s cheating! She didn’t do any work at all!

So, am I going to let her know that I’ve been nosey and found out the secret to the delectable exhibition of cuisine? Heck, no! She might stop cooking. I sure don’t want to go back to those tasteless frozen dinners or the long, tiring process of cooking a meal after a hard day’s work. Some things are best left alone. Besides, one of those boxes said, “Chicken Pot Pie”. That’s my favorite.

So, I set the table, offer to do the dishes, give her a gift certificate for groceries, buy her a new set of pots and throw in money for a new apron while she’s out shopping anyhow. Then I retire to my computer while mysterious clinking sounds come from the direction of the kitchen and delicious odors float down the hall.

What do I care where the food is coming from? The main thing is I don’t have to cook it!

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Posted in Family, Food, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Café Cocoa and the Alien

peter-miranda-21643It was a strange looking place – more like a house than a coffee shop. Could that be why they call them “coffee houses?” For a minute I wasn’t sure whether to go inside of not. Finally, I figured, “What have I got to lose?” Besides, it was cold outside.

It isn’t the sort of place I normally go to. On one side a group of students poured over books with coffee and papers spread all over the table, obviously students from a nearby university. “What am I getting into here?” I wondered.

In the back was a counter where two people debated over what to order. I look at the menu scribbled on a blackboard, concoctions of pineapple and caramel that sound more like ice-cream sundaes than coffee. I picked the one with the least amount of whipped cream and waited my turn.

The couple finally took their selection and wandered toward the back of the house. I peered down the hall after them. The server ignored my presence busying herself with washing cups or some other menial chore. Finally, she acknowledged me standing there just as I was about at the point of leaving.

I ordered my coffee unable to take my eyes off her chin. What is that? A pierced lower lip with a stud? I tried not to let my own tongue wander to the inside of my lip as I wondered what it feels like to have metal piercing your lower lip.

After much mixing and blending, all done in slow motion, the coffee was finally ready. I took the frothy blend and again peered down the mysterious hall before deciding on the safer side room close to the front door. I squeezed into a corner table by a t.v. set that was being ignored, hoping that I would be treated the same.

One couple was so busy with each other that they scarcely knew anyone else existed at all. Another table of people with weird hair were talking animatedly about politics, or some other earth shaking concern, as if their opinions really made a difference to anyone but them. They all looked very young.

I sipped my coffee and it really wasn’t too bad – didn’t taste a bit like coffee – but not bad. I checked my watch and stared at the documentary on the TV. Not my taste. Finally, I retrieved a used copy of the local alternative paper from another table and flipped through it.

What a dump this place is, peeling paint, rickety tables, a fireplace unused for 40 years, college kids, and a few tough types that appear to have wandered over from a nearby AA meeting house. Definitely not the sort of place usually frequented by middle-aged women. I’m on someone else’s turf, I surmised.

I looked at my watch again, sipped my empty coffee cup, and watched the worthless documentary. Finally, it was time and I could escape. I left my new and unusual company. No one said goodbye. Do they feel as alien in my world as I do in theirs, I wondered?

“Hi Mom, isn’t the coffee house a neat place? Did you like the coffee?”

“Sure, honey, the coffee was out of this world.”

The next time I have to wait for my daughter, I think I’ll just wait in the transporter.

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The White Stuff

snowstreetIt snowed today. It’s January; there’s supposed to be snow in the winter, isn’t there? That’s the way it always works with the four seasons. But you don’t understand. It snowed in Nashville. We have seasons here, and we have snow – sometimes. However, it is a rare event and not often enough for people to know exactly what to do about it when it happens.

It isn’t as if the snow was unpredicted. Every since last week, the weathermen have been jumping up and down screaming, “SNOW coming!” No one believed them. “Yeah, yeah, you said that last time and it didn’t happen.” Like the people in the proverb of boy that “cried wolf” too often, we quit believing.

On the nightly news, “SNOW, SNOW, it’s going to SNOW!” This morning we looked out the window – no snow. So everyone went to work as usual, figuring predictions were wrong again, as always. Then it happened – SNOW started to fall – lots of snow, big snowflakes, falling fast. Office workers pressed their noses against the windows, staring in disbelief. SNOW? SNOW! Almost before people could decide whether to go home, the ground was covered.

It fell rapidly, inches in an hour. Childcare facilities began closing. The snow continued to fall. Panic! People started going home. Schools closed. The snow continued to fall, almost in defiance of our disbelief. Auto accidents occurred, hundreds of accidents, multi car accidents of the kind that close down Interstates. Traffic is soon in a gridlock. Kids can’t get home from school because busses can’t get there to get them.

Offices close by mid afternoon. Courts close. Shopping malls close. Remember that this is the South. S-n-o-w spells disaster. The snow continues to fall. People in the South don’t have a clue about how to drive in snow. Wheels spin as they accelerate too fast; then they panic and hit the brakes. After all, how do you learn to drive in snow? Well, you learn by doing it. And in a city where snow is a rarity, so is snow driving experience.

The snow continues, wet snow, snow that sticks to everything. It is beautiful as it clings to the branches of trees and covers everything with a white blanket. We gaze at the winter scene and wonder how something so pretty can cause so much trouble. Some give up and get hotel rooms, deciding it isn’t worth the effort to try to get home. Others, stranded on the highways, seek shelter at truck stops along the way, waiting for accidents to be cleared and roads to reopen.

By the time the snow quits falling, it is the biggest snowfall in many years in Nashville. We remembered snow, but after so many years without very much, we had closed it out and denied the possibility. Complacency has now been replaced by reality. The snow finally had mercy on the defeated city and stopped. On the highways, abandoned cars litter the roadside and ditches.

For one who has lived in Chicago and St. Louis where snow is the norm instead of the exception, the disaster seems unbelievable. To one who has lived in Nashville and seen snow in the South before, disaster is expected. Safe at home, we are happy to be out of harm’s way.

Buried in white stuff, we wonder where the snow shovel is and finally decide to wait until tomorrow and let it melt. Thankfully, snow in Nashville doesn’t happen very often and seldom lasts very long.

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss

Posted in Humor, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To Sleep or Not To Sleep

ben-blennerhassett-336485Lately I’ve been hearing other people talk a lot about their personal disorders. I confess I hadn’t really thought much about sleep problems before. Just show me the bed and I can be cutting Z’s in 15 minutes any time Now, however, I’ve found out that I’m not sleeping the correct way. I’m supposed to wait until bedtime to sleep so I’ll be tired and able to  sleep through the night.

A sleep disorder is when we toss and turn and are unable to fall asleep, I figured. Everyone knows about drinking warm milk and doing the sheep counting routine to cure insomnia. Now, however, I’ve found out that insomnia is only one of many sleep disorders. There are others that are common, plus some that are not so common.

Insomnia is more than not being able to go to sleep in the first place, it is also waking up in the night and not being able to get back to sleep. Heck, that doesn’t seem like a disorder. If it wasn’t for waking up in the< middle of the night with my mind racing, I’d never get my column written.

I decided to take a mini sleep quiz – just to see if I needed to be concerned about sleep disorders. Can’t be too careful with health. Wish I hadn’t taken it, though. According to the quiz, I’ve got ‘em all.

First of all, I found that I have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when someone has difficulty breathing and may stop breathing for several seconds many times a night. Often this is accompanied by snoring. One of the questions on the quiz was, “Have you ever been told that you snore?” Well, yes, I have. I ’ve never heard myself snore, though, and I don’t really believe that I do.

social situations. “Do you ever fall asleep at inappropriate times?” asks the quiz. “Do you sometimes feel sleepy even when you’ve had enough sleep?” The true narcoleptic can fall asleep anytime, even at a movie or at a party. Obviously, writers of the quiz have not heard some of the sermons I’ve heard at church if they expect me to stay awake on Sunday morning.

Okay, that covers sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy. What’s left? Restless leg syndrome? Yes, I have that one too, tingling in the legs so that you feel you have to move them. You mean some people lay perfectly still all night and never have to turn over or move to a more comfortable position? I’m not dreaming that I’m one of the Radio City Rockettes and kicking like I’m in a chorus line or anything. I always thought my legs had gone to sleep. I hadn’t really thought of it as a sleep disorder until now.

I never knew what a sick person I am. “If you think you have a sleep disorder, see a doctor regardless of the outcome of the quiz,” says the article. Gee, should I be worried? Now I’ll be awake all night wondering how I can be possible be sleeping when I have so much wrong with me.

Actually, people need to get an adequate amount of sleep in order to be able to function, at least that’s the story I’m going to use. I think I’ll just stick with my old habit of catching Z’s when I can. I believe there is a name for people who think they have every illness they hear of.

Now, if you don’t mind, could we continue this discussion later? I’m starting to feel sleep deprived and it’s time for my power nap.

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Posted in Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments