A Day at the Park

park.jpgOh, look, squirrels! Aren’t they cute? City dwellers don’t see a lot of wildlife, so even the sight of so mundane a creature as a gray squirrel in a city park is reason for a mild excitement of sorts. They scamper about chattering and scavenging for food – charming little critters. Touched by their plight, we throw them a few cold French-fries from the last scraps of our fast-food picnic dinner

Apparently this wildlife is not quite as wild as we thought, though. The more French fries we throw, the closer they come. What do they want, ketchup? “Scat! Go away!” We climb up on the picnic table as the squirrels surround us, finally scampering up a tree and peppering us with leaves and bark as we run for our lives. Probably never had to beg for a peanut in their spoiled, rodent existence.

I love the duck pond in the park, always occupied by both wild and tame ducks, and even migrating Canadian geese at some times of the year. See that little baby ducky! Isn’t he adorable? Look at the green, iridescent head on the Mallard. Let’s throw him a few crumbs. Look at him come swimming. Look at all the others that are coming too. Where did all these ducks come from? Can’t they quit all that quacking? Shut up ducks! We don’t have any more bread. Dumb ducks! Feed one duck and a hundred friends come to the party – bunch of moochers. You can’t even enjoy the duck pond for the ducks.

Well, we can always just go for a nice peaceful walk and get away from these critters. The weather is beautiful late in the early spring season – blue sky, a breeze blowing. Aren’t the flowering shrubs beautiful? Pink, white, yellow, all colors are starting to bloom and stirring in the breeze. Speaking of the breeze, that wind is really beginning to blow. I feel a bit chilled. And where did the sun go? It isn’t going to rain, is it? Tell me it isn’t going to rain. Why does the wind have to blow so hard? Suddenly, I’m not one bit interested in a bunch of flowering trees. It’s a blasted hurricane out here! I just want to finish this hike from hell and get back to the car. How far is it? My feet are killing me, and I’m freezing to death. Maybe I’m not the outdoor type after all.

What are all those people doing out here in the park while it is still winter anyhow? Don’t they have jobs? Why aren’t they working? Must be nice, nothing to do but hang around in the park all day. That one guy must be a starving artist. I figured that out when I saw the canvas and easel he was carrying. I think he is going to paint a picture of that big oak tree. Personally, I like the weeping willow better. But he is the artist, isn’t he? Guess he will paint what he chooses. People are stopping to watch him paint. Bring out a canvas and easel and the whole world is populated by art critics. They can’t draw or paint a lick but always have an observation to make about what someone else is doing. Guess they think he should be painting the weeping willow too.

Maybe we can just sit here on this wooden bench in the sun and warm our bones for a moment. The sun has come back now and feels really good. But, what is that funny looking bee doing? I think he has taken a liking to us. He keeps buzzing around as if he is looking for something. Probably hopes we have a pencil sharpener for his stinger. Hope that bee hasn’t fixated on my perfume or hairspray. Honestly, bee, you cannot make honey from hairspray.

I know you can only be nice to a bee for so long, but don’t swat at him. We don’t want to upset him. He probably has friends waiting in the bushes. Just back away slowly, and hope he isn’t after your wallet. Okay, bee, take the park bench. I was only kidding about how warm it is in the sun anyhow.

Well, guess it is about time to go home. Nothing like a nice day at the park to make one appreciate nature. Nothing like a day of nature to make one appreciate home either.

Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss
Edited
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A Taxing Experience

pigbankPerhaps you have heard the old saying that nothing can be certain except death and taxes? A few years ago I received a notice that I owed taxes to the State of Tennessee. It was not even the end of January and tax collectors were coming around already?

You see, the great State of Tennessee has no income taxes. The “honkers” take care of that. Every time anyone dares suggest an state income tax for individuals, the tax opponents turn out in force to circle the State Capitol building and honk car horns to express their displeasure. Legislators yield to the pressure of a vocal minority and no new state income tax law is passed.

As a result, the state never has enough money and must think of creative ways to collect revenue. Due to the lack of an income tax, Tennessee has one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation. Unfortunately, imposing sales tax did not work too well either as people simply went online and bought from places like Amazon that did not collect sales taxes.

Therefore, imagine my surprise when I received the email from Amazon regarding my taxes. In short, it went something like this:

Amazon.com is not required to collect sales or use taxes in Tennessee. However, you may owe use tax on purchases you made from Amazon during the previous calendar year. The total sales price of purchases you had was $12.64. This is the amount that you may include on your Tennessee use tax return.

I was not even sure what a “use tax” was. I hoped this didn’t mean that I needed to pack my toothbrush and plan on going to jail for tax evasion. Or, maybe I needed to circle the capitol and honk my car horn. The Tennessee Department of Revenue must stay up nights thinking of ways to collect taxes without having it seem like they are collecting taxes.

The tax rate was 2.50%. Let me see, 2.50% of $12.64 is how much — about 32 cents? They wanted me to file a tax return for 32 cents? Last year my CPA charged over $300 to do my Federal Income Tax return. I couldn’t afford to file another tax return for a 32 cent debt.

The state made it easy for people like me, though. We could pay online. I wondered if they charged themselves a use tax for conducting e-commerce. No, of course not. The state is exempt from taxes. After all, what’s the point of paying yourself? In my case, it would cost more to process the tax than the amount collected.

I tried to follow the online instructions: “Enter a description of the purchase, price of purchase, and the date of purchase. Enter payment debit or credit card.” Could I charge 32 cents on a credit card? If I paid by credit card, they would charge a fee of 2.49%. Using a credit card could double the amount I paid. Maybe I should have given them a break, paid an entire dollar, and told them to, “Keep the change.” Of course, they didn’t give me a break, did they?  I sure hoped my 32 cents would balance the budget.

Why did I have a feeling most people were going to ignore this email and pretend it never came? Apparently, that is exactly what happened. Not to be deprived of their due, however, Tennessee passed a law that Amazon.com had to collect taxes at the time of sale.

So, I unpacked my toothbrush and became an honest citizen instead of a tax evader.

Copyright 2002-2017 Sheila Moss
Updated
Posted in Humor, Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ten Commandments for Elevators

ten-commandments.jpgA former controversy in metro was whether or not the Ten Commandments should be posted in public buildings. Now most people probably figured the question of separation of church and state was pretty much resolved a long time ago, but I live in Tennessee, after all, where the question of teaching evolution is still controversial in some circles.

So proponents of a Ten Commandments Law thumped their Bibles, while opponents thumped the First Amendment, and all of them thumped the lawmakers.

Nobody asked me, as usual. But if they had, I would have said that the movie has been on rerun for years. What we really need to have posted in our public buildings is something less controversial like the Ten Commandments for Elevators.

1. Thou shalt avoid eye contact with thy fellow riders. Thou shalt look at the floor indicator, at the door, or at thy feet, but never at the other people in the elevator.

2. Thou shalt expect the elevator to stop at every floor if thou art in a hurry. (God hath borrowed this law from Murphy.)

3. Thou shalt not snooze or thou wilst miss thy floor.

4. Thou shalt not take in vain the name of the fat lady with the large purse, big lunch and tote bag.

5. Thou shalt not kill the person who getteth on with a mail cart and runneth over thy toe.

6. Remember to letteth the elevator door close and to not holdeth the elevator door open to visit with thy neighbors.

7. Thou shalt always face frontwards instead of towards the back – unless thou art on candid camera.

8. Thou shalt not make jokes about elevators getting stuck.

9. Thou shalt never press a button for a floor other than thy own. Elevators do not haveth an “undo” button.

10. Thou shalt not let thy wet umbrella drip in thy neighbor’s shoe; however, that is better than letting it drip in thine own shoe.

Now if anybody wants to lobby a councilman to introduce this bill, you have my permission. However, I’m really not interested in waiting around for that and if you need me, you can find me outside chiseling some stone tablets.

Copyright 2002 Sheila Moss

 

Posted in Humor, Work Humor | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Of Boys and Red Balloons

balloons

Mylar balloons on ceiling | Jekemp | flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 – 2-12-05

It all started when I walked into Walmart and found that the store had sprouted a forest of helium Mylar balloons overnight. I was an easy mark and quickly joined the hoard of impulse buyers.  Who could resist the shinny dancing globes?

“I must have one,” I thought.  “No, I must have two, one each of my grandchildren.”  I felt rather silly in the checkout line with two balloons floating over my basket, but after all, the balloons were for sale.  How else could you buy one?

I’ve never been able to figure out just how they get the helium in those silvery Mylar balloons. They seal them and fasten them to the string with a plastic clip.  The balloons are then anchored with a plastic disk on the opposite end of the string, making them too heavy to float away if the young owner lets go of the string.

The balloons floated around cheerfully in the car as I drove home.  One was bright metallic red and the other was pink with X’s and O’s decorating it. They were so pretty I was almost sorry I didn’t get one for myself.

My granddaughter is only five months old, and I knew this would be her first balloon.  Babies like looking at bright objects.  I knew she would become excited when she saw it and smile her toothless smile.

“Who are those balloons for?” asked my grandson when I drove up in the driveway, already anticipating my answer.

“One is for you and one is for your baby cousin.”

“Can I have the red one?” He eagerly claimed his prize and I went inside the house. It was hardly any time at all until I heard screams of anguish.  “Oh, no, what’s wrong?” I went to check and found my grandson holding an empty string and looking skyward. The string had come loose from the balloon and it had zoomed away to freedom in the upper stratosphere.  He sobbed helplessly as he watched it go higher and higher.

Promises were made to replace the balloon with another just like it.  After all, it wasn’t his fault that the balloon detached itself from the string. Another trip to Walmart, another balloon purchase, and smiles were restored. Unbelievably, however, the second balloon also failed to survive. It too escaped its string and a second balloon went to eternity before making it inside the house.

“This is getting ridiculous,” said my daughter holding up the two empty strings.  “I’m going to complain.”  She took the empty strings, my grandson, and shortly thereafter came home with yet another balloon. “They replaced it because it was defective,” she said, but the sales person had a hard time not laughing.

Since the balloon was replaced for free, my grandson had decided to upgrade to a Scooby-Doo balloon, slightly larger, and slightly more expensive. Little did I know that balloon buying was going to become a full-time affair.

We finally learned that a balloon string is not to be trusted. Scooby-Doo was held by the balloon instead of the string until he was safely in the house.  Two lost balloons are enough for one day.

For some odd reason my granddaughter’s pink balloon was fine.  It seems that only red balloons are defective.  Maybe it’s something in their genes that make them restless.

If you should see a shiny red balloon floating in the clouds, please wave as it passes by.  It is an escape artist that has renounced its home to wander the world and explore high places.

One day the grandchildren will also break their strings and go off into the world to find a life of their own.  Maybe the loss of a balloon is not such a big thing after all.

However, from now on I think I’ll just stick to buying clothes, books, and teddy bears. Balloons are way too complicated.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Family, Holidays, Humor, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wishes and Kisses

img_1713While most women want something romantic and nice for Valentine’s Day, my expectations are considerably lower. What I would really like is a nice dinner out somewhere, some place that has waiters and dim lights and where you don’t have to drive-thru and yell your order into a speaker.

Apparently, other women have expectations that are more materialistic. On the radio this morning they were advertising a Hunk of Love Vermont Teddy Bear, a steal at $99. If a man gave me a $99 teddy bear, I would think that cupid has shot him between the eyes — and if not, he should.

My honey’s idea of an appropriate gift usually varies greatly, somewhere between a card and jewelry. It’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? Of course, if he happens to think of something with diamonds, that is okay with me. But, please, no pajama-gram. Apparently, most women feel the same way as I’ve heard no ads at all for pajama-grams this year.

Of course, the real purpose of Valentine’s Day is not to buy a stupid gift. It is to express your love and affection. I saw of list of thing on the Internet that do not cost anything. One was to write a romantic message or draw a heart on the bathroom mirror. If he decides to do this, let’s hope it is not with my brand new lipstick.

Other similar things included writing love notes and leaving them where she/he might find them, such as on the steering wheel of the car. Most of the love notes I find on my car are not from my honey, but from the police telling me what parking violation I’ve committed and how much the fine is. I don’t think they are sealed with a kiss either.

One rather interesting idea was to sprinkle Hershey’s chocolate kisses on the bed. Unfortunately, any edible gift left lying around my house might be considered a doggy treat by a certain pet and would most probably be rapidly consumed. I wouldn’t want to spend the evening trying to explain to an emergency vet how the dog happened to be poisoned with chocolate and tinfoil.

I think that chocolate is supposed to be an aphrodisiac. That’s probably the reason for the many heart-shaped boxes with chocolates in them that you see at discount stores and drugstores. Like lingerie and a lot of things, this is a gift for the giver as well as the recipient.

Flowers are always a gift that is hard to beat. If you want red roses on February 14th, better order early or you will be stuck with pink or yellow. I’m not sure why red ones are better or why roses are better than other flowers for that matter. Personally, I would rather have something that lasts a while longer than roses. Buttercups are nice, and free, and blooming in February due to the mild winter. My granddaughter has already gifted me with a bunch, though.

Paper cards are still the gift of choice for almost everyone, even if they come attached to something else. They have been around for a long time and history has it that we exchange more cards at Valentine’s than any other time except Christmas. I remember getting a fancy Valentine card from a kid named Bobby Emerson once in grade school. He was fickle, though, and soon jilted me and my card for another woman.

Remembering this makes me think even more than a good dinner is probably the best thing to hope for. If he jilts you later, nothing left around to remind you, nothing to watch wilt and die, nothing to ruin your best new lipstick, and nothing that will poison the dog.

Short of this, I will be happy with a hug and kiss and a Happy Valentine wish — something that will not clutter the living room and have to be dusted.

Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss
Posted in Holidays, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Cinnamon Raisin Bagel

bagel2Someone was bringing cinnamon raisin bagels to the office and toasting them in the office toaster. Every morning I distinctly smelled the aroma of cinnamon drifting around the corner and into my cubicle. Don’t they know that office workers are always starving to death and the smell of cinnamon is enough to turn us into raving maniacs, ready to attack and tear a bagel to bits?

At first I didn’t mind it too much. I mean anyone deserves to have an occasional bagel with his or her morning coffee. Not a big deal. That was before it continued to happen day after day. Just as surely as I settled into my office and was busy working on whatever the current project happened to be, I smelled the cinnamon bagel. The aroma was so deliciously overwhelming that I could practically float out of my chair and follow the wave of scent with my nose like a cartoon character.

I cannot hold my nose and use a computer. I tried closing my eyes, but it didn’t help. “Who is that evil person with the audacity to toast bagels at the office anyhow?” I thought. “I’m telling ya, there ought to be a law!” I tried to figure out who the culprit might be. But by the time I made it into the break room, the evidence had disappeared and only the scent of cinnamon lingered in the air to tingle my nose even further. I would have to go to the grocery store and find cinnamon raisin bagels to satisfy the craving. I could not stand it any longer.

My friend, a connoisseur of bagels, told me that cinnamon bagels are not “real” bagels at all, and that it is desecration of a bagel to put it in a toaster. Anyone with any bagel sophistication at all knows that “real” bagels must be plain and eaten with cream cheese spread, according to tradition. Blueberry bagels with strawberry cream cheese may pass for bagels, but they are certainly not the genuine things.

Perhaps he was right, but what did I care about the rules for bagel appreciation – especially when that cinnamon scent was drifting across the top of my cubicle, taunting me with its heavenly aroma. Real or not, I had to have a cinnamon raisin bagel, cream cheese was optional.

A trip to the grocery and a dig through the bread racks finally produced the foodstuff I was ravenous for. I could hardly wait to get to the office the next morning and fix my very own cinnamon raisin bagel in the office toaster. I waited for what seemed like hours for the toaster to pop up. When it finally did, I grabbed my bagel, wrapped it in a paper towel and nervously sneaked back into my office like a dog with a juicy new rawhide bone.

Somehow, though, it just wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. Maybe I bought the wrong brand, or maybe I had built my anticipation up too high. I was not exactly certain. Nevertheless, I persisted in faithfully fixing my bagel each morning and hoping the phone would not ring and cause it to get cold before I could eat it.

I still didn’t know who the mystery person was that started the whole thing. Then I saw an empty bagel bag in the trash can one morning. Whoever it was must have run out of bagels. Just my luck! I was hooked and they had kicked the habit! And why were all these people floating into my cubicle and sniffing? Okay, I had a cinnamon raisin bagel. So what! Haven’t they ever smelled cinnamon before? Now I was causing everyone to starve and was scenting the office with cinnamon. They probably thought I was the one that was doing it the entire time.

Sigh! I believed that one day I could kick the habit too, but I only wanted them to quit whiffing my bagel, leave me alone and let me try to enjoy that thing while it was still hot!

Copyright 2002 Sheila Moss
Updated
Posted in Food, Humor, Work Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

I Might Be a Redneck

atticDo you have junk around the house that you want to get rid of? Does the trash man refuse to take it because it is too big to fit in the trashcan?

Since I am probably one of the few in my neighborhood without a pickup truck, I just keep such items and stick them in the garage or attic, figuring when I get enough for a load, I’ll pay someone to haul it away. But I never do. It just sits there accumulating dust until I move to another house or the junk takes over and I am forced to get rid of it.

Sounds like a redneck, huh?

Well, maybe YOU don’t do this, but I have a feeling rednecks are not the only ones. Some people can’t even park the car in their garage any more because it is already full – or they have to buy storage sheds just for junk.

Anyhow, the other day I was out in the garage when I stumbled on a rusty old file cabinet in the corner, far past the point of salvaging. I really needed to get rid of that eyesore. It has just been sitting there taking away valuable storage space. Being a proud redneck, however, I hated to pay somebody $20 to haul it away.

Then I remembered seeing this place over on the other side town with a fence around it and big containers. It had a sign on it that said “Community Disposal Center.” Maybe I could give it a try. I decided to check it out first, so I went for a short drive.

I’m telling you, this was a fantastic place! They had huge containers for discarded household items. They had bins for items that can be recycled if you are environmentally inclined, and finally they had compactors for people determined to be their own garbage man.

Has my life become so monotonous that a trash dump excites me, I wondered? I overheard one of the attendants say that county government provides it to help prevent illegal dumping. Guess it probably helps keep stuff off of porches and out of front yards too. Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but it is pretty hard to find a convenient dump, especially in an urban area.

With the help of my less-than-excited partner, I loaded that file cabinet in his SUV and took it off to the Community Disposal Center. I was absolutely thrilled! Now I could trim those overgrown trees with a bit of help from my partner again. I’d been putting it off because of the problem of disposing of the limbs. No more problems! A day of pruning, a couple of trips to the Disposal Center and the limbs were taken care of.

Then I remembered that old wheelbarrow I wanted to get rid off, the one with the wheel that keeps falling off and the concrete that dried up in it. That was another trip. I am getting to be their best customer.

I’m having so much fun hauling away junk, there soon won’t be much left at home. Old mattresses, old furniture, old appliances, tree limbs – you name it – they have it. Can you believe I actually saw one guy over there dumping an old couch? Guess he didn’t have room on the front porch for it.

It’s pretty sad when getting rid of junk becomes a major life experience. I never would have believed that it would come to this. But now I can actually think about cleaning the attic again. There must be all sorts of junk up there I could throw out. This could provide me with the incentive I need to get rid of years of accumulation. Yes, I have reached a new low. It takes so little to amuse me these days.

Don’t you wish that you could find a place to get rid of your junk? And, no, don’t even think about bringing all to me. I have enough of my own, thanks – unless, of course, it is a rusty car with a good transmission. I’m sure I could find a spot for that someplace. I wouldn’t want to get my redneck membership card revoked!

Copyright 2002 Sheila Moss
Posted in Environment, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Super Bowl Survival Guide

superbowl

Here it is that weekend again, football’s “last hurrah” for the season.  The whole county will be glued to the boob tube and you hate football.  Face it, if they like football, and probably even if they don’t, they are going to watch the Super Bowl.  No use trying to stop ’em or they will resent you until next football season.

If you can get away with it and don’t mind being out of “the know” completely, it is a great time to shop.  The malls are nearly empty during the Super Bowl because everyone is home watching the game.  But, if you spent all your money at Christmas and need to stay out of malls for a while, then you are probably stuck with the BIG GAME.

Prepare ahead of time. The leftover snack crackers from New Year’s eve are probably on sale at the local discount mart. Pick up a box or two. Also, don’t forget some diet soda for yourself. He will probably remember his own beer, but you might want to pick up some lite beer before he gets a chance to buy the regular, fattening kind.

Don’t count on ordering a pizza during the game. Pizza places are very busy during the Super Bowl and it will take forever to get your order. A pot of chili is an excellent idea and goes with the crackers. You can make it early and have it ready before game time. No point fixing a big meal to be gobbled down or ignored.

Super Bowl parties are a lot of fun. If you owe invitations from the holidays, it is a quick and easy way to pay back. Sit up TVs in various rooms of the house and ask everyone to bring a snack.  You can talk and visit and the guys can do what they do best – i.e. watch sports.

If, however, you are stuck watching the game, here are a few helpful hints.  If you can stand to watch the pre-game show, you will understand a little bit about what is going on.  After the kickoff, you can read a book, do needlework, surf the net, or whatever other solitary activity you enjoy. Do not, however, miss the commercials.

The commercials are the most important part of the Super Bowl.  Companies introduce their newest and best and put mega bucks into marketing for the Super Bowl.  Everyone will be talking about such-and-such commercial and you will be out of the conversation if you didn’t see it.

Secondly and equally important: Watch the last 5 minutes of the game!  That will be all anyone talks about anyhow. As long as you have seen the last few minutes, you can be a savvy participant in any post-game discussions. In the event the game goes into overtime, you will, unfortunately, have to watch that too. Any spectacular plays will be re-run a dozen times immediately following the game, so don’t worry about missing something important.

Now, these are football widow survival secrets that I’ve known about for years.  Actually, the “watch the last 5 minutes rule” works for most any sport, but is especially useful at Super Bowl time.

So…Go team!  Rah, rah and all that kinda stuff!  Just remember that the best part is that football season is nearly over, and you will soon have back your significant other – at least until pre-season for next year.

©1999 Sheila Moss
Posted in Entertainment, Humor, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Misery Loves Company

woman with a cold or allergy

I had a sore throat. I tried to deny it at first and hoped it would just go away. It didn’t. I tried to doctor it myself with menthol cough drops and salt-water gargle. Finally, I had to admit that it was too serious for cough drops and I needed to go to the doctor for real medicine.

I don’t know why I seem to be writing every year about colds and sore throats. It seems to be my destiny to get a good one about the time the seasons change. I hoped this was my official cold of the season. I really hate being sick.

Martyr that I am, I went into work anyhow. Can’t let a little thing like a sore throat get me down, can I?

My daughter called later. “Can I speak to Sheila?”

“It’s me,” I squeaked.

“Oh, I didn’t recognize you – you sound terrible!”

Good grief, my own daughter didn’t recognize my voice. It must be worse than I thought.

“You need to go home and get some rest,” everyone told me. I knew what they were really thinking: “You need to go home before you give that crud to us.”

Wonder where I got it in the first place? I didn’t remember anything viral going around. Guess I was the first victim of the season. My co-workers probably all thought I was loafing or slacking off. Later this year when they get the bug, however, they will understand.

Right after work, I went to the local convenience clinic to see the doc. He looked at my ears, and throat, and listened to my chest. I was a little worried when he asked if he could pray for me. However, there was no fever, so he didn’t think I had strep throat, just a regular run of the mill upper respiratory and sinus infection. He wrote me a prescription for his favorite drug, guaranteed to zap any germ on the first try.

How long does it take these antibiotics to start working anyhow? My voice was getting raspier and raspier. I sounded like a frog that’s been smoking cigars and my nose was red from blowing it so much. I had a mucus factory in my head.

I went home and tried to take everyone’s well-meaning advice to get some rest. There is only one good thing about illness. It is the perfect excuse to conserve energy and not do anything much. Obviously, I couldn’t clean house because it might make me feel worse. Forget yard work, much too strenuous. I was forced to lay around and watch television. “Where’s the remote control?”

Why is it that when you want to rest the telephone won’t quit ringing? After the sixth call, I gave up trying to rest. “Hello”, I managed to get out. I could hear a hesitance on the other end. My voice was so deep they were not sure to whom they were talking.

So, I was living from pill time to pill time thinking surely sooner or later this medicine would start working.

The next day I decide to go to work in spite of feeling like yesterday’s Kleenex. I had already taken off one day that week. I would just keep spreading my germs around. Maybe if I had held my breath on the elevator and stayed in my cubical with my box of tissue nearby, it would have helped.

My co-workers avoided me. Chickens! Were they worried about a little cold? I was starting to hear sneezes from other cubicles already. They needed to take vitamins like I did. They can’t expect me to take off every time I sneeze.

Besides, don’t they know that misery loves company?

Copyright 2000 Sheila Moss
Posted in Health, Humor, Work Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Registration Renewal

paperwork

Just in case you wonder, I’m writing from the insane asylum.  I had my auto emissions test today. Here in pollution paradise, we must have our autos tested yearly before we can renew our automobile registration. Every year I get in a dither over renewing my vehicle registration. It isn’t the emissions testing — I can deal with that. The problem I have is that I can’t figure out how much money I owe to renew my license plate.

I do not, for the life of me, understand why such a seemingly simple thing must be so complicated. We receive two pieces of paper in the mail. Mine, for example, says $49 on the white auto registration sheet, plus $2 to renew by mail. Don’t try sending $51 or you will be laughed out of the vehicle registration office. Send the amount on the other sheet, which includes wheel taxes. Now this second sheet gives eight total amounts, and it is up to me to decide which is correct according to the county I live in.

I’m not sure why they give the amounts for counties other than my own because all it does is make me mad since my county has the highest wheel taxes. But, it would be worth paying the taxes if I could just get the deed done. The problem is I have an ego car with a specialized plate, so the amounts on the second sheet are not correct either.

My method to renew by mail is to send the wrong amount, wait for it to be returned with the correct amount figured and re-send it. Drastic, for sure, but it works!

Last year I decided to beat the system and call the motor vehicle office. I had tried it before and it didn’t work – but I figured I’d try it again. So, I called. “Take the amount it says you owe on the second sheet, and instead of the regular renewal amount, substitute the amount from the first sheet and add the mail renewal fee,” said the clerk.

Simple, huh? I don’t understand why there is room for fees for four counties, three of which I don’t give a whit about, but no room for instructions. I finally got my license plate — even though I sent the WRONG amount. Seems the clerk failed to mention that I should add an extra dollar because I needed a plate, not a sticker. Now I would be perfectly happy with a sticker, but for some incomprehensible reason I needed a plate. Neither paper explained why. Some unintelligible law, I’m sure.

This is absolutely ridiculous! I have a college degree and I can’t figure out how to renew my car tag? Why can’t we just be billed for the correct amount? Or, if that is expecting too much, why not at least have cohesive instructions explaining how to figure what you owe so the average person can understand it without a CPA?

Last year I became so irritated that I wrote my State Congress Person a letter about it. She never replied. Probably she was too busy trying to renew her own motor vehicle registration. Anyhow, I think I’ve finally got this thing figured out after years of trying. I’m sending in what I believe to be the correct amount. I’ll let you know what happens.

I understand a registration can now actually be renewed online. Now that’s an idea worth considering. Next time my auto registration is ready to expire, I think I may try it. If you see me walking or hitchhiking instead of driving, you’ll know that’s an idea that didn’t work either.

Copyright 2002-2017 Sheila Moss
Updated
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