What to Do with a Brass Moose

In California thieves stole 18 lawn statues including a 600 pound brass moose the Associated Press reported. People in California must be pretty strange. I don’t know anybody in my neighborhood with a lawn statue, much less a 600 pound brass moose. In Tennessee my redneck neighbors would probably use it for target practice.

The paper said that the work of art would likely be melted down and sold for scrap metal. It seems that there must be more creative ways to use a 600 pound moose than that. Selling it for scrap metal hardly seems worth the trouble.

I have been trying to think of some alternatives to help save a work of art:

Put it beside the front door of your home and use it for a coat tree or hat rack. Of course, you would need plenty of room for a bass moose that big. If you are a redneck, you could put it on the front porch beside the couch and old washing machine.

Around here people are always looking for something to hold their mailboxes that can’t be knocked down by mailbox bashers or backed over by the neighbors across the street. The moose would look great beside the driveway holding your mailbox. You could plant climbing ivy on it and let it wind around the antlers. Or, if you are in a big hurry, you could use kudzu, the vine that ate the South.

In the back yard you might use it for a bird perch or let the bird use the antlers to build nests. You could even use it to hang your Rock City birdhouse. Conversely, you could put it in the garden and use it as a scare-crow moose. Be aware, though, it might make a handy pit stop for pets in the absence of fire hydrants.

Of course, it would be a great addition to a children’s playground. Children would love having a brass moose to ride while playing pretend cowboy. You could even put rockers on it and make a rocking moose.

At Christmas, you could string mini lights around it and put it on the lawn for a decoration instead of using reindeer.

Assuming you could get it through the door and have several friends with strong backs to help move it, there are many uses for a brass moose inside the house, and I don’t mean as a conversation piece either, although it would definitely be that.

It could be used to hang umbrellas in an entrance hall or as a coffee mug rack or pot rack in the kitchen. You could hang towels on it in the bathroom if, like me, you never seem to have enough empty towel racks. In the bedroom you could use it for hanging neckties, organizing belts, or to hold those extra blankets that you don’t know what to do with.

You could cut a hole in the wall and stick the head through to make a trophy wall piece that would really impress the guys from the lodge. You would not need to shoot it since it is already petrified. The guys would never know that you do not have a freezer full of moose meat.

In addition to melting statues and selling them for scrap metal, thieves sometimes resell the statues they steal. Do they put it on Craiglist? Who buys a brass moose? A lodge, a western wear store, a saddle shop? A barbecue restaurant? I suppose it would be great to advertise a sale on Moose Tracks ice cream or Moose Munch popcorn snacks.

Actually, there is only one really good thing I can think of to do with a 600 pound brass moose. That is to put it out on the front lawn and hope that someone will steal it.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Home, Humor, Southern Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Explaining Extra Bucks

It seems the older I become, the fewer exciting things there are to write about and the more doctor visits I have to go to. Pitiful when the most exciting thing in your life is the doctor you last went to see.

As those of you who read my column on a regular basis know, I have seasonal allergies and the congestion and sneezing that go with it. It’s not something that people die of, only something that can make you so miserable you wish you were dead.

I received one of those periodic reminders from the doctor that said it was time for my annual check-up. Nothing had changed. I was no better or worse. But doctors have to make a living too, I suppose, so I called for my appointment.

When I arrived, the office was nearly empty. Who wants to go to the doctor when there are so many other things to do and so much traffic to fight doing them? But, at least he wouldn’t be in a hurry, I thought.

He was especially spiffy for a doctor, sporting a large bowtie along with the usual white jacket. He was rather proud of his tie, telling me his wife had invested in several new ties for him. Apparently, it doesn’t take much to make a boring doctor happy. He is somewhat of a nerd, but there are not that many allergy specialists around and he came highly recommended. I suppose you wouldn’t want a jock for a doctor anyhow.

He asked the usual questions and said that I had the usual symptoms, which I already knew about before I paid him to tell me.

Since my last visit, a popular allergy medicine had gone “over-the-counter.” I hate it when things go over-the-counter as that means insurance will no longer pay and the price of the medicine is usually more than the co-pay was.

“Are you doing okay with buying your med over the counter?” the doctor asked. Some patients have difficulty affording high-priced meds and end up not taking them.

I was forced to tell the doctor about the way I procure it for nearly nothing with extra bucks. My pharmacy has an incentive whereby they refund a small percentage of the amount you spend. They call this refund “extra bucks.” How do you explain extra bucks to a doctor? “You have to play their games,” I said, or you end up losing money.

Periodically, I get $10 or whatever in extra bucks, which I can spend in the drugstore, but not for prescriptions, a sneaky way to get you started shopping. As soon as I find out I have extra bucks, I run to the counter and spend all the extra bucks on allergy medicine.

The last time I had extra bucks, it was buy two-get-one-free, so I stocked up. I was pretty well set with a 90 day supply for the price of one bottle. How humiliating to let the doctor know you are so cheap you even squeeze extra bucks.

He laughed, but thought it was just fine and even told me the name of a few other places that patients said they could get the medicine cheap. I’m on my third bottle now, so they better give me some extra bucks soon, or I will be forced to abandon CVS and go to one of the cheaper places. I suppose I could afford to pay the higher prices, but “why” when there are generics and extra bucks?

I wonder if doctors pay more or if they spend extra bucks too?

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

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

Wasting Time on Facebook

I got sidetracked this morning and didn’t get anything done. I’m always getting sidetracked. It’s Facebook. What is it that makes it so addictive? It is not as if I need any more distractions. There are plenty of them already to keep me on the computer wasting time.

Everybody belongs to Facebook. Is there anyone anywhere that does not belong to Facebook? And they all want to be your friends. “They like me,” your brain says. So, of course, you click “accept” and continue to waste time.

And then it begins, check-ins from people that you hardly know. “I’m at the dentist.” Do people really think I care about their dental problems? But there are enough funny and thoughtful posts to keep me reading, enough interesting and intelligent posts to make me think and forget about how much time I’m wasting.

So, I keep coming back to waste time, even though I’ve not figured out all the features.

In the Facebook world most of the news is good, or at least expresses a point of view that the writer believes in strongly. If you agree, you can “like” their comment. Affirmation they called it in psychology. Or, you can comment on a post — instant feedback — another good way to waste time.

I don’t like one or two word comments. When I see those, I have to wonder why they didn’t just “like” it and move on. People don’t usually make negative comments, and if they do, you can “unlike” them and not see their comments ever again. That’s what they get for wasting your time.

There is one thing that I’ve never been quite sure of. If you unfriend someone, do they know? Do they get an email saying so-and-so has unfriended you? If I have to unfriend someone, I would rather just slip away quietly into cyberspace. I’ve only had to unfriend a few people, so I still have plenty of friends to waste time with.

And then there are pictures. They make your posts more interesting, and you can send them to Facebook right from your cell phone. Or you can post them on your newsfeed where your messages are. I’m not a big picture-posting person. Thinking that everyone wants to see pictures of your grandkids is sort of in the same category as thinking everyone wants to know you are at the dentist.

Probably the most popular feature on Facebook is the link-sharing feature. If you see something online that you like, you can copy the URL and post it as a link on Facebook. It not only posts the link, but it pulls in the headline, a picture, and a lead-in to the story. Many sites have a Facebook icon on them to expedite the process of wasting time.

As you are probably beginning to figure out, people on Facebook often have an agenda. They have a commercial product to push, or, as in the case of celebrities, just want to push themselves. They have marketing managers or publicists that post for them and thousands of “friends.” I’m not really sure if that is better or worse than wasting time posting pictures of your dog, or checking in from WalMart.

That explains most of what I know about Facebook. There is much more that I’m still trying to figure out. All and all, I’d say it’s probably the biggest waste of time there is on the internet, at least until someone figures out a better way to waste time that is more fun.

Gotta go now and see if anyone has posted on my feed. Send me a friend request and I’ll see you on Facebook.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Entertainment, Humor, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Pill Popper

Today I’m going to venture into the world of medicine. Only young people take one round of medicine and are cured. When you become older, it doesn’t work that way any more.

The other day my doctor actually told me I could quit taking a pill he had prescribed. Quit? There must be something wrong with me. Any time you start taking a pill, you are supposed to continue taking it forever. If the prescription runs out, the pharmacy calls for a new one.

“We’ve found out that after 10 years, you no longer need to take this medicine,” said the doctor. “It helps your bones, but the bone created is not normal bone.”

Not normal bone? Now they tell me — after 10 years. I’ll probably be sprouting horns or getting a hump on my back any day now.

After a certain age, everyone becomes a pill popper. Sooner or later there are medications lined up in the medicine cabinet waiting to be consumed. I have pills of all colors. Pink ones for allergy, yellow ones for arthritis, green ones for depression, red ones for sinus, and boring white ones for everything else. I only need a purple pill to complete my rainbow.

I have a different pill for every symptom and every ache. Actually, it’s good that they come in different colors because I can tell which pill I am taking without bifocals. The generic pills all seem to be white, however. Maybe dye is too expensive or maybe it is only added to make the pill seem worth the money being charged for it.

I seldom leave a clinic without a new prescription in my hand. Doctors are not happy if you have something that can’t be cured, or at least helped, by a pill. The prescription pad practically jumps out of their pocket the minute you describe a symptom. Of course, patients expect to have a pill prescribed whether they need it or not.

Doctors don’t really do the doctoring any more, insurance companies do. They tell the doctor what can be prescribed for a certain illness, preferably in a generic form. You can get the higher priced, name-brand med, but you pay for it yourself or pay a higher co-pay, at best.

My doctor suggested I try a different arthritis pain that was cheaper. “The drug companies like for you to at least try something less expensive,” he said. So, I did. It was not any good. It seems that whatever is bad for you and expensive is what’s good for pain.

When you can get a pill for your pain in generic form, everybody is happy. The doctor gets to prescribe, the patient gets treated and the insurance company gets out cheap.

What really upsets the medicine wagon, however, is when a former prescription drug goes “over the counter.” Insurance companies no longer pay for it, doctors no longer prescribe it, and pills that used to cost a $5 co-pay with insurance now cost $20 over the counter.

Who wins? Not the insurance company as you might expect, but the drug companies. Although they can no longer charge a hundred dollars per prescription, the demand becomes so great that they can scarcely make pills and profits fast enough.

Doctors love sleeping problems. It’s an easy fix. Most of the stuff on the market has a side effect of drowsiness if you read the fine print. We don’t really need a pill that makes green butterflies fly through our bedroom when half the stuff in medicine cabinet causes sleep. Staying awake long enough to take the pills is the trick.

When a drug commercial is on TV, it discloses all the side effects of a drug. The challenge is deciding which is worse, the risk of taking the pill or the risk of going without it. Usually, by the time the commercial is done telling you about the risk of heart attack, depression, loss of appetite, hair loss, high blood pressure and suicide, you decide that the illness is better than the cure.

No wonder I can’t sleep.

The hardest part of all is not having too many pills or even paying for the drugs. The hardest part is remembering to take the stupid pills.

Of course, there is probably a pill for that as well.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Too Much of a Good Thing

I have this thing for popcorn — popcorn with salt. My popcorn passion comes from childhood. We popped it on the stove in those days, and I knew how much oil and how much corn to add to get it to come out just right every time. You had to shake the pot periodically to get the kernels to the bottom of the pot where they would be hot enough to pop. If you put in too much popcorn, the lid would pop off the pot, so you didn’t want to do that. 

They have ruined popcorn now by making different flavors. Cheese popcorn turns your hands yellow. Carmel corn is covered with candy. You can’t even taste the popcorn anymore for all the extra stuff. When something is already perfect, they should just leave it alone.

Nowadays we don’t use a pot to pop corn. We don’t even use the electric poppers that were prevalent for a while, but are now found mostly at garage sales. In the modern world, we have microwave popcorn. Like everything else these days, popcorn went instant. As always, they tend to have too many varieties: butter, lite butter, plain, salty, movie theater, kettle corn, cheese corn, caramel corn, even Cajun corn. What’s next? Dill pickle corn?

My daughter bought me a giant bag of pre-popped corn. It was so big she could hardly carry it. “I couldn’t resist buying it for you.” she said. I appreciated the gesture, but this is the biggest bag of popcorn I’ve ever seen. The more I eat, the more there seems to be. I know that corn is still growing — in a cornfield or not. 

The bag was so large that I had nowhere to put it away. There wasn’t a cabinet in the house big enough to hold it. The popcorn ended up following me from room to room, like a pet or a mascot. I didn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t put it in the garage as it might draw mice. I couldn’t put in the bathroom because that’s gross, and besides there wasn’t room. I was getting really tired of dragging that huge bag of popcorn around from room to room.

Finally, I decided to leave it near my computer so I could munch while I worked. It was getting a little stale by now and there seemed to be more of it than when I started. It watched me, waiting for me to notice that it had not been eaten yet. I felt guilty for ignoring it — but you can only eat so much popcorn. I wondered what happened to those big decorative cans we had at Christmas? 

I hate to waste so much popcorn, loving it the way I do. But what else can I do? It seems bigger every day. Maybe I could put it in the bird feeder for the birds — or string it for the Christmas tree, or make popcorn balls for Halloween, or take it to the park and feed the ducks, or take it to the movies and forget it when I leave. 

If you have any suggestions for old popcorn, please let me know — quickly. Meanwhile, if you happen to read in the paper that the roof popped off a house like the lid on a pot of popcorn, you will know it was mine.   

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Food, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Solar Flares

The other day my phone stopped working. “Solar flares could have caused a computer glitch,” the phone company told me. “We’ve had hundreds of people with this problem.”

Solar flares? I Googled it and sure enough a solar flare had occurred. The sun has been in an inactive period of sleep, according to the article I found. It is becoming more active now and we can expect more interruptions to technology as it awakens.

We now have something to blame for everything that goes wrong, something that we can’t do anything about.

Years ago, a large solar flare caused all sorts of chaos, even burning up a telegraph. Now, however, we have a whole lot more gadgets to worry about than we did back in the 1800’s.

We’ve been having problems with our TV satellite at my house. As it turns out, it’s a bad cable and some incorrect connections in the wiring. But we could easily say a solar flare was to blame.

We couldn’t get the laptop and iPad to connect to the internet, Two hours on the phone with technical support fixed the problem. We still are not sure what caused it in the first place other than messing with the Wi-Fi connection while moving furniture — or perhaps a solar flare.

Come to think of it, we’ve had a lot of odd problems lately. For example, the refrigerator went on the blink and started making a noise. The repairman said the fan went bad. But we know what really caused it, don’t we?

And the hard drive on my computer crashed a few weeks ago too. Remember what happened to the telegraph? Maybe it was a hardware failure like the computer guy said, or maybe it was caused by a solar flare.

Do you suppose a solar flare zapped the timer on my coffee pot and made it run over the other morning? That was quite a mess. I thought coffee pots had an automatic shut off feature when you forget to put the pot under the drip. I would like to think that something caused it other than my inattentiveness.

Come to think of it, nearly everything is run by a computer these days and computers are very susceptible to glitches caused by solar flares.

Window won’t roll down on the car? Burned out mechanical part or solar flare?

Remote control quit working and a new battery won’t fix it? It’s not due to age and worn out parts. Blame it on a solar flare.

Can’t get into the bank account online? Routine maintenance, my eye! They were struck by a solar flare and didn’t want to admit their system was compromised.

Email not working right? I thought I simply needed to upgrade to a newer version. Now I’m beginning to wonder if the upgrade has anything to do with something else, like a you-know-what.

No telling what could happen: traffic lights failing, planes crashing, elevators getting stuck, air conditioners quitting when its a hundred degrees outside, dishwashers stopping in mid-cycle, and, worst of all, the remote control for the television set could quit working.

Unfortunately, as I said before, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot any one can do about it except worry, and why worry about something we can’t do anything about?

Besides, I just saw in the news that a comet will be passing the earth and showering us with meteorites. Meteorites will probably do us in before the solar flares have a chance.

I only hope the meteorites don’t crash through the roof. It is already leaking from the spring storms and crazy weather caused by what-I’m-tired-of-talking-about.

I’m really happy that scientists found solar flares to blame for all of my problems. It is getting where the “computer malfunction” excuse is so overused that no one believes that one anymore.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Environment, Humor, Technology, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Be Careful What You Ask For

Wood is hard and unforgiving. I’ve already dropped a glass and had it shatter everywhere. Of course, you can’t expect to drop a glass and not have it break, but with the new floor, it smashes into smithereens. And I better be careful cleaning it up or I might scratch the new floor.

The coldness feels good now since it is summer. Maybe the insulation under the wood will help this winter. If not I will need to get in the habit of wearing house shoes. I guess I’ll get used to it after a while. I had just grown lazy and comfortable with the dirty old carpet.

Now with new floors, I feel obligated to keep things nice and clean. Which reminds me, I haven’t dust mopped today. Where’s that wood cleaner spray? I think I see a smudge over there in front of the door.

Be careful what you ask for … you might get it … and then you have to keep it clean.

The first week was spent looking at the floor and admiring it. Gone is the dirty carpet — gone to used carpet heaven, or wherever it is that worn-out carpeting goes when it dies. Gone is the dust that accumulated over the years in spite of all attempts to vacuum and steam clean it away. Gone are the musty smells and spots from years of spills and accidents.

Free at last, I thought. Free from dirty rugs. No more being held hostage by the dust mites that time has forgotten. It’s true, but there are some differences between carpets and hardwood, differences I had not anticipated.

The noise is difference number one. We installed an insulation blanket under the hardwood to help with the noise. Thank goodness. I can only imagine if we had not. We still have an echo.

The carpet muffled sound. Now every thing seems so loud. I can hear someone talking in another room. The television blasts as sound bounces from wall to wall. The cat’s meow is like the roar of a lion and I can hear bumps on the floor when someone walks. The house is like a small gymnasium or bowling alley.

And there is dust. I don’t know where dust comes from. Granted, there is less than before. But whatever dust there is has nowhere to go. It cannot sink into the nap of the rug and hide. It settles on the floor and stays there until you sweep or dust mop.

I never imagined that the floor was so dirty, but now I cannot deny it. The evidence is right there on the dust mop, along with crumbles and tiny pieces of who-knows-what that have to be swept into a dust pan. What is that stuff anyhow? No wonder the rug was dirty.

And then there are foozles, little balls of dust or cat hair that blow across the floor like tiny tumble weeds. Some of them are captured with my dust mop frenzies. Others are pulled to the furnace vent. The other day I removed half a cat from the furnace grid, minus claws and eyes.

Like noise, light seems to reflect more. There are glares on the floor and glares on the TV screen that never existed before. I have to keep the curtains closed or wear sunglasses. A clean floor reflecting like a mirror makes everything else look old and dirty. I wore out two Magic Erasers cleaning the walls and baseboards. I hadn’t even noticed they needed it before.

While we don’t need ice skates to navigate the hall, the slickness still seems to bother the pets. The cat’s back end may skid while making a fast turn and the dog can no longer jump around as his back legs spin and he can get traction. That might not be such a bad thing, but he seems so sad, like an old dog with arthritis.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Home, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Delicious Rewards?

My lunch bag finally came, the one I was saving frozen diet-dinner boxes for all that time. It is really cute and I like it, even if I did have to save boxes for a hundred years to get it.

But now that I have it, I can’t stop saving boxes. The first promotion apparently went so well that the company decided to have another one. “Save your boxes for delicious rewards!” So I kept on saving — one a day — occasionally two — box after box.

Fortunately, I like their frozen dinners and they are the kind I buy anyhow. So the delicious rewards are free – in a manner of speaking. I eat them for lunch instead of eating a cold baloney sandwich or eating out.

There was a gap between the two promotions, but I faithfully saved my boxes the entire time and had quite a backlog by the time it started up again.

On the first week of the new promotion, the website was jammed. I suppose everyone else had a backlog of boxes too. Finally, I was able to get in and enter the codes for my delicious culinary related rewards.

For the new promotion, however, the rewards are not nearly as delicious as the lunch bag. I don’t know what I expected. The featured delicious reward is a set of bird-shaped salt and pepper shakers. Salt shakers? Don’t people eating low-fat dinners usually want low sodium too?

Other rewards are such things as aprons, napkin rings, a wine rack and a travel wine-opener kit. Why would someone who is buying diet dinners want prizes related to high-calorie beverages like wine?

Okay, the stuff is free, you say. Why complain? As grandpa used to say, “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.” I don’t know what that means, but I think it has something to do with not complaining about something free.

“Houston, we have a problem.” I don’t want this junk. Not even for free.

Who wears an apron these days to fix a frozen dinner? I’ve not seen anyone in an apron since Ozzie and Harriett went off the air. And she probably never heard of frozen diet-dinners. And who uses napkin rings or cloth napkins when serving frozen instant dinners? Even Harriett wouldn’t do that!

I was thinking of things like insulated trays to hold hot frozen dinners, oven mitts, place mats, beverage containers, TV trays, a low-cal cookbook, almost anything remotely related to dieting.

The shopping bag they offered for frozen food made more sense than anything and it was covered with advertising. I sort of doubt that I would drag an insulated bag to the grocery store anyhow.

Guess it goes to show you can’t get something for nothing. I’ll probably keep saving my boxes since I seem to be addicted. I will soon have enough points for half a dozen sets of salt shakers or napkin rings.

For the nicer prizes like a wine cooler, they want you to use your points to buy a chance to win it. First they giveth and then they taketh away. Who is in charge of these promotions anyhow?

A really amusing prize is one of their own diet dinners. I guess they figure that is at least one thing you will like. Somehow it makes me suspect they knew the rest of the stuff was pretty lame.

There must be something you can do with salt shakers or napkin rings besides the purpose for which they are intended. I just need to think creatively here. Any ideas?

And please don’t suggest I quit saving boxes. I’ve already thought of that one.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

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

Marge’s Valentine

One day she didn’t show up for work, which wasn’t like Marge. Upon checking, they found that Marge had passed away quietly at home, sitting in a chair, alone except for her pets. Marge was a somewhat unusual person. Single for her entire life, she lived alone in a small apartment. Her parents were deceased and she had no relatives — no human relatives, at least. Marge’s family was her dog, Valentine. While other people had pictures of their family on their desk, Marge had a picture of Valentine.

Marge was an animal lover and an activist for animal rights. She was passionate about animals, and I’ve seen her fire off more than one angry letter or phone call when she thought animals were not being treated appropriately. She must have also been involved in demonstrations as she once told me about being at one when the circus came to town.

Marge decided that the church she attended should hold a service for the Blessing of the Animals. She approached her pastor, but he was not in favor of the special service. Marge was extremely upset and took her cause to the bishop. Finally, she created enough support, or enough aggravation, that the church agreed to hold the Blessing of the Animals.

Marge didn’t want the service to be outside in the parking lot, which is where most churches hold such a service — if they have it. She wanted it inside the church in the sanctuary. When Marge had a cause, there was no stopping her. She volunteered to clean up the church if there were any accidents and again she got her way. The service was a big hit and many people came with pets, mostly dogs and cats with a few hamsters and even one snake in a cage. Marge took her dog, Valentine.

As it turned out, it was the last blessing that Valentine would ever receive. Not long after the service was held, Marge called work to say that she wouldn’t be in that day. Valentine had passed away. Valentine was cremated and his ashes scattered along the path where she had walked him.

Marge decided that she wanted to hold a memorial service for Valentine — in church, of course. By then people had learned not to argue with Marge when it came to animals, so the service was set and everyone she knew or who knew of her was invited. The place was full. After all, how many times do people get to go to a funeral for a dog in the church?

Marge was broken-hearted without Valentine. We were all glad when another dog eventually adopted her. He didn’t take Valentine’s place, but he did fill an empty spot in her life. She finally seemed to stop grieving and was so excited that she brought the new dog to work so everyone could meet him.

Not long after the new dog, I changed jobs. I sort of lost track of Marge when I didn’t see her every day. We met a time or two for lunch, but eventually went our own ways and forgot to keep in touch. I heard about her death from a friend who also knew Marge from another time. She told me about running into Marge one day by accident and Marge had told her about her new tattoo. The Marge I knew was not the tattoo type. The wildest thing I could remember her doing was going to tapings for American Country Idol.

Even though I hadn’t kept in touch, Marge is the sort of person that you don’t forget. I always think of Marge when someone mentions animal rights. I heard that Marge’s funeral was so packed that there was no place to park.

Marge’s tattoo was on the left side of her chest, close to her heart. The tattoo was a picture of Valentine. I am sure Marge and Valentine went over the rainbow bridge together.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Posted in Creatures, Friends, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pet Play

We have four pets, five if you count the fish. While I am away at work, the animals conspire with each other to think of ways to make me crazy. 

“I’ll chew the legs on the table,” says the dog to the cat. “You can start clawing the sofa.  If it wasn’t for us, these humans would never get any new furniture.” 

“I have a great idea,” says the cat. “Let’s get in the kitty litter box and throw litter. Then we can walk through it and track litter all over the house. Don’t you just love the way it sticks to the bathroom floor?” 

“I can’t imagine why you silly cats use a nasty old box of litter,” the dog comments. “Look at the nice clean carpeting. We really need to put our scent on it so everyone will know it belongs to us.” 

And so it goes. I’ve never actually heard these conversations, but I know they happen because of what the house looks like when I get home. In case you were wondering, none of the pets are actually mine. They belong to other family members. I like pets, but I like well-behaved pets better. 

The goldfish can’t chew or claw, so it uses passive aggression to drive humans mad. It swims to the top of the goldfish bowl, acting starved and holding its throat until it receives fish food. Then it refuses to eat and food settles on the bottom, eventually clouding the water so the bowl has to be cleaned. 

I tried to speak to the fish about this behavior, but it simply gave me the fisheye and swam away. “These crazy humans believe that I’m not smart enough to think of ways to get my water changed,” says the fish with a flip of its tail. 

“I”m bored says the dog. I believe I’ll slosh some water out of my water dish and walk through it. Look at all the neat pawprints I can make on the kitchen floor. This floor probably has more prints than the FBI data base.” 

“Why make pawprints on the floor,” says the cat, “When you can make them on the kitchen table. And from the table you can look out the window and watch birds.” Cats are notorious bird watchers, you know, and card-carrying members of the Audubon Society. 

What do dogs watch? Other dogs. The dog gets behind the curtains and sits for hours waiting for his canine friend to go for a walk so he can bark and scratch the paint off the window sill. “Can you come inside for a play date later, baby?”   

Meanwhile, the cats decide to take a nap. Cats always want to nap, but not on the floor. With all this nice soft furniture to use for cat beds in the living room, who could resist? 

The dog in the meantime has tried to chew into the box of dog treats, but can’t get inside. He finds a favorite toy instead and begins chewing the stuffing out. If he gets tired, he can always nap in the bed where the humans sleep. 

The cats tire of napping and scratching the furniture and decide to climb on bookcases and the mantel and see if they can push anything off on the floor. “Oh, don’t break that vase, says one cat. Break this one instead. It is our human’s favorite. Be careful not to cut your paw on the broken glass.” 

The cat can jump and touch the doorknob. “I could open this door if I only had a thumb,” it mumbles.” Then we could all escape and play outside for the rest of the day. Who knows, we might find a better trash can to turn over, one with more chicken bones and fewer coffee grounds.” 

“Wait,” says the dog.” I hear a car in the driveway.” He tears the blinds off the window to see and runs to the door to jump on the humans with love, affection and cuteness. 

“Boy, are they going to be happy to see us.”

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

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