Let’s Just Walk

football

We walked, and walked and walked. It’s seemed as if we had been walking for years. Why, oh why, did I ever think this was a good idea? I definitely would not have agreed to come to this game if I had known about THE WALK, which is about a mile for the average fan, about fifty for old women with bad knees.

I thought we were getting here early to find a good parking spot, over two hours before the game. We did find a parking place, how close is a matter of opinion. It was too late to change my mind, so I agreed that we could just walk to the stadium, hoping I could make it, and plotting the murder of my son who gave us the pre-season tickets.

Fast walkers zipped past as I did my best to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Why is everyone in such a hurry? I wondered. It’s two hours until game time. “Slow down! You’ll live longer.” They ignored me, of course, and continue to rush past. Don’t they realize the seats are reserved?

My honey started to get impatient. “Come on!” he said.

“I can’t walk any faster,” I replied with my best shut-up-or-I-may-kill-you look.

He slowed his pace to mine and we continue to walk. “Are you okay?” he asked.

“Okay? My knees are killing me!” How could I possibly be okay while trying to walk a marathon?

“Water!” I gasped. “I must have water!” Like a dying person in the desert, my body was starting to dehydrate. The street turned to sand and cactus sprouted as I inched my body toward an oasis. Well, actually it was a street vendor selling bottled water out of an ice cooler, but it looked like an oasis to me.

We walked past ticket scalpers and T-shirt vendors and crossed a parking lot long ago filled to capacity with people and cars. They must have been here since noon, tailgating and partying, waiting for the game to start. Busloads of people who parked in remote lots passed us by with a swish of heat and exhaust fumes. It’s all a plot to torment me more, I thought.

As I gasped for air, I could see a camel caravan through the heat waves in the distance. Actually, it turned out to be mounted police on horses here to control the crowd. “Don’t worry; I’m way too worn-out from the walking to cause any trouble.” We continued our trek across the bridge, being careful to avoid the droppings left by the police camels.

My knees hurt, my feet hurt, my lungs hurt. “Call the paramedics! I can’t make it any further.” My dying wish was for a foot massage. But by then we had actually arrived at the stadium.

We went through the turnstile and were inside. I SURVIVED!

In spite of how exhausted I was, I felt like doing a celebration dance – until I saw the ramps leading to the upper decks of the stadium. “I can’t do it. I can’t walk any more. Haven’t these people heard of escalators? I’m going to faint right here and crack my head on the concrete. I’m dying of heat exhaustion. I can’t walk another step.”

Round, and round, up and up, further and further we walked “Where are these seats? In a weather balloon?” We continued to climb the ramps, passing mountain goats, rock climbers, and scenic overlooks of the city below. Okay, so I was having delusions again. Who wouldn’t?

“I’m having a heart attack, a heatstroke! Where is the first aid station? I need a stretcher.” Just seconds before I hit the ground, we stopped at a refreshment stand and I bought a $5 diet coke which revived me enough to stagger to my seat.

Only sixty minutes till game time and the stadium is nearly empty? Mostly likely they are all outside still looking for parking because, unlike me, they are wise enough not to try to just walk.

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Posted in Entertainment, Humor, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Groovy Grandma

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I don’t know where I’ve been living — somewhere on another planet, apparently, somewhere so far behind times that downloading music from the internet doesn’t
exist as a reality of everyday life.

On this alien planet, people know about downloading music but get all they need from radio, TV, and the other electronic means that bombard them every day. They have no need or desire to download music to a cell phone to carry around with them.

They actually have other things to do besides listen to music 24/7. Imagine that!

However, this is another planet, not another galaxy. They have seen teenagers with headphones grooving to rock. They always presumed it was another teen fad, like MySpace or Hanna Montana. It wasn’t something that the average grandma needed to concern herself with.

Then grandma needed a gift for her grandchild. She looked up the list of age appropriate gifts for grandchildren and there it was right at the top: MP3 player

MP3 player? Boy, that’s enough to shock any grandma back to earth, especially when she is so out of sync with the times that she isn’t sure exactly what an MP3 player is, much less what it does.

It sounds like something a grandchild would love, though. She remembers the tacky little radio with headphones that she got from the dollar store and how crazy he was about it until it fell apart and quit working. What can you expect for a dollar?

The grandma felt herself being snatched right into the 21st century. But those electronic things are expensive, aren’t they? This is something older kids save for or beg for or both, something even an indulgent grandma wouldn’t hand over to an 8-year-old to smash.

So, grandma decides to investigate. Thank goodness for Google. It has save many an old fogy’s self-image. The search helps to explain. There are many music players cheaper, easier, some created just for the younger market — Disney players and kid-friendly players with uncomplicated features.

Armed with this information, grandma decides to take the electronic plunge and purchase a player for her adorable grandson. She settles on a low-priced one, part toy, part music player; it’s made for beginners.

Buying the player gets a grandma halfway there. The other half is learning to download music from the net onto the device. It seems there are multiple sites: YouTube, Pandora, SoundCloud, and numerous others that she has never heard of. Each one claims to be better, bigger, and to have more music selections.

It’s so hard to keep up these days.

This is one time that it pays to be a grandma, i.e. not born yesterday. Grandmas may not know about music, but they do know about Consumer Guide. She finds information that sends her rocketing to out-of-the-world music sites.

And so, that’s how I became a groovy grandma with a music player, headphones and unlimited downloads. If you don’t like the song, just go to another one.

Yep, I’m grooving, moving and shaking. Now, if I can just figure out a way to get that player away from the kid so I can download some more oldies for myself.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Updated 2019
Posted in Entertainment, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Germ Freak

mask

Recently, while waiting in a doctor’s waiting room, I was forced by boredom to flip through one of those heath magazines written specifically for doctor’s waiting rooms. It somewhat reminded me of a high school health education class, with a few horrifying differences.

The magazine was about germs and how we are subjected to viruses and other diseases in everyday life. First of all, I found out that my desk at work is a disease-laden den of filth. The telephone is the filthiest object in my office, followed by my desktop and then my computer keyboard. According to the magazine, I need to clean everything twice with a disinfecting wipe to rid it of the germs.

It went on to tell how public restrooms are the epitome of the disease-harboring perils in life. Fortunately, there is practical advice on how to avoid subjecting myself to the germs waiting there to infect me, advice such as, “Use the first stall as it tends to be bypassed and used less,” therefore, it has fewer germs hanging around waiting for hapless victims.

Secondly, studies by bathroom spies found that most people do not wash their hands. Of those that do, most do not use soap or do not wash long enough to rid their hands of germs picked up from door locks, faucets, and door knobs. I must be sure to wash, wash, wash and not to touch anything on the way out except with a paper towel or the bathroom spies will report me.

I should not shake hands with anyone or touch handrails on escalators or stairs. I should not press elevator buttons expect with my elbow. Few people will be impressed by my politeness when I refuse to shake hands, so it is necessary to make up some sort of lie, such as, “I have a cold and I’m trying to avoid spreading germs.” If I fall down the escalator and break a leg trying to avoid touching the handrail, remember the positive side, at least I won’t have the flu.

Another prime place to catch disease germs is from grocery store shopping carts. Not only do many unwashed hands touch the handles of these carts, people put their children in them, children who wipe snotty noses ands and then touch the same handle that is used to push the cart. I am not exactly certain how to push a cart without touching the handle or how select produce without touching it with the same hands I use to push the cart, but this is the ideal.

Even the air is polluted with germs. People who sneeze without covering their nose spray germs into the air to be breathed in by other people who then catch their cold. In fact, anyone within three feet of a person with a virus will most likely be breathing their germs, especially in spaces with poor ventilation or where people are in close contact. I am trying to hold my breath as much as possible, but am starting to feel like a germ freak.

I wonder exactly how we are supposed to protect ourselves from all these germs penetrating every aspect of life? My entire world is an infectious disease waiting to create an illness. It is enough to make a person into a germ-a-phobic who spends half the day in the bathroom washing hands.

I’ve been paranoid about germs every since I saw that magazine. My throat felt a little scratchy this morning and I am afraid that I might sneeze before I have time to grab a tissue. How can that be when I’ve been opening doors with my elbow and wiping everything in site with disinfecting wipes?

I really don’t know how I could possibly have caught a virus — unless the person who read the doctor’s office magazine before me sneezed on it or didn’t wash their hands.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting the Kids Back in School

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School days, school daze — it’s almost all I hear at this time of the year. Kiddies are all excited about their new backpacks crammed with number-two pencils, three-ring binders, wide-ruled notebook paper, football trading cards, yo-yo’s and whatever else they can sneak in. Yes, I’ve had those calls from the school about the rubber snake too.

Been there. Done that!

In spite a few little setbacks, I was always happy when the kids were back in school. Free at last! After the summer started out as a lazy, carefree, holiday filled with activities like swimming, bike riding, and picnics, it soon turned sour and became a boring, whining, barrage of, “Mom, I don’t have anything to do. I’m bored! Mom??”

No wonder I was out throwing rose petals in front on the school bus and celebrating with a good stiff drink of black coffee before going out for a manicure and a day of shopping to celebrate my escape.

The kids’ excitement over the start of school lasted for about a week of getting up early, cramming down milk and cereal, and running to catch the bus — or until those homework assignments start cutting into after-school playtime with friends and favorite television programs.

Too soon they were dragging home after school with shirttails hanging out and the knee torn out of their new jeans. “I don’t want to look cute,” the ungrateful little snots whined – and this after the fit thrown for $70 tennis shoes.

Now it’s probably, “My backpack doesn’t have wheels and neither do my shoes. I want a backpack like Joey’s. Mine is dumb! I hate my dumb backpack.”

So it goes.

I have been in the driveway with the car’s motor running waiting for the kids to get home on the first day of school with “The List”. We would go straight to the discount store as soon as they got off the bus so we could get their stuff before it was all sold out. Of course, it never worked since all the other moms were also in their driveways with motors running.

And why is it that the aisles with school supplies are never wide enough? Everyone is snatching, grabbing, and bumping as if they are going to quit making school supplies tomorrow, and they must get a full year’s supply today.

I sneaked a peak on the Internet at the list of school supplies that kids must have nowadays. At least in the olden days I didn’t have to worry about things like hand sanitizer, zip-lock bags, and erasable markers. Guess teachers hadn’t thought about putting them on “The List” yet.

I also couldn’t resist going down the school supply aisle at the Dollar Store, just to see what was there. It was amazing and little resembled the blue cloth notebooks, painted lunchboxes, and tiny scissors that wouldn’t cut of yesteryear.

Yep, I’ve served my time in the playpen. I’ve paid my dues.

Kids will eventually grow up, believe it or not. School days will become a distant memory revived only by the sight of a yellow school bus and the knowledge that you no longer have to worry about whether Johnny remembered his lunch money and if he will lose it before he gets there.

The start of school to us in the privileged, no school-age children group, means little except more traffic during morning rush hour as teachers, buses, and carpools rejoin the madness. It means avoiding certain aisles at certain stores, where harried parents with “The List” and hyper children dig through mountains of school supplies looking for an item that is already sold out.

Good luck! And I’m so glad it’s you now instead of me.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Education, Humor, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Starving Artist Art Sale

art“Starving Artist Art Sale this weekend. Real oil paintings at bargain prices!” Okay, I’ll admit it. I was sucked in by a television commercial. Usually, I just ignore this stuff. I know the art isn’t really “art,” just cheap imitations.

Besides, all art snobs know you should buy art first and decorate around it — not buy a painting because it goes with your sofa.

But . . . I’ve really been thinking that I’d like to do something different in the living room. Ever since the great moving episode last summer, one wall has not looked right. I don’t have anything else to do, and it doesn’t cost anything just to look.

“Want to go to the Starving Artist show this weekend?” I asked my honey.

“Huh?”

Actually, he likes art, so I didn’t have to twist his arm too hard to convince him.

Now, I’ve always heard that this type of art is mass-produced in China. Like everything else, the Chinese are able to make it faster and cheaper and flood the market with imitations.

They are actually real oil paintings, however, not prints. I suppose it depends on what you want, a genuine, imitation oil painting, or a copy of a better painting. Of course, the best ideal would be to have a good original painting. Unfortunately, real art is often priced out of the range of the average person.

So, I trudged off to the art show at a local motel. As I expected, it was difficult to find anything I liked. Most all of the paintings were of European scenes: mountains, oceans, waterfalls, things the artists had probably never laid eyes on.

In China, they hire anyone who can hold a paintbrush to mass-produce
paintings. An artist may paint as many as thirty pictures in one day. Sometimes several people work on the same painting, each specializing in what they paint best. Or an artist may paint several pictures of the same subject at the same time.

While pay is low according to our standards, apparently many Chinese are anxious to do this work. A shop may hire ten artists to produce originals, which are then copied by other artists. Or, they may make copies of old masterpieces. Many of the artists are very talented and even have degrees in fine art. But they think of the paintings as a commodity, not as a work of art.

Imitation paintings have been around a long time, of course. The art field is saturated with phony art, some of it good enough to fool even the experts. When fraud is exposed, a painting falls in great disfavor, not because it is not still just as good as ever, but because it is not what it was represented to be, i.e. it’s the painter, not the painting that matters.

The Chinese do not think of art as something beautiful to be produced one time. They think of it as a beautiful thing being produced over and over, as in nature. Most of the paintings are sold to commercial buyers, such as hotels and restaurants, who buy art on a large-scale basis. They are also popular with Florida condominium decorators who want pictures that match their decorating scheme and have little concern about art appreciation.

The European themes did not appeal to me. I wanted something more rural and rustic. Then I spotted it! After digging and looking through everything there several times, I saw a framed picture across the room against a wall. It was the only picture like it, old barns, a fence and a wagon. I studied it closer and liked it even more, so I bought it.

It is in my home now on the living room wall. I don’t care that it only cost $59 instead of $1059 and that in was made in China. I like it.

And, did I mention that it matches the sofa perfectly?

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Crafts/Hobbies, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Medicare Madness

medicareI believe I have found the explanation for forgetfulness in our aging population.

Medicare.

Like most people, I didn’t give a flip about understanding Medicare and thought old people were just being senile by not understanding it. After all, it’s just insurance. How difficult can it be?

Now I’m suffering from Medicare induced dementia myself.

I had occasion to try and bone up and get an idea of what is going on with Medicare — not that I will ever turn 65 myself, of course. I have never seen such a confusing way to get insurance in my entire life.

First of all, I was under the impression that Medicare and Social Security sort of came together since both are administered by Social Security. Wrong! We are talking about the government here. Everything must be as confusing as possible.

You reach Medicare age at 65. You reach full retirement age for Social Security at various ages, depending on when you were born. It becomes a bit older for each  generation.

Of course, you can retire as early as 62, with reduced Social Security benefits, but the amount you can earn by working after retirement is limited. At full retirement age, you can receive Social Security and also earn as much as you want, presuming you want to work instead of rock.

Before we become totally confused, lets talk about Medicare benefits.

Medicare has many parts and each part covers something different. The parts are creatively named A, B, C, and D. A is hospitalization, B is medical and doctors, D is drug coverage. C once was Medicare Choice (C, get it?), but is now called Medicare Advantage (still C, or MA) C is optional private insurance instead of the original government Medicare plan.

Simple? Good, lets move on. If you have A and B, there are large deductibles, and you need yet another plan to fill these gaps. This is imaginatively called a “Medigap” plan or “Medicare Supplement” (not part G). Actually, these plans might as well be called Greek since nobody is exactly sure what they cover.

Part C sometimes includes D and Medigap but not always. Plans vary greatly, so you have to be sure to find a plan that covers your needs. If you are not retiring when you reach 65, you need A but not B until you stop working, provided you have employee insurance. If you have either A or B, D is optional. A is free for most people, but the rest of the alphabet has a premium attached.

Seniors age 65 are informed that they must decide NOW as the premiums will increase if they wait. They are bombarded with information, mail falling out of the box, and a phone ringing off the hook. Various insurance companies, including AARP, all claim to have the best plan, most popular plan, or a number of different plans to fit your budget. No wonder people are confused!

One insurance plan runs commercials on TV showing seniors dancing and claims to have everything covered, even extras that are not covered under other plans, such as eyeglasses. Maybe extras should be called part E? Soon we will have so many parts we will run out of alphabet and need to use the Greek letters. It is like naming hurricanes.

We have merely scratched the surface of an explanation here. Suffice it to say that if you do not have to figure this mess out for your job, aging parents, or yourself — enjoy your liberty. One of these days, time will catch up with all of us. Of course, there is probably no need to worry about it now as it will be completely different by the time you reach retirement age anyhow.

As I said before, it isn’t dementia that is driving seniors over the edge — it’s Medicare.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Mentioning the Unmentionable

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One of life’s most useful but least discussed items is toilet paper. We take the existence of toilet paper for granted and have pretty much forgotten about the days of catalogs, newspapers, shucks, leaves, corncobs and other alternatives used by our ancestors.

Who had the idea of making this product and how did it come to be one of the items we consider as a necessity?

I found out that the story of toilet paper is 2000 years old and related to the story of the invention of paper itself. Toilet paper has been around a long time and was used by the emperor in ancient China. And I thought the Chinese only used paper for lanterns and tiny paper umbrellas.

In the olden days paper was made from old rags, which were shredded, beaten into a pulp, boiled and then rolled into paper. In early America cloth was very scarce and it had to be imported, which made paper very expensive. I suppose Colonial ladies saved their rags to make patchwork quilts.

Americans found ways to recycle paper so that it could be used more than once. The Farmers’ Almanac and Sears Roebuck Catalogs, as well as newsprint, were commonly used in outhouses as an alternative toilet paper. When Sears started printing their catalog on slick paper, customers actually complained.

The first toilet paper in America was sold in pharmacies as a therapeutic product and was saturated with aloe. Some of the of the products being sold nowadays with lotion or aloe sounds like pretty much the same thing to me. Maybe we are not as advanced as we like to think.

The first paper company to produce toilet paper on rolls was the Scott Paper Company. It was such an unmentionable product at the time that they refused to put their name on it and packaged it under the name of the buyers, such as the Waldorf Hotel. Eventually, Scott purchased the name and Waldorf became the most popular brand name sold.

As other companies got into the business of making paper products,
manufacturers began to look for more economical ways to produce paper. Since trees were plentiful, they discovered that chipping up wood, boiling it into a pulp, bleaching, drying and rolling it, could make a satisfactory paper. Northern tissue became successful by advertising its product as “splinter free”.

Other companies also became successful through advertising, such as Charmin’, whose advertising campaign featuring Mr. Whipple and “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin'” as its slogan. In his time, the name of Mr. Whipple was almost as widely known as Richard Nixon or Billy Graham.

Tissue paper is made soft by a process called “creping”, which scrapes paper off large rollers and leaves small wrinkles, which make it flexible while lowering density. At first all tissue was one-ply or one layer thick. Then it was found that two thinner layers of tissue were softer and two-ply tissue became standard.

There are different types of toilet paper, but all are made to dissolve in water to keep from stopping up pipes and plumbing. The invention of modern plumbing had made outside privies very unpopular by then.

In 1973 there was a consumer-created shortage of toilet paper when comedian Johnny Carson made a joke about the U.S. running out of toilet paper. People panicked and rushed to the stores, buying out supplies to hoard. Even though Carson later apologized and said there was no shortage, it took about three weeks to replenish supplies.

Toilet paper now comes in a variety of textures, colors, and scents. It is sometimes used for handkerchiefs, napkins, cleaning glasses, blotting lipstick and many other things besides the use for which it is intended.

Whether you call it toilet paper, toilet tissue, bathroom tissue, TP, or something else, it is one of our most necessary household products – unmentionable or not.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Not Amused by Amusement Park

I was certain that I was too old for amusement parks.

My honey loves amusement parks. He is a big, overgrown kid who still wants to ride on the rides. I tolerate them.

We heard about an amusement park in Chattanooga. It is not too far away and it seemed like a good weekend adventure. We took my grandson along for an excuse, though my honey really didn’t need an excuse.

This place turned out to be a kiddy park, which was okay since my grandson is a kiddy and so is honey. They had a few adult-type rides, but for the most part it seemed to be more like the place where old amusement park rides go before they die.

I agreed to go on a ride called the Tilt-A-Whirl. Silly me.

“Isn’t this fun?” yelled honey, as it slung us around in circles.

“I feel sick! I think I may throw up.” I groaned, as I staggered away, feeling like I’d been inside a blender.

While I recovered, honey went on another whirly ride. I don’t know what it did as I was too nauseated to watch. My grandson was also chicken at first, though he recovered and rode it later – no hands.

“Let’s ride the paddle boats!” exclaimed honey.

“My knees! My knees!” I was finding body parts that I had long ago forgotten about.

“How about the Scrambler then?” asked honey?

“How about the swings?” I replied in desperation, immediately sorry I had mentioned it.

As I flew round and round, I was certain my shoes would go flying off my feet and end up somewhere in the lake. My eyebrows twitched as I tried to figure out how close to death I was.

“Baby stuff,” grumbled honey.

I knew we were headed towards the roller coaster as we worked our way to the back, and sure enough, there it was. I used to love roller coasters, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

We inched up the first hill and I held on with white knuckles. “Weeeee!” yelled honey as we hit the first dip.

“Help! Let me offffff!” I screamed as my internal organs turned inside out and my backbone crackled. I couldn’t remember what it was that I used to like about a roller coaster as I staggered away holding my back.

“Does this place have first aid? Call the paramedics!”

After that, it didn’t really matter, as everything that could be broken was already broken and my brain was jelled.

I got on their newest ride, fool that I am. I forget what it was called. Actually, I’m trying to forget the whole day.

“You know what happens, don’t you?” asked my honey, seeing my pale face and clenched teeth.

There was a kid about 5 years old sitting next to me. How bad could it be? As we reached the top and plunged back 14 stories to earth, I found out. My hair stood straight up, my glasses nearly jumped off my face and my stomach is still up there somewhere.

The little kid next to me was crying and so was I as I unbuckled my seat and honey helped me wobble to the exit.

“I’m going to kill you for that!” I mumbled to my former honey…

After two hours, I was ready to go home. It took another 6 hours before my grandson was convinced.

I crawled to the closest picnic table, wishing I could take a nap.

I stared at the carousel, “See the pretty horses go round and round, up and down,” I gurgled.

By the end of the day, I was sunburned and brain-dead but managed to make it home without losing my glasses, my teeth, my camera, my shoes or my lunch.

But, I am absolutely certain now that I am too old for amusement parks.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

 

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A Night at the Opry

matthew-kalapuch-sqJ4tLBiurw-unsplashThe other night I went to the Grand Ole Opry and took my grandson. I feel that children need to be exposed to performing arts in real life, not just on television. Of course, the first thing he did when found out the Opry was live on television was to call his dad and tell him to look for him in the audience. So much for the importance of reality to an eight-year-old.

What made me think about going to the Opry was an email I received from an elderly gentleman who was mad because he read a magazine article that said management of the Opry didn’t want any gray hair in the show. The gentleman, whom I presume has gray hair, declared he is going to tell all his friends and they will never come to the Opry again.

I suppose that if you only see the Grand Ole Opry on TV, you might get the impression that all the older stars are gone. They are not. Most of the show is still made up of the same guitar-twanging folks that make it as much a historical event as an entertainment spectacular — at least the older stars that are still alive.

Don’t worry, there is plenty of gray hair at the Opry along with the rhinestones and sequins. Much of the show is still centered on stars that have been at the Opry for a lifetime. However, when the TV cameras are on, the newer entertainers are in front of them, as they are the ones with the big hit records. Pretty young blondes who are as talented as they are pretty can quickly steal the show.

Personally, I like both the old timers and the young’uns. If you don’t bring in new talent, the show will eventually die. But, I can see where it would be hard to step back and watch others receive all the adoration and airtime after spending an entire lifetime helping to make the show a success.

Don’t raise your hand now, but I wonder how many people are like me and don’t go to the Opry very much, if at all. We really should go more. It is the best professional entertainment value around. With two and a half hours of continuous entertainment, you certainly get your money’s worth. People come from all over the country to see the Opry, but because we live close and can go anytime we want, we never do.

Some people say that they grew up on a steady diet of the Grand Ole Opry and love country music. Others claim they hate it. I think it sort of grows on you after you listen to it for a while. When you go to see the Opry, you have to get into the spirit of the music and tap your toe or clap your hands. In other words, give it a chance. Remember, it’s folk music, the music of common folks.

We might as well face it. The newer stars will probably continue to steal the show. Now while their careers are burning bright, they are awed by success and glamour. Some day, however, their limelight too will fade. We hope they will receive the respect they deserve and not feel they have to resort to lawsuits and negative publicity to have an opportunity to continue to perform.

My grandson had a really good time. I don’t know if it was the fiddle playing and singing, seeing a live broadcast, or if he thought going to the Opry was a cool thing to do. Of course, it might simply be that a child likes going almost any place as long as it involves eating popcorn or hotdogs or both.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
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The Caveman

geico-caveman1One day I was down at the local Wal-Mart, rushing around on my normal Saturday grocery trip and trying to avoid bumping into the other shoppers with my cart. As I turned a corner on two wheels, I looked up and what do I see but a guy that looks just like Caveman.

Now, I’m sure you remember who Caveman is. In fact, is there a person alive that does not remember who the Caveman is? Yes, I’m speaking about the one in the TV insurance commercials. He’s became almost as famous as Mr. Whipple was back in the 60’s — for a different product, of course.

I was smiling in my head and thinking that probably I was the only person in the entire world that would think that poor, harried guy looked just like Caveman. I really need to stop watching so much television, I thought.

However, about that time, I heard a tiny voice behind me coming from another cart being pushed by another shopper.

“Daddy, daddy,” the voice squealed, “I saw Caveman!” Yes, he looked so much like Caveman that even a child could see it.

Now, had I been the ambitious sort of columnist that I should be, I would have made an immediate U-turn with my shopping cart and chased down the Caveman look-alike for an interview.

“Do people ever tell you that you look just like Caveman?” I could have asked.

“How does it make you feel to know that if it’s easy enough, even a caveman can do it?”

“Do you enjoy being a caveman type?”

“By the way, what kind of car insurance do you have?”

However, in my wild pursuit for my favorite chocolate flavored yogurt from the refrigerated section, I blew it entirely and missed opportunity of a lifetime. It’s probably just as well, though. What if he had hit me over the head with his club?

Had I approached him, would he have been flattered? Would he have been annoyed? Would a Mrs. Caveman have told me to mind my own beeswax? I guess I’ll never know.

The “real” Caveman, the one in commercials is thought by some ladies to be handsome. I can’t see it myself, but maybe I just don’t like caveman-types.

Probably it is his sweet and sensitive disposition which women find attractive instead of his hairy looks. It probably also helps that he doesn’t go around in animal skins, and that he walks upright instead of on all fours.

Cavemen have done a lot for the world, you know. They discovered fire, invented the wheel, wrote the first language on the walls of their caves, and were the inspiration for Flintstones cartoons. The TV caveman is insulted by comments that suggest he is somehow less than intelligent because of the way he looks.

Obviously, there is a message here about something more than insurance. Caveman represents a group of people that other people do not understand and treat in an insensitive, cruel or uncaring way. It makes you wonder who is really primitive and who has actually evolved to a higher intellectual level.

But, anyhow, I finished my grocery shopping and waited in line to checkout. I never did see the caveman again. Probably he went out through the self-checkout lane. I really hate those self-checkout lanes and have never quite been able to figure them out.

Yes, yes, I know what you are thinking — so easy a caveman can do it.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments