In Which Frick & Frack Sell Me Something

It’s been hotter than normal around here this summer.  Late yesterday afternoon, when the heat and humidity were at their worst, I went to the grocery.  It was a miserable time to be outside.

Standing under the awning outside the entrance to the doors to the store were two boys about 15 years old.  The first kid, Frick, was big and had very curly, light brown hair;  his smile was ginormous.  Behind him was a super skinny, shorter kid with straight dark hair– and a very loud voice.

They were selling a restaurant coupon book for their high school football team.  And they were doing it in such a way that I was trapped standing out in the sun while they gave me their sales pitch.

  • Frick: [gliding smoothly into my path toward the door]  Hi!  We’re selling a coupon book with lots of really awesome stickers in it for our football team.
  • Frack: [loudly, jumping to the side of Frick]  They’re not stickers…. THEY’RE COUPONS.  FOR RESTAURANTS.
  • Frick: [stepping in front of Frack while still blocking my way into the store]  Oh yea, that’s it.  We’re selling a book of coupons to really awesome places to eat like McDon—
  • Frack: [loudly, pushing Frick aside]  GREAT DEALS.
  • Frick: [elbowing Frack aside, not missing a beat]  –alds and some pizza places.  This is for our football team and it’d be gre–
  • Frack: [loudly, jumping to the other side of Frick]  GOOD COUPONS.
  • Frick: [standing up very tall and stretching his shoulders out to stop Frack from coming anywhere near me]  It’d be great if you could buy one…
  • Frack: [loudly, standing behind Frick trying to jump high enough to see me over his head]  GREAT DEALS.  [jump]  FOR RESTAURANTS.
  • Frick: [sighing and allowing Frack to stand beside him]  … for only $20.00.
  • Frack: [loudly, bouncing in place]  TWENTY DOLLARS.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I’ll buy just about anything from a kid.  And anyone who knows me knows that I’ll do just about anything to not stand out in the hot sun. Meaning that this transaction was a done deal before the first word came out of Frick’s mouth.

So I bought one of the coupon books.

I doubt that we’ll ever use anything in there, but that doesn’t matter.  The entertainment value of Frick & Frack’s sales pitch was priceless.  Definitely one of the best I’ve experienced in a long time.  It makes me think that someone over at the local high school is doing something right.  What exactly that right thing is, I’m not sure.  But something.

‘Cuz man-oh-man, those two boys were effective.  And funny.

Oh, You’ve Got To Have Friends

I found this photo when I was going through some boxes of stuff that I’ve dragged around with me for years.  I’ve been in an organizing mood of late.  Most of the stuff in the boxes was of no value, but this photo– well, it’s a classic.  Worthy of note.

It’s a photograph of my third grade class.  I’m the girl in the middle of the front row holding my hands behind my back.  With long blonde hair.  Sporting a lovely pair of cat eye spectacles.  Tres chic!

Looking at this photo I have no idea why I’m not wearing a cute little plaid dress like the other girls.  I had lots of them, but for some reason I’m standing there in a shapeless jumper.  My mother worked when I was a kid, so maybe this was the only outfit that was clean that day for me to wear.  That could be it.  Or maybe I forgot that it was photo day and put the jumper on instead of something cute.  That’s probably more like it.

I have good memories of third grade.  Mrs. Bosh, our teacher, was enthusiastic and fun. The kids in my class were silly and goofy and friendly.  I remember adoring arithmetic & science, and that we did the coolest art projects.  I remember despising spelling tests, while thoroughly enjoying music class.

I also remember receiving my first Nancy Drew book that year.  It was a birthday present from the girl on the end of the front row nearest to the teacher.  I still have the book in fact.

But what I remember the most about third grade is that we played lots of games on the playground– and we included everyone.  No cliques.  No clubs.  No snobs.  That’s what was coming our way in fourth grade.

Of course, we didn’t know that yet when this photo was taken.  We were still just a bunch of happy kids.  Friends.  Wearing our best clothes and smiling for the camera.

A Suburban Moral Dilemma

As I sit here typing this post I’m watching our neighbor’s sprinkler system water their lawn.  Putting aside the fact that it is midday and the sun is at its hottest while the sprinkler system waters their lawn, I’ve found myself in a bit of a moral dilemma.  The sort of dilemma that an observant, kind-hearted person, such as myself, could only find herself in.

Here’s the deal.  We don’t have an automated lawn watering system.  I am our watering system– complete with hoses, oscillating sprinklers, and a decidedly lethargic approach to lawn care.  I water when the spirit moves me and in a random pattern when I get around to it.

Our neighbors, on the other hand, have a perfectly positioned, professionally maintained sprinkler system that evenly and consistently waters their grass.  Or at least that’s what the neighbors, who are never here at midday, think is happening.

The reality is that the men who positioned the sprinkler heads have sent the water shooting into a tree and a wall, which is causing the water to bounce back into small portions of our lawn instead of evenly watering the neighbor’s lawn.

Now the angelic [do good] part of my being is saying that I really should go over to the neighbor’s house and tell them that their sprinkler system is amiss… that their professionals have made a mistake or two when positioning the sprinkler heads.

But the devilish [lazy butt] part of my being is shouting “yes! less lawn for me to water” and resists making the effort to tell the neighbors what’s really going on with their lawn… figuring that it is up to them to monitor their own property.

So there you have it, my gentle readers.  A moral dilemma.  In a non-friendly suburb.  Noted by me because I pay attention.

What say ‘ye?  Do I tell them, or not?

I’ve Been Sorted And So Can You

I was googling some Shakespeare quotes when I noticed the word: “Enneagram.”  Immediately, from the cobwebby corners of my mind, I remembered sitting in a regional staff meeting 20 years ago. We were being forced to happily taking a tediously long marvelously in-depth psychological test to decide which one of The Nine Enneagram Archetypes we might be.

We had a new boss and this was her way of getting to know us.

Curious as ever (and as a tribute to one of the more unique bosses I ever worked with), I clicked on the link where I found this simple little test: The Quick Enneagram Sorting Test.  So I took it.  I mean, who wouldn’t?  Especially after I figured out that there were only two questions (three-parts each) to answer.

The results of my test told me that there was an 80% chance that I was one of the following three archetypes.

I agree with the results in theory.  I would add that I think that I behave differently in different contexts.  Everyone does.  Which means that I’m probably a mix of all three archetypes– in different proportions– at all times– depending on where I am standing on the earth.

Type Three: The Achiever The Success-Oriented, Efficient Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
Type Five: The Investigator The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
Type Seven: The Enthusiast The Busy, Variety-Seeking Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

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I invite you to take the test and get sorted, too.  See what it says about you.  And if you feel like it, you can share your results below in comments or on your blog.  We’d love to know who you really are.  

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Random Act Of Kindness Or Minor Misdemeanor?

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.  Psalm 37:8

If a bumper sticker makes fun of, puts down, accuses, antagonizes, rejects, hates, pees upon, or whines about <any topic you can think of>, I’ve seen it on a vehicle in the last few weeks.

To say that I’m tired of these hostile, rude bumper stickers on vehicles would be an understatement.  Really people, get a clue.  Your bumper stickers are not contributing to the national discourse.  They add nothing of value to society.  They are a distraction while driving.  And they’re just plain tacky.

Nope.  I don’t like ’em one bit.  Which got me thinking…

How do I make this situation better?

And here is my solution: a mischievous plan that is delightful in its subtlety and entertaining in its message.  *bwha-ha-ha*   A plan so ingenious that I’m surprised that no one has thought of it before.  A plan so clever that it made the Lawyer Bean laugh and promise to provide legal counsel for me should there be a need.

First, I’d buy a couple dozen of this positive, upbeat bumper sticker and keep them in my car.  Only a cretin could not be charmed by the message: “wag more bark less.”

Then when I see one of these previously mentioned annoying bumper stickers on a vehicle in a parking lot, I’d wander over to the vehicle with one of my more encouraging bumper stickers in hand.  Making certain that I was unnoticed, I’d slap my sweet little oval sticker over the offensive, negative bumper sticker.

And *bam* just like that I’d have quietly neutralized the negativity and made the world a better place– while simultaneously ensuring that I receive one more brownie point in heaven.  Talk about your win-win situation!

So what do you think, gentle readers?  Good idea?  Couldn’t possibly be an act of vandalism with a court date and a fine, could it?  And if so, how much do you suppose I’d have to pay for refusing to let stupid get the last word in– or on, as the case may be?

Making Myself Useful

People think of me at the strangest times.

I received an email from a former boss of mine who I haven’t heard from in five years– haven’t worked for in about two decades.  Not to be cynical, but I figured there was a reason that she thought of me all of a sudden and sent me this email. And I was right.

The first part of her message told me what she and her husband had done. Retired now.  Moved to another state.  Built a house on 10+ acres.  Raising farm animals.

Then she explained that she had written to ask me about events that happened in a bar near where we worked– twenty years ago— when Bailey’s Irish Cream was a new and exotic drink to us. Specifically, she wanted to know if I remembered the names of any of the drinks with Bailey’s Irish Cream in them that we used to enjoy.

I could only think of two drinks, a Nutty Irishman [Bailey’s and Frangelico] and a B-52 [Bailey’s, Grand Marnier, and Kahlua], but I emailed to her what I could remember.  I figured she was hosting some shindig and wanted to have some special drinks.

But I could not have been farther from the truth, as I learned when former boss emailed back and finally told me what she was really up to.

One of her alpacas, named Bailey, had just given birth. And former boss thought that it’d be fun to name her newest little girl alpaca, the daughter of Bailey, after one of those drinks we enjoyed years ago. But former boss couldn’t think of the names of any of them, so naturally she thought of me.

Well, of course. Makes perfect sense.

At first I was a bit miffed about why former boss had contacted me.  But as I got thinking about it I decided that I liked my newfound title of She Who Names Alpacas.  It had a certain ring to it.

So I sent former boss an email suggesting that “Bea,” a shortened form of B-52, would be a good name for an alpaca.  I liked it because I figured that if I was an alpaca I’d want a respectable name– not something silly like Nutty.  Me, a suburbanite, being so knowledgeable about alpacas and all….

Former boss emailed back, said that she liked the name, and promised to send photos of Bea, just as soon as she got around to taking them. Which in my estimation will be about the time Bea becomes a mother herself and former boss, needing yet another “Bailey” name, thinks of me again.