I applied for a job in a restaurant. The man interviewing me said that he wanted someone with astronaut experience. I showed him a photo of the moon that I kept in my wallet. I start next week.
I buried my uncle two weeks ago. Yesterday I got a call from a local psychic. She said my uncle contacted her with a message. I asked what it was. She said that he needed more socks and underwear.
There must be life in Outer Space. I’ve been getting their mail.
I, too, being human, haven’t escaped my own collection of quirky habits and annoying eccentricities. A recent poll taken of my closest peers brought agreement on one quirk in particular – the fact that I like to give all foreigners a genuine American welcome – I run them off the road with my car.
The birth of an oddball habit can be amusing to trace. Visitors to my home wonder why I own 20 washing machines and dryers. I tell them, “After years of never finding an empty machine in a laundromat, now I always do.”
During my childhood, my Mom always enjoyed livening up dinnertime by hiding a lit firecracker in my soup. Now, years later, I find it difficult to eat soup if it doesn’t explode in my face.
I don’t know why, but my Uncle Fred always reads the newspaper by shouting the news at the top of his lungs. “AND TODAY IN NORTH KOREA…” The neighbors tune in Uncle Fred instead of their televisions.
A friend has a preoccupation with introducing himself to homely girls and saying, “Words cannot possibly describe your beauty. So how about if we listen to a few screams instead?” (My friend is presently in the hospital with several broken bones.)
Eccentric habits and their development are a mystery. One expert suggests that the seed is planted early in life. Our father hits us and suddenly we have the urge to glue ourselves to a cat. Another expert claims that it’s biological in nature and suggests gene therapy as an answer. But how does that cure my Aunt Ellen’s habit of watching the world with one eye open at a time? Half the day she looks with just her right eye. The other half with her left.
There are habits that can be considered beneficial – liking dodging bullets. I inherited my older brother’s habit of driving backwards on a highway at 60 miles an hour. (It prevents accidents since other drivers get out of your way.) And, through personal experience, I’ve acquired the habit of never starting a campfire indoors unless it’s in a neighbor’s house.
Summing up, habits are like anything else. Some are good, Some are bad. And some create the look of fear on a person’s face. Those are the ones to be treasured.
“I just got laid off,” he said, walking in the front door.
“Oh my God! Why? How?” she asked.
“They don’t need me anymore.” He walked into the living room.
“But you work at the unemployment office. How do you get laid off from there?”
“I guess everyone’s gone back to work,” he said, sitting down in a chair.
“What rotten news.” She sat next to him.
“I knew it was coming. Every night on the news, they kept reporting that the unemployment index was going down.”
“You’re telling me,” he said, rubbing his eyes.
“Do you think anything will happen to make it go back up?” she asked, showing her support.
“You mean like a depression?”
“I don’t know. I wish,” he said, pausing a moment. “But ain’t that a terrible thing to hope for? Maybe I’ll just wish for a recession. That’s not as bad.”
“I should’ve never voted for that Democrat.”
“It wouldn’t have mattered.”
“Any others at the office get the axe?” she asked.
“Ten others did.”
“They didn’t have to lay him off,” he said. “He had an accident yesterday.”
She looked at him, waiting for an explanation.
“Remember he got that new rug?”
“And it had that deep plush pile?”
“Well, walking around on it built up a large static charge. When he grabbed the front door knob, he electrocuted himself.”
“I never heard of such a thing.”
“That’s why I prefer linoleum.”
“I see your point,” she said.
“After that I head over to the unemployment office to file a claim.”
The Chapter 4 opening in my book 5 Pumpkins & a Head.
I returned from vacation a disappointed man. I left my 90 year old mother with instructions to fix my car and found her still working on the transmission. My spirits needed uplifting. Someone handed me a brochure of adult education lectures. This was my answer.
My first choice was “Yoga” but I arrived to class to find everyone making “Yogurt”. Obviously a typo. Next on the list was “Vegetarianism – How to Recognize a Vegetable When You See One”. I was tossed out of the class after getting into a brawl with the teacher when I said that broccoli wasn’t a vegetable but a small tree.
As I procrastinated making a another choice, friends spoke highly of the lectures they attended. One friend happily discovered at the “Right Brain/Left Brain” lecture that he had both halves.
Wednesday passed with still no decision. However I did notice a growth on my foot and scratched “Modern Dance” off the list.
I scanned the brochure one last time. One lecture jumped out at me, “Alcohol and Drug Abuse – How to Get Started”. I wanted to do this with my Dad, but he wasn’t interested.
The series of lectures were coming to an end and I still hadn’t found something. Then I spotted the perfect one, “How to Fix Your Transmission”. Perfect! My Mom could finally get the job done.