The Joys of Bartending VIII

There’s been some interesting things while bartending lately so I’ll give you a few bullet points of the highlights…..or lowlights, however you prefer to look at it. They’re highlights to me.

We got a complaint a couple weeks ago that a guy was being really weird to a group of girls out for a bachelorette party. He was saying things like “do you need me to protect you?”, “are you okay, I’m in the military and can save you”. Eventually he got to be a little too much so I told him he had to pay his tab and leave. As I went to run his tab, I got busy so asked my bartending partner to run his credit card because I asked him to leave. When she went to give him his card back he wanted to know her employee ID number because he was going to call the Department of Defense on us. I really hope the Department of Defense is working on more important things than bartenders who keep their bars clear of riff raff.

The same night the Department of Defense situation happened we had a couple using the women’s restroom for something other than what it’s intended for. The couple had just met about 30 minutes prior to last call and there must have been a sense of urgency and the women’s restroom was the place of choice to take care of said urgency. My bartending partner walked in to use the facilities and had to tell them to put their pants on and get out. I’m glad it wasn’t me that discovered them, I probably would have messed with them a bit before telling them to get out but that’s just me.

At 6:00 PM recently we had to ask a couple to not return to the bar because the wife was performing…..let’s call them…..indecent acts, in the bar. Immediately when they walked in we knew something was going to happen. They were clearly hopped up on something not so legal but well behaved…at first. After one drink, brandy neat, she started talking to one of the regulars, the bar was fairly empty so all eyes were on her when she got up to talk to a guy sitting at a table. It wasn’t long before she turned around and pulled down her pants. It was truly like attending a sporting event, first a hush goes over the crowd and then a collective ‘ohhhh’ and even some added ‘my god’ or ‘lord’ at the end of the ‘ohhhh’. So as any good bartenders would do, we continued to watch her antics with the rest of the crowd and listened to their whispers until we got up the nerve to approach her. The kicker to the mooning is that she never really pulled up her pants all the way so we all had a front row seat to observe the pink lace thong she was wearing and one bare cheek. It didn’t take long for the guy at the table to pack up and leave and oddly the couple followed him to the parking lot. I don’t even want to speculate about why but an employee of the bar went out and told them they weren’t welcome back in the bar.

I had a regular patron go into a coughing fit one day. He’s probably in his late sixties and was really sounding bad. I looked at the few people that were in the bar, looked at him and said “Don’t you dare die on my watch, if you do I’m going to drag you into the men’s bathroom and pretend I didn’t notice you.” The laughing didn’t help his cough at all but he survived thank goodness.

A few weeks ago, I once again wore a pair of jeans to work that I obviously shouldn’t have. Early in the shift as I was bending over to put cases of beer on the dolly I felt the release of pressure at my left back pocket. I knew it was bad, it had to be. I went back out to the bar and immediately two of the regulars knew something was up because my eyes were watering from the laughing and the embarrassment. I said “well, I have a situation and you need to tell me how bad it is”. I turned around and pulled up my shirt to show them and they immediately doubled over laughing. Thank goodness they were the only two sitting at the bar. After a few minutes of uncontrollable laughter they both said “It’s bad, you have to find a new pair of pants.” I had to leave my bartending partner on her own and hurry home to change my pants. I made record time and when I came back one of the two at the bar said “Did you get your pants changed?” I said “Yup, I’m good to go.” He looked at me, looked down, looked at me again and said “Then you might want to pull up your zipper.” That caused another bought of uncontrollable laughter, at my expense, which I’m okay with.

A guy came in while I was working and was a talker. After rambling on for a few minutes he said “What’s your name?” I said “Susan”. He said “Nice to meet you, I’m Joe.” As I look over at one of my regulars he mouths “Susan?” to me. I just smiled and went about my business. Joe eventually left and my regular says “What the hell are you telling him your name is Susan for?” I said “When I don’t want someone to know my real name I’m Susan.” He starts laughing and said, “Someone asked the bartender the other day when Susan worked and she said “Oh we don’t have a Susan here”, now I get what’s happening, that’s funny.” I just smiled, shrugged and walked away.

Winter is Still Here

It’s April 28th and winter is still here.  There’s definitely some kinky stuff going on over at Old Man Winter’s RV.  I was on my way to have a little chat with him and Mother Nature but he was running around the yard in leather chaps and Mother Nature was running after him with a whip and what looked like a can of motor oil.  I turned around and went home.  It seems they’re never going to move along.  Who would have thought their choice of a permanent home was Wisconsin?  They’re livin’ on beer, cheese and love and we can’t do anything about it.

We’ve had two days of rain, snow, rain, sleet, rain and ice.  I worked yesterday and spent the night where I had been working because there was no sense in taking my life in my hands by going out on the sheet of ice they call roads around here.  All day today we listened to the 40 to 60 mph winds and rain hit the window.  Would have been a great day to snuggle on the couch, do nothing, watch a few movies and eat until we couldn’t move but work had to happen and life goes on even if the weather stinks.

As I look at not only my own Facebook posts but the posts of others I realize we’re all doing a lot of sulking and complaining about the weather.  The worst thing is we can’t do anything about it!!  I’ve decided I’m going to try to concentrate on things I can do something about and stop being negative about the weather because that carries over into other things.  So here’s my plan for the next week, the next month, the next three months……because it is going to be a chilly summer here in the Northland.

  1. I’m going to rock this chair tonight and watch The Voice like nobody’s business and I’m going to be happy about it.  Then I’m going to watch Revenge from last night.
  2. I’m going to cook.  When it’s nice outside I don’t feel like cooking or I grill everything so I’m going to use the oven.  Tonight I made stuffed chicken breasts and baby red potatoes.  I think enchiladas are on the docket for one night this week as well.  Along with cooking the things I’m comfortable with I’m going to try new things.
  3. I’m going to take this chance at not being able to go outside to get some work done for not only my day job but for Following Funny as well.  I have a ‘to do’ list a mile long for both and I really could use to get as caught up as possible.
  4. I’m going to keep my house in order.  Get the basement organized and painted and get rid of some things that are cluttering the place up.  I don’t want another critter to make its way to my basement to cause me issues.
  5. I’m going to organize my notebooks of stories, chicken scratches, notes and funny findings and decide exactly what to do with them.  I have all this funny stuff hidden everywhere, including my head and no plan on what to do with it.  Watch out.
  6. I’m going to travel south to warmer weather.  By south I mean anywhere from 15 to 500 miles south.  When it’s cold here, it’s warmer within about 15 minutes so my goal is to go find the warmth of the sun.   My friends who live south of me just panicked as they realized I may be visiting more than usual this summer.  Haha, get your guest rooms ready!

In other words, I’m going to stop bitching, get my shit together and make the most of something I have no control over.

 

How to Find the Cute Single Guys

After years and years of research I have finally figured out one of the most perplexing questions for single women.  Where to find the nice looking, single guy who’s the right age and who has potential to be long-term.

As most of you know from past stories I can meet people anywhere, including sitting next to him on a plane.  Although that only lasted a couple of years it was a great experience and he’s a good guy, that relationship taught me a lot about myself.

The real answer to the question Where do you meet a hot eligible man, is actually ANYWHERE.  My answer to that question is a little different these days.

I think the answer is this:  You can find a cute eligible man by leaving the house when you look like hell, don’t feel good and don’t much care.  I believe I have probably missed out on a few good men because every time I go out of the house when I really shouldn’t I see lots of potential.

It’s almost like there’s a Batman symbol out there when a single woman leaves the house looking like she’s been drug through the mud and this symbol tells the eligible guys to go to Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart, Target or wherever it is she’s headed.

It happened to me today.  Pneumonia is visiting me again and I am currently the poster child for a “Go to the Doctor” public service announcement.  I did not go to work today, I worked at home.  I did not get out of my pajamas today, I couldn’t be bothered.  I didn’t put my contacts in because it seemed to be too much work.  I did take a shower at one point though thinking it would make me feel better……it didn’t.

Anyway, around 6:30 I decided if I was going to make it through The Voice and get some sleep for tomorrow’s 8:30 AM meeting I needed to pick up some cough drops and something to knock me out.  The task was daunting and I couldn’t be bothered.  I left the house in my pajama top, sans bra, capri yoga pants with holes in the rear seam, running shoes with no socks, glasses and a zip up fleece.  It was bad, very bad.

When I arrived at Walgreen’s there they were, they had followed the Bat Signal and there they were.  One held the door for me.  For no other reason then he felt sorry for me I’m sure and wanted to get a closer look at this complete mess on two feet.  The rest of them were inside milling around, pretending to shop.   Needless to say they all scattered and retreated once they got a good look at me.  Another opportunity missed probably.

The best part was I ran into a friend and his question to me was “Rough weekend?”  I said “Pneumonia” and skeedaddled as fast as possible.  I doubt he believed me.  He also probably called his wife on the way home and said “Have you heard from Peg lately, we should probably check on her, I think she’s having issues.”

I should really start to care or I’m going to be the crazy cat lady that lives at the end of the block.  The kids will be double dog daring each other to go trick or treating at my house.  And I don’t even like cats!!

Here’s to finding the hot guys when all you are is a hot mess.

Door Ajar

One of the smartest things I’ve ever done in my life is surround myself with funny people.  Although I’m usually reminded of it daily, sometimes I’m REALLY reminded of it.  This morning was one of those times.

On my way to work I got a phone call from a college friend, we’ll call him Todd.  Panic crept through me…he never calls in the morning, something must be wrong…..well, nothing was wrong…..in fact, everything was right.

Me:  “Hello”.

Todd:  “I had to call someone and you’re it”, followed by uncontrollable laughter.

I immediately started to giggle.  Not only because his laugh is contagious but because if he’s laughing that hard it had to be good.  I will do my best to relay the story.

Todd took the day off from work today to take care of a bunch of things, oil change, dentist, etc.  You know, the things that are almost impossible to get done after our own work hours.  The first thing on his list was an oil change and check up for his truck at the local garage.

He waited patiently for about 30 minutes while the mechanic did his thing.  The mechanic finally came in and asked if the Check Engine light had been causing problems.  According to Todd the light hadn’t been on and he hadn’t been experiencing any trouble with it.  The mechanic nodded and walked back in the garage.  After a few minutes Todd thought he’d check on the situation so went to see what was happening.

The mechanic was looking at his diagnostic and said “Well, I got the Check Engine light figured out, now the Door Ajar light won’t go off.”  At this point of the story Todd said “Peg, I immediately looked at the mechanic, then over to the open door of the truck, then back at the mechanic and my eyes started tearing up from holding back my laughter.  I’m no genius but I would think the Door Ajar light was on because the door was actually ajar.”   Those two sentences of his story took a few minutes because we were both laughing and he was telling me in detail how he didn’t want to insult the mechanic by outright laughing at him and how hard it was to hold it all together.

Todd said he  kept it together the best he could for about five minutes while the mechanic hemmed and hawed while attempting to fix the Door Ajar light.  Todd said he kept looking at the mechanic and the open door of the truck wondering if he was the one that was missing something.  Finally he couldn’t take it anymore and said to the mechanic “Perhaps the light is on because the door is open”.  At this point the mechanic looked at Todd, looked at the door, got in the truck and shut the door.  The mechanic sat in the truck for a few minutes, got out and said the truck was finished.

Apparently the mechanic never said anything about the “mishap” and sent Todd on his way.  Through tears and giggles he told me that when he got to the garage the mechanic was playing solitaire on his computer after he said he could “squeeze him in” for an appointment on the phone yesterday.  We both howled and cried.  Todd thought he should have been given a discount because he actually fixed the Door Ajar light of the blunder but no such luck.  It was the best phone call I’ve had in a long time.

I got the privilege of telling the story to coworkers shortly after the phone call which helped get everyone’s day jump started.

Todd ended our conversation by saying he couldn’t post it on Facebook because it’s a small town but that I needed to write a story about it.  I felt obligated to follow his wishes.  Here’s to mistakes similar to that we all make and those who get entertainment out of them.

The Plunger

Recently on vacation a 20-year-old announced 5 minutes after our arrival at the condo that she needed a plunger, at that moment I realized I really like her.  She took a possible embarrassing moment and hit it head on.  I also realized she is probably an anomaly, not many of the younger generation would admit to that.

Of course I took that funny situation and thought about how it could be a story. It then occurred to me that no one actually taught me how to use a plunger.  Change a tire, sure, but I’ll tell you people will need to use a plunger more than they’ll need to change a tire in their life.  Here are my tips and tricks about plunging and plungers.

Buying the plunger: it’s always great to purchase the ‘bathroom set’ which means the plunger and the toilet brush match, but it’s not the smart thing to do, ever.  The reasons have become apparent when I’ve been standing in front of the toilet with the water to the rim full of paper and other unmentionables.

First of all, the handle of the ‘cute’ plunger is never long enough, your hands are way too close to that water.  You can’t get a good grip and really put your weight into it with a handle that short.

It’s inevitable that the ‘cute’ plunger will turn inside out and get stuck like that during the plunge.  There’s nothing worse than looking at the inside out plunger with wide eyes knowing that at any second it’s going to ‘right’ itself and splash all over, and no one wants what’s in that toilet all over them.

The shape of the cute plunger doesn’t even work with the toilet.  It’s short and wide….kinda like me….and it never actually seals the opening of the toilet to get good suction.  That makes for an unnecessarily long plunge.  Not something I look forward to.

Now you have the right plunger and it’s the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen.  It’s probably black and yellow and looks menacing.  It’s not something you like having as an accessory in your bathroom but it works, and it works good.  It has to be used correctly though.

When using the plunger you have to REALLY use the plunger.  The plunger can’t be approached with any sort of tentativeness.  Grab it, carefully submerge it in the crappy water (pun intended), position it over the hole, hands apart, position yourself over the handle so you can put your weight into it and push with gusto.  This should be a very quick process if done right.  If this job makes you break a sweat and makes your arms sore you’re doing it wrong, have the wrong equipment or you need to see a doctor for whatever it is that just happened in there.  Repeat until the blessed event of water receding happens.

The few times in my life when I’ve used a plunger I’ve also needed some sort of face mask.  I prefer a dish towel wrapped around my face like I’m ready to rob a bank.  Plunging the toilet is one of those jobs that gives me the feeling of throwing up even before I start.  I should probably invest in one of those butcher aprons, you know the ones that are basically made out of rubber and gloves that go to the elbows.

Make sure your plunger is in a place where it’s easy to find.  If company happens to clog your toilet you could save them the embarrassment of having to ask where the plunger is.  Nothing changes the direction of a get together like a bad bathroom incident.  You don’t want someone having a Dumb and Dumber moment and not being able to do anything about it.

Book Reviews

As I’m working to promote my book more and more (in affordable ways :)) I thought I would share some of the reviews that have been submitted to the different online booksellers.  This has been one of my favorite parts of this journey, I love reading why people like the book, of course I haven’t had any ‘bad’ reviews yet so perhaps this won’t be one of my favorite parts for long.  I also like the comments I receive on my blog stories, again, those that don’t like my stories aren’t very vocal so I haven’t had any negative comments.  I can only hope it stays that way for the most part!

Amazon Reviews

A must read!
Peggy makes you laugh at her and makes you laugh at yourself. You can read the whole book at once or read a chapter that catches your eye. This book reminds you to not take yourself or life too seriously. A must read for those who love to find funny in whatever they’re doing.

Following Funny
I cried from laughing! I loved “locking your house door with a butter knife” Remembering growing up in rural Minnesota with this book. I think all little towns have
similar funny characters.

Ridiculous fun!! Try not to wet yourself!
Peggy Welter is not afraid to point out the funny! She finds a way to say the things that most of us want to say but are afraid to! If you are in need of a good laugh, pick up this book and laugh your way into a new sunnier disposition!

Laugh out loud funny
Peggy will make you laugh until your side hurts. Many of the short stories brought me back to my childhood and reminded me of my life growing up in a small town. I could often picture the antics described.

Following Funny
We can all relate to a story in this book and this is great reminder that we have to be able to laugh at ourselves to make it through this crazy life! I found myself laughing out
loud and getting crazy looks from those around me. Thanks Peggy for sharing
your stories and your great sense of humor with us!

Laugh so hard you’ll cry
Following Funny’s stories are fantastic! Everyone needs to laugh… more often. You just can’t make up some of the things that you get to read about when you are Following Funny. I love that now I have them in one place to go read when life just gets a little
too stressful or serious. Thank you for sharing how you find humor in life, and
for doing such a great job putting it into words – love it!

Barnes & Noble Reviews

Great light hearted read! We all need to see the humor in everyday life, and Peggy does a great job of sharing her experiences, which we can all relate to at one time or another! Couldn’t put it down until I had read the whole book!

ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS!!!!!!  Everyone needs to laugh and this will make your cheeks hurt, it did mine 🙂

iBook Reviews

Fun to read some of a good friends real life way of looking at things.  True stories with a different view!!

Great read about a friends real life if you want a good laugh read this book.  Congrats Peggy on the book.  Hope it does well.

I’d give it 5 million stars if I could.  One of my favorite people wrote a humorous book that I can’t put down.  Now, where’s my sleeping pills…..

Hopefully a fun little tidbit for a Saturday night.  I don’t think I need to tell you it’s fun for me to read these.  If you’ve submitted a review, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  If you have read the book and have not reviewed it, please take a few minutes to do so, getting as many reviews as possible certainly can’t hurt.

If you read the book and didn’t like it, feel free not to review it.  You’re welcome to email me those comments.  🙂  I’m kidding of course.  Had to try to leave you with a smile.

It’s Been a Long Winter

When I wrote Winter is Here I had no idea how true those words were.  Old Man Winter and Mother Nature are still shacking up in the empty lot down the street and they have now added a foundation under their RV.  We may never see the other three seasons again.  All I can say is they best not be reproducing, I can only imagine how tragic that would be.  I’ve been dropping off birth control outside their door so hopefully they get the hint.

There was no easing into winter this year.  Winter hit us like the fat kid hits the buffet, hard and fast.  There was a storm, then another storm, then a thaw and then another storm and now the cold.  The roads are bad, the alleys are worse and my parking spots are the worst.  Putting the trash or recycling out to be picked up is like working your way through a corn maze in a blizzard.  You need climbing ropes, an ice pick and some oxygen.  Then you have to go through it again to put them back.  I’m thankful my neighbor does the garbage so I only have to do the recycling.

Each time I go outside I feel like I’m taking my life in my hands.  The odds of falling are at about 90%, the odds of getting stuck somewhere is about 60% and because I haven’t had one in this vehicle the odds of a flat tire are increasing every day.   Then I take into consideration the other drivers on the road and I completely panic.  The drivers that are out on the bad roads are the crappy drivers that were on the good roads during the good weather!!!  Not a pleasant thought.

School has been canceled around here so often the kids are all going to flunk this grade, they’re just going to have to do the whole year over again.  They may as well call off the rest of the year and get the little buggers a job.  Preferably clearing snow and shoveling for those of us who aren’t supposed to.  I’m not sure I remember a time when school was canceled due to it being too cold when I was a kid.  However, I actually wore boots, a coat and mittens to school and the bus picked us up.  I live near a middle school and those kids who have to walk to school should dress better.  I say my prayers for them every day.

I have to remote start my car twice before I can even get in it.  Then I have to go out and start it and let it run for 20 more minutes.  I’m averaging about 12 miles to the gallon right now because I let it warm up so much.  I also received a lesson in changing my car battery.  Wasn’t really a lesson I asked for but I was bound and determined to not be such a girl and do it myself.  That probably won’t happen again, nothing wrong with being a girl who needs to be rescued sometimes.

Here are my Facebook posts from the battery changing incident:

“Battery dead and won’t jump.  Determined to take it out myself so I text knowledgeable man for instructions. Instructions good, toolbox bad, smarty comments from knowledgeable man.   (Below is the picture of my pathetic excuse of a toolbox I sent him).

IMG_0347[1]

Find wrench that might work hidden under hammer.  Get one cable loose. Open roomies truck to take off gloves to check phone.  Coffee container escapes and rolls under truck.  Lay on ground to try to reach it, need wrench to help retrieve it. Now wet from head to toe with one battery cable sort of off. If the battery weren’t already dead it would have been after my tantrum with the wrench. On a mission to find socket set and maybe a Valium. This is going to happen!!

Later that evening post..

“Thought I posted earlier but apparently in my celebration of still having all my fingers and toes I did not.
Borrowed a socket set.  Took out battery according to texted instructions, 10 minutes to get nuts and bolts off and another 30 minutes to figure out how to get it out around a plastic filter cover and a boatload of hoses.  Had battery tested.  Dead (obviously).  Bought battery.  One last text question to make sure I didn’t electrocute myself during install. Put it in and used all the parts to get it secure!  It only took 4 hours, a little frost bite, no tears, no booze and no drugs.  I did think I gave myself a black eye at one point but it hasn’t bruised yet so I think I’m good.  It’s been quite the day.”

Next time I think I can get the battery changed in under 2 hours!!

I procrastinated putting up plastic on my living room window this year.  That was a really dumb thing to do.  I now have folded laundry stacked on the back of a chair in the living room and I leave it there because it blocks some of the cold air.  A very redneck way to take care of the issue but who’s to say I’m not a redneck deep down.  Okay, okay, I’m a redneck on the surface too.

I have discovered that I do the ‘sneak and floor it’ move several times a day.  You know the one I’m talking about.  You’re at an intersection you sneak, sneak, sneak out to attempt to see beyond the giant snow banks to see if anyone is coming.  When there comes a time you believe you can make it you put the pedal to the metal and say a quick prayer.  You certainly don’t go very fast because it’s slippery but your wheels are turning like you’re in the Daytona 500 until of course you hit a small patch of dry pavement, then you get a mild case of whiplash.  It’s a tricky move but I think I have it mastered.

It was 20 degrees here in the Northland today and someone posted on FB they spotted a man on a motorcycle.  We sure are a desperate bunch around here!  Sounds like it’s going to be in the high teens and twenties over the next few days so I think I’m going to sneak over and pack up Old Man Winter and Mother Nature myself and run them out of town.  This is Wisconsin and I’m pretty sure I can find a mob of people to help me.

Pneumonia

This will be the most embarrassing story I’ve written to date, by far.  It’s been a couple of weeks now and although it wasn’t completely hilarious at the time, I find it pretty funny now.  Plus, I believe it will be an ego boost for most of you.  I’m here to help people, I’m here to help.

A little over two weeks ago I started getting sick.  This is how it went:

Day 1:  Took a 20 minute snooze prior to work at 6:30 PM.  Woke up and didn’t quite feel right.  Tightness in the chest and a bit short of breath.  After about four hours at work I started to cough.  Urgh.  Probably bronchitis.

Day 2:  Woke up and didn’t cancel my plans to go to Minneapolis to watch my God-daughter play volleyball.  I was convinced I could work through whatever this was, loaded up on DayQuil and whatever else I could find in the cupboard and hit the road.  As the day wore on I went downhill.  Insisted on going out for dinner and hopefully catching some live music somewhere.  The downhill slide continued during dinner and we ended up going home and vegging on the couch.  I then kept everyone up all night with my coughing.  A great house guest for sure.  Yup bronchitis.

Day 3:  As the alarm was shrieking at 5 something AM it became clear to me I was not going to be able to attend any sort of sporting event that took place in public.  I was a mess and needed to get home….some how…..some way.  The how was driving, the way was hopping myself up on Mucinex, DayQuil, Alka Seltzer Plus and Cloroseptic spray.  I remember about 50% of the drive.  Not good but I made it.  May be typhoid fever.

Day 3 Facebook post:  “At the urging of Pam I went and picked up Delsym.  It took everything I had to  head to Walgreen’s.  On the way home I’m positive I saw an alien in the car next to me, it looked right at me and it was glowing.  Scared the crap out of me.  I wonder if I’m running a fever……Delsym seems to be good though, feeling better already.”

As I know now, the feeling better was short-lived.  I’m still unsure about the alien, I’m positive that’s what I saw.  During the night things went downhill with each passing hour.  Unable to lay down I made my bed in the living room chair and hoped for some good TV, that didn’t happen either so I turned off the TV, turned on the fan and took more Mucinex.  I personally think the one tablet every 12 hours is more of a guideline than a rule and does not apply to me.

Day 4:  The night was miserable and this is where the embarrassing parts of the story really start.  I have not had kids but I am aging at the speed of light and I would imagine that is why I’ve lost the ability to cough and not wet my pants at times.  This happened a couple of times in the wee hours of the morning but I ignored it, hoping it was a rarity.  I was wrong, I was so very wrong.  Against all I wanted to do, I broke down and went to the doctor.  It took me about an hour to shower and get ready because every 10 minutes I had to take a break and have a coughing fit.  At this point I was also pretty sure I had cracked a couple of ribs and pulled some muscles.

The doctor diagnosed me with pneumonia and influenza.  He told me he’d do the influenza test but it’s wrong about 50% of the time.  He said the meds wouldn’t hurt me if I didn’t have it but he was 99% certain I did.  He prescribed a hearty antibiotic, Tamiflu and an inhaler.  Told me to come back in four days if I didn’t feel better.

I went to Target to fill my prescriptions.  The Pharmacist said “It will be about 15 minutes, you can go shop”.  As he was saying it he looked up at me and added “Nevermind, you can wait right there” and pointed to the bench.  Apparently I didn’t look so good.  I sat down to wait for my scripts and people watched.  As I was people watching I realized people were actually watching me.  I was the one, the one everyone was staring at and talking about, at one point I think someone may have called the coroner for me.  A few minutes into my wait a delivery guy showed up. when he bent over to pick up boxes he passed gas….very loudly.  When he turned around to look at me I said “Really?  Are you serious?”  He shrugged his shoulders and went about his business.  Of course that would happen.

I took my drugs in the car and collapsed with exhaustion in the chair when I got home.  For the next several hours I coughed, drank fluids, then peed my pants, then coughed some more and peed my pants some more.  I should probably state here that it wasn’t an all out peeing of the pants, it couldn’t be because I was going in the bathroom every 10 minutes I was drinking so many fluids.  The most frustrating part is it would happen as I was getting back into my chair from the bathroom.  I had just went to the bathroom, where was it all coming from!!!  I was now positive it was the Plague.

I had burned…well peed through every pair of yoga pants and pretty much every pair of underwear I own.  I was on my last pair and it happened again.  As I was sitting in the bathroom crying while using the hair dryer to dry my last pair of underwear I broke out in hysterical laughter.  How ridiculous is my life that here I sit, on the toilet, using a hair dryer to salvage my last pair of clean underwear, bawling my eyes out and trying not to throw up at the same time?

Of course I had to share my scenario so I sent a text to my understanding, non-judgmental, she’ll laugh at me but still love me friend that went something like this, “Well, 8 pair of underwear and 3 pair of yoga pants and I’m out of both because I’ve peed my pants so many times from coughing so hard.  I have now resorted to blow drying the crotch of my last pair of underwear as I’m sitting on the toilet.  I am too sick to do laundry.”  If I remember correctly her response was “I’m dying over here”.   There may have been a series of texts prior to that but there’s large amounts of time I do not remember during this two weeks of sickness.  May have been due to the fact that I blatantly ignored dosage instructions.

Day 5:  I had to force myself to do laundry for obvious reasons and also force myself to work.  After getting directions from the doctor that I of course ignored I worked….all week.  It’s bad when you have to pack extra underwear for work in case you have a coughing fit or five.  Like I said, I was hoping to just plow through this sickness, if I ignore it, it will go away, right?  Wrong.

Day 6 & Day 7:  More coughing, more throwing up, less energy, more drugs, more exhaustion, zero food, more liquids and more text messages explaining the terrible things my body was doing.  More laughter from my supportive friend and a phone call from her to another friend yelling because I was getting no help at home.  Well, I was offered help from some but I did not take it because I was really irritated with those that should have helped.

Day 8:  Another trip to the doctor for a lecture about working too much and not taking care of myself as I should.  So shocking that I didn’t listen.  There was another round of drugs, this time prednisone for my breathing and some cough syrup with codeine, glorious, glorious codeine.  Once again, I skipped the part on dosage.  Helping my cough helped my pants peeing problem.

Skip to day 18, which is today:  I took my meds the last two weeks, borrowed some more meds, didn’t take time off work and am finally feeling better.  I haven’t wet my pants in at least 10 days, life is pretty good.  The only thing I listened to the doctor about was the no outside shoveling, etc.  Which of course has been a disaster, I think the mailman quit delivering the mail because I haven’t shoveled the front walk.  I probably should ask for help from those that actually offered previously but I’m not very good at that.  And now it’s so frozen it won’t actually clean up until spring.  Oh well, such is life for a very stubborn pants wetter.

Colorado

On Sunday, December 15 I found myself on a plane smiling and wondering if the things that happen to me, happen to other people or if perhaps I’m special.  I decided I’m not special, at least not in that way, I think I see things a bit differently and I just don’t have the ability to say no.  Ron White once said “I was told I had the right to remain silent, I just didn’t have the ability”.  I’m pretty sure that applies to me, in most situations.

Here’s how I happened to be on that plane.  The following is over text message the week before Thanksgiving:

  • Friend:  Hey girl, I’m thinking about the same surgery you had last year, how long is the recovery?
  • Me: Best thing I’ve ever done, recovery is 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Friend:  Crap, that’s a long time.
  • Me:  Let me know when you schedule it and I’ll see if I can come out and stay with you, you really should have someone with you around the clock for the first few days.
  • Friend:  Will do, thanks.

2 days later:

  • Friend:  Scheduled for December 16th.
  • Me:  Holy crap that was fast.  Let me check my schedule and my checkbook, not sure I can swing that.
  • Friend:  Ok.

2 hours later:

  • Friend: Frontier has one-way tickets for $84, I’m buying you a ticket and you can drive me and my car back to Minnesota.
  • Me:  Ok, if you’re sure.
  • Friend:  I’m sure.

And that my friends is pretty much how I happened to be on a plane to Denver on December 15th.    She’s originally from my home town and doesn’t have a ton of family in Colorado, plus, I had the same surgery last year so completely understand what she’d be going through.  Trips out-of-state have been few and far between since the ‘the great job loss of 2012’ so I was happy to get away, even for a few days and even if it was to play nurse.

I arrived Sunday night and we had to be at the hospital by 5:30 Monday morning.  4:15 came early and we headed out in plenty of time.  Arriving at 5:15 we were the only ones checking in, for about five minutes.  Between 5:20 and 5:30 that place turned into Wal-Mart.  Pajama pants, bad hairdos and a severe lack of teeth were suddenly running rampant and I was happy for the ego boost so early on a Monday.

The surgery was a success and the patient did very well, she was home with me by 2:30 PM which is completely crazy to me.  I was hoping to have stories from the family waiting room but I worked and napped the entire time so didn’t pay attention to what went on around me.  The real fun didn’t start until we got home.

Although Denver was beautiful while I was there, it was an 80 degree difference from Wisconsin, I didn’t enjoy the outdoors….at all.  I stayed in, played nurse, worked, chased two cats and attempted to fix the boiler.  Yes, I said cats and boiler in the same sentence.

We woke up on Tuesday morning and it was COLD in the house. It became apparent the heat wasn’t working when I looked at the thermostat.  It was set on 68 and it was 58 in the house.  Ok good.  What was really great about this…….it wasn’t her house.  She was house sitting for someone while recovering, so that means I was house sitting and playing nurse.

She got the homeowner on the phone and I went downstairs to take a look at the boiler.  Pipes cold,  yup NOT WORKING.  She said she would call the plumber and let us know what the verdict was.  The patient then asked “Where’s Danalia (cat)”?  I said “I have no clue but I closed the gate when I went downstairs so she should be up here somewhere”.  Then the plumber called.  He was busy and didn’t really have time to come out so could he talk me through assessing the situation……..my response was “You can certainly try”.  Here’s how that went:

  • Plumber:  “Is the pilot light lit?”
  • Me:  “Pilot light? Where exactly would I find that”
  • Plumber: “Oh boy (he thought that was under his breath I think), ok, look at the front of the boiler, you may have to take a small panel off.  There is a little notch and you should be able to look in and see a blue flame.”
  • Me:  “Ok, panel off, give me a second (as I lay on the floor), I don’t see a flame of any sort.”
  • Plumber:  “Are you sure?”
  • Me:  “Pretty sure I know what a flame looks like.”
  • Plumber:   Big sigh.  “Ok, find some long matches.  I’m going to walk you through lighting the pilot light, it was kind of windy last night.”
  • Me:  “I have trouble starting the sauna but I’ll try. Long matches, long matches……oooh, she has a fireplace, (up the stairs) let’s see…….got ’em!”
  • Patient:  “Everything okay?  Can I help?”
  • Me:  “Really?  Yeah sure, get off your sorry ass and come and help!  Of course I don’t need your help…..dork”
  • Plumber:  “What was that?”
  • Me:  “Never mind, I’ve got the matches.”
  • Plumber:  “Alright, now go down to the boiler.”
  • Me:  “I’m here.”
  • Plumber:  “Ok, there’s a red button, you have to push it in order to be able to get the pilot light lit, then you have to hold it down for at least a minute after it lights.”
  • Me:  Put him on speaker phone, lay it on the floor and I lay on the floor, cold cement basement floor.  “Ok, holding, lighting, holding……tell me when a minutes up…….dude, are you still there?”
  • Plumber:   “Yep, keep holding.”
  • Me:  “Feels like an hour, finger is going to fall off.”
  • Plumber:  “No it won’t.”

We went through this three times and the pilot light did not stay lit, there were curse words, 12 matches and a burnt finger.  During the third time I hear a MEOW and see a cat out of the corner of my eye.  What the!!!  Where did she come from??

  • Me:  “Denalia, bad kitty, stay, stay here by me, you’re not supposed to be down here.  Naughty kitty.”
  • Plumber:  “Do I dare ask?”
  • Me:  “This *&%^$@ cat is not supposed to be down here and she’s not staying by me so I can take her upstairs when I’m done here.”
  • Plumber:  “Cat’s don’t stay.”
  • Me:  “Thanks Tips.  This is not staying lit.”
  • Plumber:  “Ok, I will rearrange my schedule and come out and get it fixed, it needs a (&*&^%#$.”  No idea what he said the part was called and at that moment I didn’t really care.
  • Me:  “Ok, thanks, see you later, we’re here all day.”

I then started the first cat search which yielded nothing.  After about 10 minutes I gave up and went upstairs.  After washing the dirt and soot off me I filled in the patient on what was happening so she could relay the information to the homeowner.  I then went back to the basement to find the cat.  Luckily I did find a cat.  I grabbed the cat, held it out in front of me and brought her upstairs.  I presented her to the patient like a gift and said “who is this?”  She said “that’s Winks”.  Not happy, I was not happy.   That meant both cats had made their way downstairs.

I gave up on the cats until after the plumber came and finished the job.  Then I gave up on them for a couple more hours.  Continually calling them.  They don’t listen.  Cats do not listen.  After a few hours I snuck downstairs and found them both curled up on a bed.  Thankfully they didn’t fight me when I grabbed them.  No idea how they both got through the gate.

The plumber came and fixed the boiler so we were happy to have heat and thankful it was fixed before we had to leave.

I won’t go into detail about the cats getting into the garage the next day and me having to get them out of there.  I am not a cat person and I do not do well crawling on all fours on a garage floor under a 1969 VW Bug trying to catch a cat by its tail.  That was a several hour deal and it caused my blood pressure to go up.  Did I mention I don’t like cats?

On Thursday we were ready to start the trek from Denver to central Minnesota.  The car was packed, and I mean packed, and we were strapped in.  For those of you who have been reading my stories know that I don’t sleep well, you probably also know that I have narcolepsy when in a vehicle of pretty much any kind.  As the only driver on this trip, I was worried about how this was going to go.  The one good thing about it was that I had to stop every two hours for the patient to get out and walk around, which then would allow me to regroup as well.

About ten minutes into the trip I started to giggle.  My patient looked and me and asked, “Do I even want to know?”  I said “Well, I was just thinking how this story is going to start.  It starts with a narcoleptic/insomniac driver playing nurse to her patient passenger who takes an anti-seizure pill, stool softeners, Ibuprofen, an anti-nausea pill and Percocets each day.  Oh, and just to let you know, if you have a seizure for the first time in five years I’m going to strap you in the back with all three seatbelts, shove a wallet in your mouth and keep driving.”  She said “Don’t, it hurts to laugh” and shook her head at me.

The trip was fairly uneventful.  My passenger was craving Taco John’s at one point and found one online for us to stop at.  The bad news was when we got there it was closed for their employee holiday party.   We stopped and stared in the window for a couple of minutes but that did not deter them from having their fun.

We had several other laughs to make the day go fast.  As the driver, I did very well and didn’t fall asleep at the wheel once, I didn’t even hit a rumble strip!  It’s the little things.

We made it to Sioux Falls and found a lovely Motel 6 where it seems the only thing they do is leave the light on.  Which is unfortunate because then you can actually see what you’re sleeping in.  At one point my patient dropped something from her bed and we heard it land on the floor and then hit something under her bed.  That was a 15 minute process of extreme laughter and being grossed out because there was garbage under her bed.

The final five-hour leg was sunny and gorgeous with no incidents.  My patient actually drugged herself up enough to sleep a majority of the day so I talked to myself and sang.  Once we were at her parents her nephew came and picked me up and brought me to St. Cloud where I was meeting another friend so I could get to my car in Minneapolis.  I met her and her family at a restaurant.  I was a bit early so got lots of looks as I sat in the entry way with a suitcase and a computer bag for an hour.  I think the staff started to think I wasn’t meeting anyone and was really homeless.

I made it home Saturday morning in time to work two eight-hour bartending shifts.  I was exhausted but happy.  My friend has made a full recovery.  I’m sure it was in spite of my nursing abilities.  That’s not a job I could do.  I told her I draw the line at wiping her butt.  I said I would just take the garden hose after her.  She told me not to make her laugh.  I didn’t listen.

Christmas Kick-Off

Christmas is over but the memories remain.  My Christmas was kicked off on the Eve of Christmas Eve while bartending.  It was a pretty good kick-off because it’s given me lots of material to talk about and something to write about.

About two hours into a nine hour shift She (I wrote about her and her contact lens previously) arrived.  I looked to the heavens and said a small prayer prior to serving her a vodka diet coke.  “Tall, I want a strong one” she ordered.  Well, when I’m working that gets you nowhere, in fact, it may get you a drink that’s slightly light on the alcohol just because.  I hate to do that but if you want a strong drink and a bartender that likes you, order and pay for a double.  A bartender will make your drink however they make their drinks.  You will not persuade them by telling them to ‘make it strong’.

This woman is a talker, and I mean a talker, she talks non-stop, to no one, about nothing.  She not only butts into everyone else’s conversation, she touches them, hugs them and has no concept of personal space.  Oh, and, she’s also a singer.  Not a singer in the ‘I can sing’ kind of way but a singer in the ‘I sound like a cat that’s being dragged behind a car’ kind of way, and she loves to play the juke box.

Her and I were in juke box bliss (read that with sarcasm please) when the two boys came in.  I carded them so know they were 24 and 25.  I should probably mention here that she’s 49 and doesn’t look a day over 57.  She noticed the boys right away, got a look on her face like a cougar in heat and apparently started plotting her pounce.  After they were about half a beer in, she moseyed up, put her arms around them and said “Hi boys”, in her sexiest of voices (I’m rolling my eyes as I type that).  Now, prior to her doing that I had apologized to these two lovely gentlemen for anything that may come out of her mouth that was offensive.  They’re reply, “we can’t wait”.

She first asked their names, they were Bob and Brian, which was completely not true and of course she basically gave her name, rank, serial number, home phone number and the lowdown on her marital status, which shockingly enough, is SINGLE.  This is about the time the boys started giggling and they didn’t stop through two more beers, two shots and about 15 songs.  Them giggling of course made me giggle and the night was off to a very interesting start.  At one time she rubbed her nose on Bob’s back and said “Ohhh, my nose is so cold”, the look on his face was priceless when immediately following that she said “I think I’m flirting with you, that would make me a cougar”.  his eyes screamed “what the hell just happened, you have to help me” but that was the point of no return for me and for Bob.   No way, no how were we going to stop laughing.

The ‘cougar chronicles’ continued through “Love is a Battlefield”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Hell Is For Children” and “Angel of the Morning”.  She serenaded them like I have never heard before in my life.  At one point I put my phone on record, set it on the bar and let it ride.  Her serenading is forever recorded.  I just have no idea how to share it yet because the file is too big, I’ll figure it out eventually though.  I would hate to not be able to share it with all of you, it’s pretty awesome.   Just in case you have any thoughts that she might have known the words to any of those songs, you are completely mistaken.

The boys finally left while apologizing for having to meet friends elsewhere and assured me they would be back another night.  I asked them to take her with but they respectfully declined.  I personally think Brian was headed home to change his shirt that she kept rubbing her nose on but that’s just my opinion.

After the boys left, she continued to ramble on and sing until her cab arrived for the second time, she had sent him away the first time because she was having so much fun flirting.  When her second chariot arrived she almost forgot her purse, phone and money on the bar so I had to stop her prior to getting out the door.  I shook my head and said a thank you for the peace and quiet as the door closed.

About 45 minutes after she left, two police officers walked in the front door….with her following behind, covered in snow.  I cannot begin to explain to you the thoughts that invaded my brain when I spotted her.  All I could say was “Hi officers, can I help you?”.  They said “we understand she was in here earlier.”.  Of course I told them she had been.  While she was in the bathroom, they told me she had lost her purse and couldn’t get in her house.  I filled in what blanks I could and they finally called the cab company and found out she had been dropped off at the gas station.  She told the driver she was going to walk home from there.

They found out she had her purse at the gas station so they thanked me and left on the next leg of the adventure with the cougar.  I doubt I have to mention here that she was completely flirting with the officers.   I laughed and once again shook my head as they left me.  Thinking that was one too many times seeing her that night.

About 11:30 I started my closing routine, taking out the trash, checking bathrooms, straightening stools and there it was……..her cellphone……..on the corner of the bar.  Well crap, what to do about that?  I checked the recent calls and texts to see if there was anything from her from a home phone or a friend’s phone.  Nothing.  Knowing we were closed for the next two days I figured I would take it with me and track her down the following day, in her ramblings she managed to tell me where she worked along with a thousand other details of her life.

At 11:45 the front door flew open and there She stood.  Red faced, shivering and red faced.  I closed my eyes, laughed and finally said “Hey, you’re here to pick up your phone, glad you made it”.  She said “Yeah, I need my phone in order to get up for work”.   Then she said “Man, I had the cops at my house”.  I said “I know, they brought you in here because you lost your purse”.  She said “They did?”.  Then she went on and on how she didn’t understand how they knew she lost her purse since she didn’t have a phone and they were in her living room and then of course added they were kind of hot.

I tried over and over again to explain to her how she hadn’t left her phone at the bar until after she tried to go home and lost her purse on the way but she just wasn’t in any condition to comprehend.  Finally I went out and started my car, told her to go and wait in the car and I locked up the bar.  When we were on the way to her house she said “You know, I don’t have much but I have a little bit of pot at home so you’re welcome to come in and we’ll smoke it”.  At this point, nothing surprises me about her so I politely said “No thanks, I’ve got to get up early”.  She thanked me excessively and got out.  I waited for her to climb the snow bank and get in the house.

I took the remainder of the drive to piece together what had happened to her and here’s what I came up with.  She had the cab drop her off at the gas station, she bought a bag full of crap, walked home and on the walk she took a digger in a snow bank and dropped her purse in the fall.  She got home, couldn’t get in the door,  called the police, they retraced her steps to the bar, the gas station and the snow bank and found her purse.  She then walked back to the bar to pick up the phone she forgot on her second visit.  I laughed out loud thinking of it, wishing it would have somehow been filmed and was happy the adventurous evening was over.

I’m curious to see what she says next time she comes in and how much she actually remembers.  All I know……it’s always interesting when she’s in the bar.