She Won’t Be Needing Hair Mousse For a While!

A fiend and alert reader posted this to my Facebook page today. The photo, taken in a hospital waiting area, depicts a woman who, supposedly, confused a can of builder’s foam with a can of hair mousse.


My first thought was, “What an idiot!” (The victim of the incident, not my friend!) My second thought was, “Oh, wait a minute. I once did something like that myself! (“What an idiot!”) Of course my friend remembered this, which is why she posted the photo and accompanying article to my Facebook page with the comment, “Does this bring back memories, JD?”

Yeah. It did. Ha-ha. Good times!

Still, what I did wasn’t AS idiotic as what this woman did. (In the interests of full disclosure I should mention that I have rated this example of idiocy using the underappreciated “Jackie Scale of Idiocy”.) To begin with, my run-in with builder’s foam occurred as a result of my having occasion to USE builder’s foam; I didn’t mistake it for hair mousse, for heaven’s sakes. (Even I am not that much of an idiot!) I got covered it in AFTER I took the gloves off—the ones that I knew enough to use while working with this sticky substance.

What happened to me was this: After removing the gloves I realized that the goo was coming loose from the hole that it was intended to fill. (I think that my husband, who was standing behind me while I was jammed into a very tiny space, said “Jack, it looks like that stuff is coming OUT of the hole!” Thank God he was there!)

The goo was, in fact, oozing out of the damn hole, effectively rendering all of the time I had just spent wedged underneath my kitchen sink both wasteful and useless. I could not allow THAT to happen, now could I?

No. I could not. In what was, in hindsight, an idiotic and not well thought out maneuver, I used my bare hands (and a sizeable portion of my forearms) to push the foam back into the hole. I may have proudly and, as it would turn out, prematurely looked at the husband and said, “Problem solved!” (It is highly likely that I uttered these words with the same attitude and in the same tone that one would imagine a kid on the schoolyard would shout “So there!”)

Seconds later I realized (possibly because the husband was smirking and pointing at my hands) that while I had solved one problem I had developed another. I was now covered in builder’s foam.

I immediately made valiant and unsuccessful attempts to remove this crap from my skin. Following much fruitless washing with soap and water, I tried a sugar scrub and other exfoliating agents, and, finally, even nail polish remover. The results of these treatments were neither pretty nor successful. The builder’s foam was still stuck to my now very swollen and inflamed skin.

I then did what any idiot in my position should have done in the first place: I got my husband to conduct a Google search. While it did not turn up any miracle cure for my stupidity, we did uncover any number of stories where folks related their own experiences with removing this stuff from some very odd places. Very odd places indeed. Mostly these stories involved how not one, but quite a large percentage of the builder’s foam-using population (a far higher percentage than one would expect), have managed to cover their genitalia in this caustic chemical. (And lived to tell the tale!)

As I was poring over these very pathetic, yet highly amusing, stories, I realized that I had the sudden urge to urinate. Not one of the reports that I had read through my tears of laughter had any advice for how to avoid such a thing, which would have been helpful advice for those of us who had found ourselves in a similar and unenviable position.

I cannot tell a lie. I decided to “air-dry”. It seemed the best solution to the sticky situation that I had found myself in.

While my own unfortunate run-in with builder’s foam was the result of a silly mistake, I still contend that at least I was in the act of using builder’s foam when it happened. What was going on with this woman, the woman in the article, the woman who mistook a can of builder’s foam for a can of hair mousse?

The whole sorry incident begs a few questions, doesn’t it? The first one that springs to mind is how, given the fact that containers of builders foam are large and have a thin straw attached to their nozzles (for “ease of use” and “pinpoint accuracy”, LOL!), mousse cans are much thinner and, at least the brands that are available at my grocery store, do not have straw-like protuberances dangling from their nozzles.

Even if, say, I couldn’t make out the writing on the can, even without my glasses on, I would think that I would question whether or not I was holding a can of hair mousse in my hand. Also, why would a can of builder’s foam be stored anywhere near a can of hair mousse? Even if one were sealing up holes in the bathroom, why would they then decide to store a used jar of builder’s foam (which would be of little use, as it dries up in the opened can rather quickly) in the same area with the hair products? This happened in Eastern Europe. Perhaps they have different organizing principles than we do here.

Still, regardless of where it happened, the whole thing just defies logic. Something is not adding up here. I am more than a little suspicious of the leaves and the twigs that can be seen stuck to the builder’s foam.

My guess is that she was under the influence of something (my guess is that that “something” was not fumes from the builder’s foam) or that someone else sprayed her with it. As to the foliage? Perhaps the builder’s foam-wielding miscreants found her “sleeping it off” under a tree.

How ever this woman managed to wind up with a head full of builder’s foam, one thing is for sure: she won’t have much use for hair mousse for a while.

Thanks to my friend and alert reader, Vina, for sending me the story that prompted this post!

Tales from “The Annoying Bar & Grill”: Is ANYTHING alright?

theabgisanythingallrightThere are tables upon which I wait that I want to ask, instead of the standard “How is everything?”, something snarkier, but far more pointed, which is: “Is ANYTHING alright?”

It is a great line — and one that I picked up from a waiter friend. Alas, I cannot use it in my place of business, not if I want it to be my place of business any longer, anyway. My friend gets away with it where he works. I would not get away with it where I work. It is a great line, though, don’t you think? Still, I wish I had never heard it. Because it is oh, so tempting to use it.

On several occasions this weekend I found it on the tip of my tongue, but was able, in a rare show of self-restraint, to stop myself from uttering it aloud. That there was more than one table where, seemingly, no one was happy with anything is an indication that someone should have stayed home this weekend — perhaps that someone was me. Considering that I work there, that I had to be there, and that I needed the money, my staying home was not exactly feasible.

Customers have choices, though. Oh, yes. They do. What they also have are opinions. About everything.

One of the most grating things that people complain about is the temperature in the restaurant. For the record — and because I was forced to check it no less than a hundred times in a three-day period — I know that the thermostat was registering an ambient 72 degrees Fahrenheit ALL WEEKEND. It was, in other words, PERFECT. I think that even Goldilocks, that pesky little fairytale trespasser, would have agreed that it was JUST RIGHT!

Still, I had to listen to the barrage of complaints regarding our HVAC system. “It’s FREEZING in here!” (Seventy-two degrees is NOT freezing. That’s just science, kids.) “Oh, my God. It’s so HOT in here!” (No, it was not.) “Am I sitting underneath a vent? There is air blowing directly ON me!” (The fan was off, so there was NO air blowing directly ON anybody. Again, science.)

And then there were the complaints about the seasonal menu items that we no longer offer, as it is now a DIFFERENT season. Several tables wanted the corn on the cob. When I explained that we no longer had any corn on the cob — but that it would likely make a return to the menu NEXT summer — you would have thought that I had told them that we would no longer be offering oxygen in our too hot/too cold atmosphere. Many were befuddled by this news, a few were actually crestfallen — by the absence of corn. Corn!

We were also out of Blue Moon on tap this weekend. I had a server come up to me and tell me that a customer was “demanding” that he be provided a Blue Moon on tap. And so I did what any bartender in a similar position would do. I poured a bottle of Blue Moon into a glass and slapped an orange on the rim. Problem solved.

As the server walked away, I just shook my head in disbelief. Who “demands” an item that we are out of? How did this guy think I was going to produce a keg of beer for him when I could not produce it for anyone else? Did he think I had managed to formulate and ferment a batch in the back room? Did he think I had The Belgian Brewmasters on speed dial? Why did he have to have Blue Moon? Who allowed this idiot to leave the house?

When he finished his meal and as he was leaving the restaurant, our Blue Moon enthusiast stopped at the bar to thank me for “finding” the Blue Moon on tap. (As if it had been “lost”.) He went on to say that had he been unable to have a Blue Moon on tap that he might have gone “ballistic”. “Well”, I said, “as entertaining as such a thing might have been, sir, I am happy that we were able to avoid THAT!” It was a good thing that he didn’t want the corn. I don’t know how we could have pulled that one over on him.

As if the customers were not annoying enough this weekend, the cooks got in on the act, as well. Of course they did.

I don’t know what-all was going on with them this weekend. They behaved as if I, personally, had pissed in their Cheerios. I had not. I was not the one eating from the gluten-free menu or insisting that we butterfly a bone-in steak; I was simply the conduit for the people who were. That I had to continually remind them of this added an element of difficulty to my weekend that I, for one, could, very easily, have lived without.

In spite of all that went on down at “The Annoying Bar & Grill”, some good things did happen this weekend. The New York Mets managed to win their division for the first time in nine years! I enjoyed a lovely hibachi dinner with some friends. Oh, and, my daughter decided to get her septum pierced. That last thing, on the surface, may not seem like a good thing, but if you were the person on the other end of the thousand text messages concerning this decision, you might feel otherwise.

The reality is that I don’t care what my kid pierces — as long as she gets it done in a sterile environment, as long as I don’t have to pay for it, as long as she just does it already, I honestly do not care. Other people will care far more than I will.

Last Thanksgiving she came home with a nostril piercing — an event that caused some people to question my parenting skills. This year’s piercing may well bring about similar conversations. To tell you the truth, I hope that it does. I am thinking that it may afford me the opportunity to use that line — the one that I love so very much, but dare not throw at my customers — as I defend my hard-working and bright progeny’s decision to put a ring or a bone (I so hope it’s a bone!) through her nose.

To my family I can ask, without fear of repercussion, “Is ANYTHING alright?”

Small Town News: I Am Not Surprised

smalltownnewsiamnotsurprisedI was at my local market yesterday, which is not unusual. I am a frequent flyer there, so much so that I am often surprised not to be greeted enthusiastically and in the same fashion as was “Norm”  in the 80’s television series, Cheers.  (A chorus of “JACKIE!”  would not, in other words, be out of place.) It is just that kind of local place. They may not serve beer or have my barstool waiting, but everyone knows me just the same.

That being the case, it is often surprising that whilst grabbing a carton of eggs, a handful of leeks, or a bottle of soda, I have borne witness to my fair share of “yokels behaving badly”. These people never seem to care that everyone, figuratively and, at times, even literally, knows their name.

It is sort of funny to have a front row seat when some of the townsfolk — many of whom seem relatively normal as they dive into a bag of zeppoles at the annual church carnival  or peruse a fashion magazine at the municipal pool — have highly emotional and, yes, outsized, reactions to the absence of things like kumquats or candied orange peel at the local market.

I have been downright shocked to observe certain people, when they think no one is watching, getting handsy with the cheese samples. The forward thinking and generous folks at the market conveniently place toothpicks next to the complimentary cheeses to avoid just such unsanitary behavior. (Use them, Mrs. W., use them!)

The powers-that-be have done their due diligence on the toothpick front. I don’t hold them responsible for the Mrs. W.’s of the world. You can lead a horse to water and all that.

The expectation that the toothpick stockers can foresee and avert a run on niche produce or citrus confections, well, that is just ludicrous. More ludicrous, though, are the reactions of those who pop into the market to purchase such exotica only to find the shelves bare.

To say these kumquat seekers feel thwarted is to put it mildly. Judging from the exchange that I was privy to recently, one would think that the market managers wake up in the morning and hatch an evil plan to remove certain products from the shelves just, you know, because they can. Just because “that guy” will be in later seeking them.

“That guy”, a guy that I do not actually know, but whose act I am all too familiar with, was carrying on — to a powerless cashier, mind you — about the availability or, to be more precise, the lack of availability of fresh squeezed juice.

I didn’t even know the market carried fresh squeezed juice! In the interests of full disclosure, I am not much of a juice drinker. Still, I think I would have noted its presence. It really must be tucked away in some dark corner. Maybe it is nestled amongst other healthy items that hold no interest for me — the quinoa, the granola, the wheat germ — if it were housed near the chocolate chip cookies, I surely would know of its existence.

While there are many things that I do not know, there are a few things that I do. For example, I know “that guy” — not by name, but certainly by face. His act and his expectations were no different on his recent visit to the market than it frequently had been when I was forced to wait on him at the small local restaurant where I was, recently and briefly, employed.

He liked to create the impression that he was a very important person by barking at whoever he was on the phone with — and he was always on the phone with someone. That he “dressed for success” in basketball shorts, two-dollar flip-flops, and a stained t-shirt was, I always thought, part of another statement that he was making — that he was too busy to care about his appearance when it didn’t matter, when the only people he was going to come into contact with were the peons that would be doing his bidding, peons like me. Peons like the market cashier.

When he came in with other people — people who I assume he was selling something to (I think he may be a realtor) — he presented an altogether different appearance: a suit and tie, shoes with laces, and, of course, the requisite pinkie ring. Yeah. He is a real operator, a bona fide mover and shaker. He is also a world-class boob.

I wouldn’t buy a penny candy from him, but I know for sure that his clients are not privy to who he really is. When he was wining and dining someone, he would deign to speak to me — like one human to another; when he was alone, with no one to impress, he would, if I was lucky, grunt his order at me.

When I was unlucky, which was most of the time, our entire discourse would be conducted through the use of hand motions. He would wave away the menu I was presenting, indicate that he wanted a drink refill by holding his glass aloft, and order soup by miming a spoon-to-mouth gesture. If he wanted another bowl of soup, which he almost always did, he would charmingly tap his empty bowl on the table and then tilt it to demonstrate its emptiness.

While Mrs. W.’s attitude toward food safety may have come as a shock to me, “that guy” berating a cashier didn’t surprise me at all. Not one little bit.

Had I not been getting “the eye” from my husband, who sensed that I was about to spring to the cashier’s defense, and had the cashier not handled herself with aplomb — had she looked upset or been younger, for example — I would not have hesitated to open my mouth. On some level I would have loved an excuse to call “that guy” out, but I am happy that it didn’t come to that. (I daresay my husband was also very pleased at my rare show of restraint!) The seasoned cashier, to her credit, did not need my “help”; she was perfectly capable of handling “that guy”.

I did manage to catch “that guy’s” eye, though. He knew exactly who I was. More importantly, he understood that I knew exactly who he was. I took some satisfaction in the fact that I did not have to behave badly myself, that by simply making my presence known “that guy” scurried away — as quickly, let me just add, as his skanky flip-flops could carry him.

For my next passive-aggressive act, I would love to catch Mrs. W.’s eye when she gets busy fondling the cheese.

Tales From “The Annoying Bar & Grill”: Finding a Therapist


I went to a chain burger joint last night where I witnessed another bartender living MY nightmare. He, too, had to contend with the takeout bullshit at the bar.

I watched and listened as a woman held him hostage for ten minutes while she ordered her food to go. Several times throughout the proceedings he attempted to give her the menu that she insisted that she did not need. Trust me, she needed it.

If she asked one question, she asked a hundred. The answers to her questions could very easily have been found in the menu. Rather than doing anything as pesky as reading, though, she insisted on getting her information by auditory means.

As he was attending to our non-reader, his bar began to fill up. I also noticed that the service bar was getting a little busy, too. He was also aware of these things.

Still, he could not, no matter how hard he tried (and he was giving it his all), get this woman to complete her takeout order. I could, quite literally, feel his pain.

When she finally arrived at what I can only guess were life-changing decisions regarding onion rings vs. fries (the choices between these two foodstuffs seemed most troublesome to her) and had finished with the beleaguered bartender, she decided to move on to the host stand; to chat up the busy staff over there. Where, I wondered, did she think she was? Her own kitchen? She seemed to have zero understanding of how things work in a restaurant.

Many, many people behave this way on a daily basis in restaurants across America. They wander around, sit wherever they please, suck the life out of the staff, and then go on their merry way — leaving a slew of people “in the weeds” in the wake of tending to some egotistical twit with a $15 check who thinks that he or she is the center of everyone’s universe.

This woman, in fact, reminded me of one of my regular takeout customers, one who is also a regular pain in the ass. Among the various and sundry things that make him a pain in the ass, his largest defect by far, is that he is cheap. How cheap is he? Let’s just say that I would not be surprised to see moths flying out of his coupon-filled wallet.

He is not poor, by the way. He is just cheap. He purchases large quantities of gift cards — at a significant cost AND a significant discount — so that he can save a few bucks every time he comes in to torture us. This savings, though, is not enough for him.

He has been told time and time again that he cannot use multiple coupons and yet he produces multiple coupons each and every time he comes in to pick up his order. By “multiple”, I mean at least three, sometimes four. He orders two entrees and wants to use three coupons, coupons that clearly state they are meant to be used for two adult meals. He then drags out, and insists upon using, a years old and long expired free dessert or appetizer coupon that he somehow found on the internet.

And, he always finds something to complain about. Always. The other night it was the bags that I used to pack up his order. For a time we had better bags, but the company went back to the old ones. He told me that I needed to go in the back and make sure there were none left — because he wanted those bags, the “good” bags. Instead of assuring him that there were no “good” bags left, I wandered in the back, took a little breather, and returned to report to him the bad news about the bags. They were gone.

Prior to the appearance of “cheap ass coupon guy”, a nice couple had sat at one of my bar tables. I had taken and delivered their drink order. They were, at that time, not ready to order their dinner.

I got rid of “cheap ass coupon guy”, or so I thought, and made my way over to the bar table to take the couple’s order. I thanked them for their patience. The woman looked at me and said, “Our patience? I was just saying to my husband that you are the one with the patience. I could never do what you do, not in a million years! What was he going on about? Bags? That’s just craziness.” Yes, I agreed, it was.

As I looked heavenward, placed my hand over my heart, and told her — in a very dramatic way — that at least it was all behind me now, who do you think appeared out of the corner of my eye? “Cheap ass coupon guy”, that’s who. He was baaaaack!

Before he could tap me on the shoulder or otherwise make his presence known, I turned to him and said, “Yes, sir, is there something else that I can do for you tonight?” (Like wipe your ass, for example?) He told me that he was going to need his order double-bagged.

As I was about to ask the nice couple if they could indulge me the thirty seconds that I would need to double bag his damn order, which did NOT, let me assure you, need to be double-bagged, the woman whose order I was taking turned to him and said, very politely and in an even tone, “Okay. Enough is enough with you. You need another bag, my ass. We sat here and watched your act, suffered through your request for a different sort of bag, watched as this woman laboriously and, probably not for the first time, explained the coupon policy to you. We then listened to you as you sent her back to the kitchen for more free bread. Your turn is over. It’s our turn now.”

She then produced a business card from her wallet, her business card, handed it to him and said, “If it spills in your car, I’ll take care of it.” She then took a beat and said, “You may want to hold on to that card, I help people like you all the time.”

He made for the door. I burst out laughing, thanked her, and then asked her what exactly it was that she did for a living. Was she a car detailer?

It turns out that she is a therapist. I laughed even harder. I asked her if she subscribed to the “tough love” theory of behavior modification.

She looked at me, arched her eyebrows, and said, “You may think that I was harsh with him, but the reality is that people who behave like that, people like him, need to have boundaries set for them. You may have noticed that I did not raise my voice or speak to him in an angry tone. That’s the important piece. Still, I let him know that his behavior was unacceptable.”

I then asked her about the “my ass” comment. She kind of chuckled while she admitted that she has her own style — a style that works for her. I could certainly appreciate her flair. I told her that and added that she was a rock star. At the end of the meal I asked her for her card. I let her know that if I ever decided to seek the therapy that some people are convinced that I desperately need, I would be giving her a call.

This method for finding a therapist may not be for everyone, but I like to think that I, too, bring my own personal flair to certain situations. And, you have to love a therapist who peppers her conversations with “my ass”. Yeah. She’s my kind of therapist.

Tales From “The Annoying Bar & Grill”: Peace Out!

the annoying bar & grill peaceout

Tick… Tick… Tick… (Fifteen more seconds to freedom!)

Keys in hand, the manager approaches the door. Tick… Tick… Tick… (Ten more seconds to freedom!)

I hear voices. Is that a customer? Oh, no!

Oh, yes!

Oh, my God, is he is going to sit at the bar? The dark bar? The very obviously closed bar? The bar where the bartender has her pocketbook on her shoulder and her drawer in her hand? You bet he is. Why? Why? Why? Because that’s just the way it goes, that’s why.

He apologizes. He will be quick. Oh, my God! I just want to go home. I am cleaned up and finished. I have not had a customer in an HOUR. An HOUR! Kill me now! I put the drawer back and my pocketbook down. Whomp-whomp-wah.

The servers still have tables. Why didn’t he sit over there? Why? Why? Why? Because I must have been a very bad person in a past life, that’s why.

He orders. He did know what he wanted, I’ll give him that. Guys like him, the “ten seconds to close guys” (and, yes, it is ALWAYS a man), normally only SAY that they know what they want and then force me to read them the menu, make recommendations, blah, blah, blah. This guy was actually true to his word. Still.

In what may just be record time — and I have been doing this for a long time, don’t forget — I bring him a drink, some bread, and his salad. Ready. Set. Eat!

He wants to talk. He begins to throw names around, manager’s names, people he knows in corporate. That’s nice. I don’t care. Is he doing this to let me know that I should continue to be nice to him? I’ve been nice. Very nice. He is very nice, too. Still, we are closed. Please just eat your salad, Mother Teresa. I am going to go and check on your steak. I will cook it if I have to.

Just another minute. Tick… Tick… Tick…

Yes, The Mets lost. Again. No, I do not think it’s tragic. Let’s give them a few more games before we use the word “collapse”. Let’s not be dramatic.

Here you go! I hope it’s cooked just the way you ordered it!

Oh, you like horseradish with your steak. No problem. Let me just go ahead and climb over everything in the back and fetch that for ya! Yay!

More iced tea? Sure. Luckily, I had the forethought to fill another glass before the container was tossed for the night. Here you go! Oh, you want more lemons? Of course you do! Sure. Could you have told me that when I went to forage for the horseradish? Yes, you could have, but you did not. I will be back in a jiffy. Don’t let my absence stop you from eating!

Please stop apologizing for keeping me here and just eat. Please. It is going on thirty minutes now, our relationship. That is thirty minutes too long, just so you know.

You had a long day and that big old steak is the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow. I understand. Let’s just make this a short rainbow, though, okay? If you must continue to converse with me can you please do so WHILE you chew. I will not judge you for speaking with your mouth full. Not tonight. I just want to get home. I have been here for twelve hours.

Yes, it is possible that The Yankees will get the wild card. No, I am not a fan of the one-game wild card playoff, but, as you can see, I do not work for Major League Baseball. If only. Perhaps I will get on that tomorrow.

I am telepathically letting you know that if you order dessert I will have to reassess how nice you are. Can you sense the murderous thoughts that are creeping into my head? I have no shoelaces with which to fashion a garrote, but there is plenty of cutlery with which to do the job. (Wow, I really may have been a bad person in a past life!)

Luckily all of the dessert menus have been put to bed for the night. Stop looking around for them. It is not happening. You are going to ask me about dessert, aren’t you? You are.

We no longer have the brownie. (Thank God!) It was the only thing you liked? I’m sorry. Let me give you directions to Dairy Queen. They have a delicious brownie sundae. Yes, they’re still open for a few more minutes. If you hurry, you can make it. They are likely cleaned up, too, but I am sure that they will be just as excited to see you as I was. Please do not tell them I sent you. They like me up there. Let’s keep it that way.

Peace Out!

Small Town News: I Was Not In My Pajamas Chasing a Garbage Truck!

smalltownnewspajamasLiving in a small town can have its benefits. Everyone, pretty much, knows everyone else. Sometimes by name, sometimes just by face. As my daughter’s peers have aged I realize that I know a lot of faces, but am fuzzy on some of the names. I spent years volunteering in the school system and in town in one capacity or another. As a result, I know quite a few people here in Mayberry.

Admittedly, this can be annoying under certain circumstances, like when you are chasing the DPW truck and hauling your garbage can up the street whilst in your pajamas, and out of the clear blue you hear, “Hi, Mrs. D! How’s Fangette doing?” It is in these moments that you find yourself thinking, “Good Lord, do I look like I am any condition to hold a conversation?” But I still do. As I hand some young man my garbage can and thank him for holding the truck for my sorry ass, I say, “She’s doing just fine. Thanks for asking!” And then I skulk away before he has time to notice the condition of my hair (sticking straight up!) or my teeth (unbrushed!).

There are other situations, though, in which the whole, “Hey, I know her!” can come in handy; when it can get you out of a jam. Take today, for example.

Late this morning I was very nearly involved in fisticuffs with a well-dressed, but  ill-tempered man. Seriously, he appeared to be on the verge of, like the kids say, “throwing down” . This guy really needed to chill out, to put things in perspective. Luckily, while I can be a hothead myself, I chose to take the higher road with this insaniac — plus, as you shall see, he rather quickly and unexpectedly became outnumbered. (Don’t mess with a former PTO President in small town America, folks!)

The events that I am about to recount transpired as I was returning home from a job interview. I am happy to report that I am, once again, in possession of two jobs. Yay, me! Hopefully this one will be far less stressful than the one I just left. It’s a bartending gig and, as such, is far more in my comfort zone. As the entire interview was conducted in an elevator while standing up, I have a good vibe about the far more relaxed nature of this outfit. While this establishment is much fancier than the last place I worked — there are actual tablecloths in this joint — they seem to take themselves far less seriously.

Prior to stumbling upon my new employer in the elevator I was in the midst of several text conversations with people from my main job, mostly regarding shift switches and one concerning the proper etiquette for tipping furniture delivery people. I was eagerly waiting on one of my co-workers to get back to me regarding a shift for this evening, as there had been some confusion regarding this shift — confusion that had, up to that point, not been resolved to my satisfaction. I was still unsure — and had been for most of the week — whether or not I was supposed to work tonight.I don’t mind going to work, I do mind going to work for no reason.

As I got off of the bus my phone started binging — alerting me to the fact that I had received some new text messages. I took out my phone, planning to check the status of my messages as soon as I had cleared the upcoming driveway that was five feet away from me. Yes, my phone was in my hand. No, I was not looking at it or texting on it.

As I approached said driveway I noticed a car slowing down. I was uncertain whether or not the car was slowing down because the driver planned to pull into the driveway or if he or she was out for a Sunday drive. The driver had decided, for whatever reason, not to use a turn signal. Okay.

I decided that even if this person was planning to turn into the driveway, I still had enough time to clear it safely. The driver had other ideas. Instead of recognizing — based on the briskness of my pace — that I was doing my level best to get out of his way, he chose to speed up and try to beat me into the parking lot. When he realized that he needed to give me two more seconds to get out of his path he began to gesture wildly and make the “on the phone” gesture at me.

Let me reiterate that I was not on the phone. I was not even looking at the phone. I was holding my phone, but I was holding it at my side. It was practically resting on my thigh. So, his wild gestures, which included some angry pointing of his finger, kind of irked me.

I rolled my eyes at him and moved along. I just wanted to get home. Perhaps the fact that I had dared to roll my eyes at this maniac — a person who had just seconds before nearly mowed me down with his luxury car — is what got him hot under the collar. I will never know. Me? I was willing to let bygones be bygones. Honestly, I had already forgotten about it.

And then I noticed that he had jumped out of his car. And he was screaming. Frankly, I thought that he was on the phone. I may have rolled my eyes again as I thought, “What is this idiot going on about now? Who is he screaming at now?” And then it dawned on me: he was still screaming at little old me.

His arms were going a mile a minute, as was his mouth, and his face was beet red. Just as I was about to open my own mouth, a minivan pulled up next to me — a minivan that contained, oddly enough, a gaggle of young men. One of them rolled down the window and said, “Ma’am, is everything alright?”

I just had a second to register the appearance of the minivan when I realized that loony luxury car guy was about ten feet in front of me. I put up my hands in a “stop” motion and told him, “Sir, I don’t know what your problem is, but I am going to tell you right now that you had better ‘step off’ because if you think for one minute that you are going to intimidate me with your blustering and your hollering, you are out of your mind. Let me remind you that I am the pedestrian and that, as such, you must stop for me. End of story.”

He then began pointing at my purse or, more exactly, to a brown paper bag that was hanging out of my purse, while making a drinking motion with his hand to his mouth. I was completely and utterly confused by this.

I then heard a voice behind me. It was one of the young men from the minivan. It occurred to me that I knew him. He was a couple of years older than my daughter and while I could not tell you his name, I recognized him. It became obvious that he knew me, too.

This kid turned to the moron that was now quiet, but standing with his hands on his hips — as if he was waiting for me to say something to him, if I had to guess, I would say that he was waiting on an apology. (He may as well have been waiting for hell to freeze over.) That is when I realized that one of the young men was standing aside of me. He said, “Sir, I know this woman. I would suggest, if you would like to escape with your dignity and your nose intact, that you get the hell out of here because she will bury you.”

I burst out laughing. We all did. Well, the boys in the van and I did. Mr. Luxury Car turned on his heel and left, but not before he made a comment about women who wander the streets drunk before noon. Again, I was confused.

The young man, the one who clearly knew me, pointed to the brown bag hanging out of my purse. It was then when I realized that our excellent driver thought that I was carrying a bottle of booze in my purse. I reached into the bag and produced, for the boys and for the guy who had concluded that I was wandering around taking hits from a bottle of hootch, the ham and cheese sandwich that I was planning to eat for lunch. I held it aloft, you know, kind of like how John Cusack held the boom box over his head in “Say Anything”.

The kid just laughed some more and said, “Mrs. D., you have a great day. Would you like a ride home?” I said, “No, but thank you for coming to my rescue!” He told me it was his pleasure and, with that, the van sped off. And, yes, I noted that the driver signaled to the rest of the world his intention to pull on to the street. For the life of me I cannot put a name to the face of my rescuer or to any of the other inhabitants of the minivan.

It was a great small town moment that was made better by the fact that I was not in my pajamas chasing a garbage truck!

Don’t Hang the Curveball, Matt!

donthangthecurveballmattI was sitting here lamenting the fact that I have to work tonight. I would much rather stay home and watch the Mets game. Truthfully, I would rather do that every night, but tonight’s game is special and it is special for a couple of reasons.

The first is that if we win tonight we will be six games in front of our nearest competitor — The Washington Nationals — in the NL East. Beating the Nats tonight will be as much of a psychological victory as a physical one for the Mets (and, yes, their fans).

Not one sports analyst or writer of any note chose any team other than The Washington Nationals to win the NL East at the beginning of the season. Why would they? On paper, The Nationals looked like they couldn’t lose. But that, my friends, is why they play the games.

The other reason that I would really like to be sitting on my couch biting my fingernails tonight is that Matt Harvey will be on the mound. There has been some controversy this week regarding whether or not Matt, who is coming off of Tommy John surgery, would be available to pitch the rest of his scheduled starts in the regular season and still be able if, God willing, the Mets make it to the post-season.

It was a bit of a circus. Heaping doses of bloom and doom and all that. Then Matt penned an article for The Player’s Tribune, in which he stated that he is working in conjunction with his doctors, his agent, and the Mets organization to insure that he can pitch in the post-season. Crisis averted. (I hope.)

As I was having my coffee this morning and dreading the fact that I had to go to work tonight, it occurred to me that I might not be the only one filled with dread. What about Matt? How is he feeling today?

The pressure is on. This is the biggest game of his career. One mistake and it could all blow up in his face. If I make a mojito incorrectly tonight no one will write about it tomorrow or, hopefully, instantly tweet bad things about my skills as a bartender. I can just remake the stupid drink. Matt won’t be able to retrieve a curveball that doesn’t break.

If Matt Harvey misses his target tonight and Bryce Harper takes him deep, oh, boy, I would not want to be him! Not for all the money in the world, not for all the tea in China.

Yesterday Jon Niese had a terrible game. His performance was well-documented on Twitter and, I am certain, many other social media outlets. As I was reading them, it occurred to me that he, too, could read them. I hope that he chose not to do so. They were brutal.

Certainly it was not Jon Niese’s intention to go out and pitch a bad game yesterday, just as it is never my intention to make a margarita with vodka instead of tequila, but it happens. I will be hard at work tonight making a valiant effort, as I always do, to use the correct ingredients in my cocktails.

I am sure that Matt will be making the same effort where pitch selection is concerned. The difference is that he will be doing it while millions of people watch and, yes, judge him. I really hope, for his sake, that he doesn’t hang that curve.