Saturday, May 27, 2017

Can You Guess Hick's Latest Transgression?

Oh, come on! As if I would really ask you such a question. You KNOW that everything Hick does is wrong, so guessing his latest transgression would be a Herculean task. It CAN be done, but will require countless attempts.

Here is a note I found when I returned home after a mere 45 minutes away to pick up my 44 oz Diet Coke and scratcher tickets.


Yes, that note IS written on a paper plate. That's Hick's stationery of choice. At least he used a clean plate. But look closely at the message. Hick's penmanship is just a sliver above that of Joe H's wife. I didn't have trouble understanding it, except for that last part, which I thought maybe said, "Call Thor." Since I didn't see anyone named Thor, I figured Hick meant that word to be "them." That's the problem with that plate note. It lacked detail.

When interrogated questioned, Hick went on the offensive before my mouth had even started harping questioning.

"I wouldn't have picked up and listened, but I was expecting a call from the pharmacy about my medicine!"

"Well, I'm not sure who to call. I went to the doctor nurse practitioner Monday, and to radiology on Wednesday. So I don't know who to call for results. Is it for my blood tests, or my mammogram? They're two separate offices."

"Just go listen to the message."

Funny thing with our phone. If you pick up, it doesn't record a message. So Hick told me to look at the last call, which was a scammer, but the next-to-last number was the hospital number. Used by both radiology and the clinic. So I asked Hick how he didn't remember any details if he picked up and got the name JENNY, and he said he knew it wasn't for him, so he didn't pay attention, because he knew the machine would record it.

So...I called the hospital number. You realize that is long distance from Backroads, right? And I have to call on the land line because we have terrible cell phone reception at our house. You probably also realize that you can't just get a person when you call a hospital anymore. You get that long list of pick this number if you want this. I picked the number to talk to my doctor nurse practitioner. You realize, don't you, that office personnel use this to screen their calls? You never get a person. You get a message that they are either on another call, or they are helping a patient. Though when I have gone to the office, there are always two or three gals sitting at the desk, chatting about various non-work topics, and not helping patients or talking to them on the phone.

I left a message that I didn't know if somebody from their office had called with my test results, and gave my name and number so they could call me back at their whim. THEN I called the hospital number back, and waited for a real person at the end of the endless choice list, and the minute I mentioned that I didn't know if to call radiology or my doctor nurse practitioner, they asked who I saw, and I gave the name, and BOOM I was right back on the answering machine of that office. So I left another message. Because, you see, I didn't know if they were calling to say I needed further testing, and to schedule an appointment, or if it was just a courtesy call with my lab results, which they promised at my last appointment six months ago, and never followed through on.

I really miss my old doctor YES, DOCTOR, who scheduled the bloodwork a week ahead of the appointment, and then discussed the results with me in person. I guess that's too logical for the young whippersnapper who took his place, since he always schedules the labs for the week AFTER the appointment, unless you ask to go that very day, and save a trip.

Anyhoo...Hick was released from the hook about an hour later, when the doctor's nurse practitioner's nurse called me back with the results. Apparently, I have the body of a taut, pre-teen Swedish boy. Oh, wait! No I don't! That was Kramer, wearing too-tight jeans.

What that nurse actually revealed were the results of my mammogram (everything's fine, repeat in one year), and when pressed, said she'd look for the bloodwork results. In fact, she was even to the point of putting down the phone (NO!) and taking the elevator up one floor to ask them about it, but then she found it. The only three items she mentioned, after saying everything looked good, was that my fasting glucose level was 92, my total cholesterol was 142, and my good cholesterol (HDL) was 66.

So I guess I'm still kickin'. And capable of kickin' Hick's butt if he doesn't learn to take better messages.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday #62 "This Boot Was Made for Clompin'"

Blog buddy Sioux is hosting Back-of-the-Book-Blurb Friday. I have 150 words to convince you to fake-buy my fake book. Sit down and take a load off. Fill up that Clairol Foot Fixer that your kids gave you for Christmas back in the late '70s (if you didn't re-gift it, that is) and immerse yourself in Val Thevictorian's latest fake book. It's a shoe-in for literary honors, and you're sure to get a kick out of it. Fake-order yours today!


This Boot Was Made for Clompin'

Claude Hopper is an old sole. He's been kickin' around for a long time, and is pert near pushin' up cacti. Claude has slowed down so much that moss is growing on his north side. But he continues to work. You'll never catch Claude in retirement. His life might have unraveled in ways that Claude never anticipated, but he stuck out his tongue and dug in his heels and put his foot down. He has pulled himself up by his own bootstraps.

Folks tread lightly around Claude. He has a will of iron and toes of steel. Nobody dares comment on Claude's new love, Bistro, a sweet Croc one-tenth his age, who is quite graphic, and not afraid to get down and dirty. Will Bistro let her strap down for Claude? Or will she spurn him for a suitor who will walk all over her? (145 words)

__________________________________________________________________

Fake Reviews for Val’s Fake Book

Dr. Scholls..."I must stand firm and insert my opinion. Something about this story and these characters just doesn't gel for me. The plot falls flat, and I predict that this author will get very little support." 

Penny Loafers..."We don't see the benefit of this whole work thing. People give us walking-around money. Looks like this fake author did not research her premise." 

Mary Jane..."Like me, Claude's name defines a generation's footwear. Sadly, mine has taken on more seedy connotations. I am no longer a shining example for little girls on their way to Sunday school. Upon reflection, I wish I could restore my reputation. I couldn't help selling the rights to my name. I was strapped, I tell you! Maybe this Thevictorian woman can help me tell my own story. On second thought...that's about as appetizing as a pair of used shoes from the Goodwill Store."

Mukluks..."This fake book leaves us cold! The mind of Thevictorian must be akin to a vast, frozen wasteland."

Bruno Maglis..."We're not saying she did it. But if she DID fake-write this fake story, Thevictorian needs to be locked up, and the key thrown away. If she can't depict, you must convict! See that Val Thevictorian never fake-writes another fake book!"

Topsiders..."Claude! Get a grip, you big lug! We thought you were thick-soled, and immune to the feminine wiles. Oh, well. Whatever floats your boat. We hope you're not in for stormy seas. Can't say the same for the author, though! It won't be the first time the word "squall" has been associated with Thevictorian."

Odor Eaters..."Claude, we would be honored to feast upon your effluence. You are an American classic. It's the fake writing of that Thevictorian woman that stinks!" 

The Toe-Tapping Shoe in the Opening Credits of My Three Sons..."Doo doo doo DOOOO, doo doo doo DOOOO...That's what this fake book is! A steaming pile of DOOO-DOOO!"

The Good Feet Store..."We would like to partner with Thevictorian, and sell her fake book on the counter of our fine establishment. After all, anybody who would wear a pair of shoes like Claude would likely be in need of our services. AND, anybody who would pay $1000 for shoe inserts is likely stupid enough to purchase this fake book."

Cole Porter..."I wish I could say that I get a kick out of Thevictorian. But I more strongly wish that I could KICK Thevictorian for giving us this poor excuse for a fake book. It is most certainly NOT de-lovely, nor delightful, nor delicious. I guess she just assumed anything goes in the world of literature."

 The Cast of STOMP..."We must put our feet down and declare that this fake book is a piece of garbage! It's rubbish! Trash! We've bin trying to tell as many people as we can. Don't buy this fake book! On the other hand...we'd like to invite Thevictorian to join our act. We could make beautiful music together. She's a portly gal, and probably emits a nice resonance when struck."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Casinopalooza 2: Homeward Bound, a Restaurant Review

Let the record show that having Genius as a passenger did nothing to alter Hick's driving style. He made no effort to conceal the skills that make him a Master Sweaver. My head swayed like a cobra mesmerized by a snake charmer's flute. I really needed a neck brace like those shady rear-end collision victim insurance scammers wear until a crafty private investigator sets off a firecracker behind them and snaps a picture of them turning their head. Or a stack of those copper rings that women in Longneck Village wear for beauty purposes. Just something for support.

Hick is not only a Master Sweaver...he's a squeezer. No, not a geezer, a squeezer! He's not a stomper or a slammer. He squeezes the brakes to stop. Then lets off of them abruptly. So you don't notice too much when he's slowing down and stopping. Then WHAM! Your head snaps back against the headrest when he takes his foot off the brake right before a complete stop, then squeezes that pedal again, with the same let-off. Hick drives me crazy! Heh, heh! Get it?

We hit Genius's College Town at 12:50. Genius was snoozing in the back seat, though how he remained conscious with his own large noggin flopping like a chicken with its noggin removed, I'll never understand. Genius had declared about an hour back down the road that he was not hungry for any lunch, and just wanted to be dropped off at his apartment. Hick, always on the lookout for food that does not come from Val's kitchen, said he wanted to have lunch.

Hick suggested the Tater Patch, which does indeed have good taters and other fare. But I didn't want to take that long. He also suggested the Chinese restaurant where Genius eats most Fridays on the $6.00 that I send him every week (because my mom started that tradition). I didn't want that much food to sit in my stomach for the next two hours of winding two-lane blacktop. I was perfectly happy to wait until we got home to eat a lupper at my leisure. Nope. Hick was not having it. He had to have lunch. He suggested...um...let's call it Pizza Shack, the national chain, because he wanted their lunch buffet.

I told Hick that in Backroads, the lunch buffet ends at 1:00. I'm pretty sure it runs from 11:30 to 1:00. My mom used to take us all there over the summer, all of us meaning Sis and her kids and me and my kids. Since it was now 12:50, I told Hick that I didn't think the buffet would work out. Besides, I didn't want to eat at a buffet.

Of course Hick drove right past his Goodwill Store turn-off after dropping Genius at his apartment. So I felt sorry for him when he noticed, and I said we could go have a personal pan pizza if he wanted. So we stopped at Pizza Shack, and saw that their buffet was still good until 2:00. And by good, I don't mean the quality. Hick said we both wanted the buffet, so I didn't insist on my personal pan. I figured we'd get back on the road sooner if I didn't.

There are times when I can enjoy Pizza Shack's food. A good personal pan being one of those times. I am not a fan of their buffet. The thin crust pizza was not crisp. The pan pizza was mostly dough, with see-through cheese and a couple crumbs of topping. I tried it, and left most of it on my plate. I DID have a decent salad.

Right after we sat down, a woman came in with a little girl of about 4 who must have been her granddaughter. Or a royal princess. First of all, Granny (who seemed to know the server) asked for a sausage pizza to be brought out to the buffet. "She'll only eat sausage." That's not too unusual for somebody to ask for a certain kind of pizza. But I knew Royal Princess was going to be a royal pain. Not really HER fault. But the fault of her enablers for the first four years of her life.

Royal Princess bopped from one side of the booth to the other. Moving just as soon as Granny had her plate and soda set down. She ended making Granny stand up and let her in to sit under her left armpit. Then she wanted to try some pizza that Granny had on her plate. "But you only like sausage pizza. They're bringing one out." Royal Princess declared that she wanted to try that other kind.

Anyhoo...I, myself, favor sausage pizza. Hick asked if I wanted him to get me a couple pieces when they brought it out.

"No. There's going to be trouble. That little girl thinks it's HER pizza."

"She's not going to eat a whole pizza, Val. She's a little girl. And it will be fresh. I'll get you some, so you don't have to get up."

"Well...I know she'll have a fit. But after she gets some...maybe."

Of course you know what happened. They brought out the sausage pizza. Granny got up. Hick got up. Royal Princess started yammering, "Don't let anybody..." Granny took Royal Princess 3 pieces of sausage pizza. Hick came back to the table with 3 pieces of sausage pizza. He took a large one with about 25 lumps of sausage on it, and gave me two thin slivers with one lump of sausage on one, and two lumps on the other.

I took a couple of bites, but was distracted by the woman at the booth behind Granny and Royal Princess, who was CHANGING HER BABY'S DIAPER on the booth seat.

If you're ever in Genius's College Town, you might want to re-think the Pizza Shack lunch buffet.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Casinopalooza 2: Not-Bubbly and Brew

As different as their personalities, Genius and The Pony received unique treatment from Even Steven during Casinopalooza 2.

The Pony has let his hair grow out. He had wanted to do that since the summer before his senior year of high school, but, what with all the pictures and milestones that year, I was not sure it was a good idea. The Pony's hair is wavy like Hick's (old hair when he had it), and reaches a length where it is uncontrollable and unkempt. Once his valedictorian speech was done, The Pony began cultivating his tresses in earnest. Thankfully, he was out of my sight and out from under my thumb during the messy stage. It now looks better than I expected. As long as he picks it out once, right after his shower in the morning, it falls into ringlets that reach almost to his shoulders now. His hair kind of looks like the album cover of Frampton Comes Alive, only not frizzy, with a tighter curl, and dark brown instead of blond.

The Pony won several hundred dollars on the first machine he sat down at, and then budgeted his money and played some dollar and two-dollar machines (against my advice, let the record show) and kept his gambling stake intact to take with him at the end. Because of his fairly good luck...Even Steven saw need to smite him in other areas.

At breakfast the first morning, The Pony and I, along with my sister the ex-mayor's wife, chose to order from the menu, rather than have the buffet. Sis had a biscuit and gravy, due to the fact that she'd eaten that buffet the previous morning, and had an upset stomach the rest of the day, and this was the one thing she hadn't eaten from the buffet. I had a bagel with Canadian bacon, egg, and cheese, with a side bowl of fruit. The Pony had waffles, and a side bowl of fruit that he gave to me. We had to wait a while to get our menu meals, but we ogled the loaded plates of Genius, Hick and Ex-Mayor, and sipped our drinks while we waited. Sis and I had water, and The Pony had a Sprite.

In the midst of our breakfast fellowship, the waiter came around and topped off our drinks. The Pony, seated at my left, looked out of sorts. "WHAT? What's the matter? Our food will be here in a minute."

"It's not that. He just filled up my Sprite with water."

Indeed. The waiter came back, and was informed of his fizz-less faux pas, and apologized and brought The Pony a new glass full of Sprite. You'd think The Pony could have thanked him, but, being The Pony, he saw no reason to be fake and take the heat off the poor working man. So I did it for him.

On the way down to the ground floor the first night, after taking our stuff to the room, the elevator opened at Floor 1. The Pony stepped out, and Hick chuckled at him and told him to get back on, that we were going to Ground, not Floor 1. The Pony was a bit embarrassed, but it was just me and Hick and a father with a young son on that elevator. Hick had hit Floor 1 by mistake anyway, so it was kind of his fault.

The next evening, as we were headed down, packed in with a few people from the floors above us, the elevator again stopped at Floor 1. Hick was standing right beside The Pony, and this time, HE thought that's where we were getting off. He put his hand on The Pony's back, and pushed him forward. The Pony resisted. It was kind of comical from behind, where I was observing. The Pony kept his feet rooted in one spot, and swayed forward with Hick's push. I felt bad for him. "That's okay. Dad's just trying to get rid of you. He thought he could fool you into getting off on 1 again." As if that would make The Pony feel better...

Genius did not win as much money as The Pony, but he still took home over half of his gambling stake. He gambled longer, but put his money into the penny machines, relying on their volatility and bonus rounds. I had given each boy $20 walking-around money (because I'm a high roller, you know, and I could spare it) in case they wanted to grab a snack while we were all separated.

The Pony spent part of his twenty on a hamburger and fries at the snack bar. That's because he didn't get his player's card that came with the $10 food voucher until AFTER he ate. Genius spent his twenty on alcoholic beverages at the bar. But he got bargains! They had $2 drinks! Which he said is as good as the bad drinks you get for that price at the worst dive bar in College Town.

Genius also saw one of his professors in the lobby of Downstream Casino. He'd had a class where they discussed marketing, and Vegas, and, in fact, Downstream Casino. He went over to say hello, and ran into him a couple more times and chatted.

Genius has a haircut that is most likely called a high fade, and a full beard as well, which I think is the look of most hipster millennial doofuses gentlemen these days. Except Genius doesn't have a long or bushy beard. Just a full one. I wouldn't say you'll see him in the pages of GQ, but he's no troll, and he's a snazzy dresser.

As we were getting ready to leave River Bend Casino, I was slow in catching up to Hick and Genius, who were cashing out their tickets at a machine. As I walked by a row of slots, I saw a man and a young girl (not a child slot-player!) of around college age sitting at machines on my right, along the aisle. The girl had leaned WAY back, and was looking in the direction I was heading. At Hick and Genius at the money-casher. I'm pretty sure she wasn't checking out Hick. I told Genius I thought he might have an admirer, but he just snorted. Because he's cool like that.

Let the record show that NOT ONE casino carded either of the boys as they entered. NOT ONE! Sure, the slot-gambling age in Oklahoma is 18. The Pony just turned 19 in February. And Genius is 22 now. But when Genius has gone to St. Louis casinos with me, you'd think they were going to call out the SWAT team if he didn't present ID. Especially at Ameristar. Their security is outrageous. It's kind of like walking through all those wacky slamming doors at the beginning of Get Smart, the TV show. Not so much physical barriers, but the litany of questions asked by the guy at the podium out front. I think it's probably easier to get through security at the airport for a transatlantic flight than get into Ameristar if you don't look 35 years old.

Anyhoo...I had a grand time at Casinopalooza 2. I think the boys tolerated it well, and at least gave the impression of having a good time. That's about all I can ask for at that age, right?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Casinopalooza 2: The Rage Against the Machine Man

Perhaps you've heard that weirdos have a penchant for seeking out Val. Like carbon dioxide attracts a mosquito, Val must unconsciously exude a freaky pheromone that draws weirdos to her vicinity.

You'd think that I could blend in at a casino. I'm the right age. I hobble around, one foot in the grave, the other foot screaming for a walker. I clutch my cross-body purse across my gut, lest a snatcher try to wrest if from me. I don't make eye contact. I don't engage other gamblers in small talk. I just want to be left alone to feed my money into hungry slot machines.

On our last night of Casinopalooza 2, The Pony had long since turned in for his beauty rest, Hick had tearfully salvaged the last $50 of the $100 in profit he had ventured, and returned to the room, and Genius had drunk his fill of (or exhausted his budget for) alcoholic beverages, and departed to sleep it off. I was alone in the casino! And at 11:30 p.m., I was just hitting my stride.

I sat down at a row of four Hot Red Ruby slot machines. (Here's a 2-minute video of what they look like, and the red screen bonus that is the reason I LOVE the Oklahoma VGT slots. It's nobody I know. Just a random video on YouTube.) I was at the middle right seat of those four machines. Since it was on a Monday night, the casino was not at all crowded. Nobody else was playing at that row, or any of the ones nearby.

I was having a bit of success, hitting a couple of bonuses. If you're a slot gambler, you know how you sometimes get in a groove, and everything is going well on a machine. I was keeping a count in my head of how many spins between wins. Sometimes raising my bet from one credit to two or three. Everything was going well, until the Rage Against the Machine Man showed up.

Rage Against the Machine Man sat down at the Hot Red Ruby on the left end of the row. There was one seat between us. I did not look at him, nor acknowledge him in any way. An old Val ain't safe in a casino full of Rage Against the Machine Mans. I did nothing to draw attention to myself, short of remaining visible, at my machine, playing.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could sense angry body language from RAMM. He would throw up his arms periodically. Tilt his head back. Sigh. Swear. Pound his palm on the side of the slot machine. Thank goodness these Hot Red Ruby slots had no cranks to pull, because RAMM would have decrankitated his Hot Red Ruby. Of all the slot machines inside that large casino, RAMM had picked that very Ruby, one seat away from me, to plop down and abuse. There were many, many other Hot Red Rubies scattered around. In fact, I had won $180 off a different one earlier in the night.

Once RAMM stomped off, fuming and bowlegging his way deeper into the casino, much like Yosemite Sam, I leaned back and looked at his machine. He had cashed out $270. I don't know how much he put in. I only heard him win a couple of times. So I'm guessing that he lost money, due to his orneriness. Because to me, cashing out $270 seems like a GOOD thing. But then again, I only put in $20 at a time.

Downstream Casino is very dark inside. Just a bit brighter than McDougal's Cave when Tom and Becky still had a nub of candle to burn. Not like those in St. Louis, where River City Casino is lit like a normal indoor business, or Hollywood Casino, where it's so bright I feel like I'm on the surface of the sun. Downstream is a bit creepy for an old Val, down there alone, with her three menfolk slumbering 8 floors up, and such poor phone reception that in Downstream, nobody can hear you text. RAMM had unsettled my nerves. And believe me, Val has nerves, what with being a RETIRED secondary school teacher.

I moved to a different section of the casino and played some Reel Fever on a machine at the left end of a long row of assorted slots. (Here's a random 2-minute video of the Reel Fever slot.) It kept me going for a while, and then I moved one seat to the right to play a Silver and Gold machine. (Can't find a video of that one.) There I was, happily spinning the reels at minimum bet, having a grand old time like little Gizmo on Christmas morning tooting his trumpet in Gremlins. And then my good time, much like Gizmo's, was ruined...except instead of by Stripe, spitting on me, it was by RAMM, plopping down closer than arm's reach to play that Reel Fever game.

Let's just say that since RAMM and I had last convened, his temperament had not improved. He set down a drink from the bar. The smell of his breath wafted toward my nostrils, and it reminded me of the aroma of the ice cream at High Winds that I told you about yesterday. I tried my best to ignore him. But he was RIGHT NEXT TO ME! He continued his antics of slamming the machine, and swearing at it for not paying him.

I kept playing, although in a discombobulated manner. I couldn't concentrate. So much for counting spins. In fact, I hit a red screen bonus shortly after RAMM arrived, and I could not tell you how much I won, even now. Because when he heard that red screen bonus sound, RAMM REACHED OVER AND STROKED (heh, heh, had you goin' there for a minute, didn't I?) MY MACHINE'S SCREEN!

"Good luck!" RAMM said.

Do I even need to try to describe the ickiness factor in that gesture?

Inside, I was recoiling. On the outside, I nodded curtly. DO NOT ENGAGE. I had to stick to my plan. After about 10 minutes, RAMM cashed out and left. You'd think I would have been relieved. But all I could think of was that RAMM had left my vicinity once, gone to the bar, and STILL showed up again to sit right beside me on my left within an hour's time.

If I didn't know better, my conspiracy-theory-trained mind would have convinced me that RAMM was some kind of cooler, a secret operative for the casino, paid to drink and act crazy and encroach on people that the casino wanted gone. A salaried annoyance to drive away undesirables. But of course I convinced myself that couldn't be true. After all...VAL? Undesirable? No way!

About 10 minutes after RAMM left me, I saw three official-acting people walk down the aisle behind me. You know what I'm talkin' about. People striding with a purpose. Carrying themselves with an air of authority. A woman in black slacks and a white shirt and an ID lanyard, a dark-uniformed law officer with a weapon (or at least mace in a holster) on his hip, and a man in suit pants, dress shirt, and tie.

Here's my scenario. Somebody had complained about RAMM's behavior. Had tipped off security, and they were on the hunt to oust him from the premises. Toss him out on his ear. The Striding Trio WAS headed in the direction I saw RAMM Yosemite-Sam-off toward.

I felt a little safer then, but still went upstairs to call it a night at 1:30 a.m. At least I was able to rest easy, imagining that RAMM was no longer in the building. But what I thought of JUST NOW would have made me sit bolt upright in bed, my eyes bugged out in fear.

What if RAMM thought I was the one who complained to security?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Casinopalooza 2: I Love the Smell of Ice Cream in the Evening

On the first evening of Casinopalooza 2, we headed to the casino where we got free monkeys last time. Surely you remember that place, where Sis almost had a rumble with a bleachy-haired lady who accused her of taking more than her share of monkeys, and being married to HICK!

Anyhoo...this time there were no free monkeys. Ain't that always how it goes? But they DID have the next best thing: FREE PUPS!


That's my free pup on the right, and Hick's free pup on the left. But you knew that, didn't you? Because mine looks all sweet, like me. And Hick's looks kind of cantankerous, like him. I'm hoping he didn't have this one's head stuffed in an inappropriate location like he did with his free monkey.

You could get these free pups after a certain amount of play on your player's card. You just had to go to the service desk, have them scan your card, and pull a pup out of a giant cardboard box waist-high. They had pink and purple pups. Most people around me were getting pink, but I stuck to my old school mascot, and asked for a purple one. The girl had to open another box and dump some in with the pink, and stir them around with her whole arm. Then she reached way down in the middle of the pile, and drew mine out.

As with the free monkeys, you could win from $5 to $100 free play on a scratcher ticket stuck to the animal's ear (heh, heh, I first typed REAR). Mine was $25 in free play! But of course everyone else had $5, and was tapping their toes waiting for me to waste it quickly. Which I did. But then I returned to their toe-tapping area, where they were being those people you hate, sitting on chairs in front of slots that they were not even playing, only to find them EATING ICE CREAM!

Yes, Sundays at High Winds are Ice Cream Social days, it seems. As Sis informed me, "All you have to do is go up to the service counter and ask for ice cream!" Sure, it was in those little cups, to eat with a flat wooden spoon...but it was ICE CREAM, by cracky! Since I thought they were all chomping at the bit to get out of there, I didn't go get my free ice cream. I asked The Pony if he wanted some, because I would have walked up there with him, but he did not.

So there I stood, behind Sis, who was sitting at a penny machine in a row of four penny machines. The ex-mayor was sitting beside her, also eating ice cream. One (vacant) chair over, Hick had just returned with HIS ice cream. And Genius was standing at my left shoulder, happily wooden-spooning his ice cream into his gaping maw.

Huh. "What kind of ice cream IS that?" I asked Sis. Because while I could easily see that Genius's was vanilla, I could not determine Sis's flavor. Hers looked all purply-red. And the smell was something I'd smelled before. I just couldn't place it.

"Oh, it's strawberry! You have a choice of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry."

"Why is yours that color?"

"I think that's the lights on my machine making it look that way."

Indeed. It was. But that didn't explain the aroma. It was distinctly NOT strawberry. I waited. And waited. For those ice-cream slurpers to finish up. I could have played my free $25 more wisely, had I only known they would not be in such a hurry once their blood sugar started to spike.

As I stood, talking to Genius about our next casino, my mind sorted through about 999,999,999,999 different scents...and identified that smell.

ALCOHOL!

That aroma was the byproduct of alcohol processed by a human liver, excreted in the exhaled breath of Genius Thevictorian!

Of course! Genius had partaken of a cocktail or two, and I was standing right beside him! And he was breathing!

So much for that exotic flavor of ice cream that I thought I was missing out on.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Brief Intermission From Casinopalooza 2

Yes, there are still tales left from Casinopalooza 2. But today, we take a brief respite due to unforeseen events yesterday.


I had a little visitor when I went outside for my walk. That's right where I always greet the dogs, and stand to stretch my legs at the steps by the side porch. The dogs were not around yesterday, because they were off to the creek with Hick on the Gator. Good thing. One of their fat, frolicking paws would have smashed that little ladybug.

Since we got back from Casinopalooza 2, I had not been to the cemetery for my weekly visit with Mom. We got home Tuesday evening. Wednesday I went to Walmart and planned on stopping, but there was a funeral tent set up in the vicinity. Thursday, I went by again, but the workers were mowing. On Friday, I finally stopped to visit. Only briefly, apologizing for not getting there sooner. I told Mom that we arrived home safely, what the boys are currently up to, how we had a great time, and that I felt bad about not stopping until now, and how I hadn't sensed her around lately.

Then a woman came walking across the plots, so my visit wasn't really private any more, and I said I had to get going. I knew Mom would understand.

Huh. Now I can kind of sense her presence again. I had a couple of 11:11 clock sightings. And then the ladybug surprise.


I know that it's almost summer, and bugs are flying, and one might expect to see ladybugs around. But to me, a ladybug is not just a ladybug. It could have appeared anywhere, you know. At any time. Just an insect flitting here and there. But this one appeared on my porch, at the very place I stand for five minutes every evening, the day after I mentioned that I felt disconnected from Mom.

It seems like my life in on the right track once again.