The Car Wash Rumble

Despite my dislike for hypermarts, we went to Tesco’s today to pick up some things that we needed–essentials like rice noodles, peanuts and coconut milk. In the parking lot of Tesco’s, there are these car wash guys. They push these little black carts and wear the required neon green reflective vests that all blue collar workers seem to wear in the UK .  I don’t know how much it costs to have one of them wash your car because our car is such a heap that we’ve never bothered to wash it.

Normally, the car wash guys are a group of African men who gather their carts together in a group towards the center of the parking lot and loudly chat and laugh. As you walk by they call out to you, “You need a wash?” To that question we always make a joke about the pitiful state of our car and say it’s beyond washing.

Today things had changed. The car wash guys were spread out. One man with his cart  was positioned on the crosswalk at each row of cars. The men were all Eastern European now. Gone was the happy car wash mood. It was replaced by disdain. As we passed each man he looked at us like he wanted to get into a fight. I could just imagine them saying, “I will wash your car. Then I will kill you and stuff your body into my little black cart.” Maybe they just don’t like their green reflective vests.

Has Your Accent Changed?

My stepson grew up in Florida, but has managed to maintain an English accent his entire life–until now. Recently, something quite strange has occurred. Now that he lives in England and has very limited contact with Americans his accent is rapidly becoming more American.

He’s gone in the direction of the ultra patriot. Singing the national anthem and self-consciously pronouncing his r’s and changing double t’s in the middle of words to d’s.

He spent the summer in Florida with his mother. When we picked him up at the airport his American accent was full on.

“Why are you talking like that?” my husband asked.

“Like what?” my stepson replied.

“With that fake accent.”

“I’ve been back home so long that my accent just changed.” (He always refers to the States as back home.) He’d been “back home” for a whole 6 weeks.

My husband furrowed his brow. “Accents don’t change that much that quickly. ”

The American accent ebbs at times, but still remains–comically so. The other day my stepson was talking to one of our Florida friends on Skype and the friend said, “Why’s your accent sound even more American now that you don’t live here?”

Anyway, here’s a picture of my truly American stepson, who is proud to be an American because at least he knows he’s free.


Do You Look Good in Your Jeans?

I love jeans. I wear them almost everyday–boot cut, flare, straight leg. I own them all and they look great on me or at least that’s what I think. We don’t have any full length mirrors in the house so I guess I don’t really know, but I feel like I look good.

There’s one thing I don’t really understand about fashion these days.   I just can’t seem to wrap my head around skinny jeans. Why would you would make your body look like that? I was on a website the other day and I decided to look at the jeans they carry. This is what I saw.

skinny-jeansor this one:

skinny-jeans2Should anyone really be wearing these pants? If they can’t make the picture to sell them look good, how do you expect them to look good on you? I see this horrible silhouette all over town and I wonder what they were thinking. If you own a pair of these jeans, I’m not talking about you. I’m sure you look great in your skinny jeans. Maybe like me, you should consider buying a full length mirror for your house though.

How Much is Your Eye Worth?

The phone rang the other day–it hardly ever does that–so I answered. A telemarketer named Peter was on the other end. He wanted to tell me about the special deal my bank is now offering on personal injury insurance. Intrigued, I listened as Peter explained injuries that could occur and what the payout would be in a much too enthusiastic voice. “If you break your leg you receive ??? pounds. If you break both legs you receive ??? pounds. If you loose an eye you receive ??? pounds.”

I had to stop him at “loose an eye” to tell him I wasn’t interested. What kind of phone call is that to make to people all day? I don’t want to pick up the phone and hear some stranger talk about the possibility of me loosing an eye. I like both my eyes right where they are. I don’t intend to loose either of them.

“We’re offering this insurance free until the first of September to all our customers,” Peter said.

“I’m not interested.”

“Why aren’t you interested? It’s free until the beginning of September.”

“I’m not going to loose an eye between now and September,” I said.

“That’s really not the point. An accident could happen at any time.”

“I’m just not interested. Thanks.” I hung up the phone.

Peter just didn’t seem to understand that to me buying that insurance would be like saying I’m going to loose an eye. I might as well have grabbed a spoon out of the kitchen drawer and used it to pry out my eye as I talked to him on the phone. I could never buy that kind of insurance. It’s bad luck. Doesn’t Peter understand bad luck?

I wonder how many people actually purchase the insurance. I wonder how many of those people’s eyes drop out of their heads as soon as they hang up the phone.

Observation of the Day 1

The other day I saw a man using a canister vacuum cleaner–you know the kind with the hose and attachments–to clean the grass clippings off his front walk. It wasn’t the fact that he was using a vacuum cleaner to do this that was seemed so strange to me. It was the fact that he was using the little narrow attachment you use to vaccum corner and inbetween seat cushions that made the scene so funny. I wonder how long it took him. I wonder what his wife said when she found out.

The Sky Mall

Besides the delicious food, the static filled headsets that hurt my ears and the stale disease-ridden air, the best thing about flying is the Sky Mall. I usually find myself flipping through it a few hours after take off. By that time I’m usually no longer able to concentrate on the book I brought along with me to read and I’ve already failed to complete the crossword puzzle in the back of the in-flight magazine

I like to flip through the pages and wonder who would actually buy things like this useful indoor dog toilet.

Complete with porous artificial turf that gives off a pleasant organic scent. The tray beneath can be easily emptied and hosed down. Is that turf porous enough to let a turd pass through it? It’s a bargain at only $149.95!

Oh, and this is a steal for only $199.95.

This robotic bust of The King sings eight of his greatest hits including, my favorite, Jailhouse Rock.

One of the most useful things I saw in the Sky Mall is this nifty device to stop you from  snoring.

I think I’ll get this one for my husband. It stops your from snoring by giving you a small electric shock. I wonder if you can adjust how intense the shock is.

These are just a few gift ideas. If you’re anything like me you still haven’t bought any Christmas gifts.

English Lesson

The most surprising thing about living in England is that the English haven’t yet mastered the language that bears their name.

First of all, they don’t know how to spell. It’s not just a few cases either. I see misspellings everywhere. They’re even in the newspaper. The mistakes are small, like for some reason most everyone seems to think that when spelling words like labor and favor, they should add a random u that just doesn’t belong. They also tend to replace z with s in words like realize. I tried to point this mistake out to someone once, and that’s when I discovered that part of the problem is that no one ever taught them the proper names for the letters in the alphabet. I don’t know what this zed thing is, but it needs to be corrected.

Dearest One

I got this email the other day. I thought it was quite interesting. I hope you enjoy it. I like the fact that it open with “Dearest One.”

Dearest One,
I used this means of communications because
of time Shortage, so please kindly bear with me.
However, permit me to inform you of my desire of going
into business relationship with you.
I am Jackline Doe the only child of late Mr and Mrs
James Doe, My father was a very wealthy GOLD merchant based in MONROVIA, the economic capital of LIBERIA before he was poisoned to death by his business
associates on one of their outing to discuss on a business deal.

When my mother died on the 21St October
1985, my father took me so special because I am
motherless. Before the death of my father on 29 Th
June 2004 in a private hospital here in Abidjan. He
secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he
has a sum of US$ 10.300,000 ( TEN million THREE hundred
thousand, United states Dollars) left in a suspens
account in a local bank here in Abidjan, that he used
my name as his only daughter for the next of kin in deposit
of the fund.
He also explained to me that it was because of this
wealth that he was poisoned by his business
associates, that I should seek for a foreign partner
in a country of my choice where I will transfer this
money and use it for investment purpose, (such as real
estate management). I am honourably seeking your
assistance in the following ways.
(1To provide a bank account where this money would be transferred to)
(2To serve as the guardian of this fund since I am a girl of 21years)
(3To make arrangement for me to come over to your country after the money has been transferred. Moreover, I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your effort / input after the successful transfer of this fund to your norminated account in overseas.
Furthermore, you can indicate your option towards
assisting me as I believe that this transaction would
be concluded within seven (7) days you signify
interest to assist me. I will appreciate your early
respones. Anticiapting to hear from you soon.
Best Regard


I hope Jackline finds someone to help her with her problem. After all, she is only a girl of 21 years and can’t manage this situation on her own.

The Joke Retold

My dad just tried to tell me the joke again. He forgot he told it to me already. This time it went like this.

Musician 1: Did you hear that Bob died?
Musician 2: Really? What did he die from?
Musician 1: I don’t know. It wasn’t serious.

He also told me that the key to the punchline is the word wasn’t. Obviously it was serious otherwise he wouldn’t have died.

My father told me that he told the guy that’s remolding the kitchen this joke this morning and he laughed right away. He knows a funny joke when he hears one.

I still don’t know what makes this a musicians’ joke.

Do You Get This Joke?

My dad just called me to tell me a joke. “This is a musicians joke, so you might not get it,” he said. After retelling the joke to me several times, he finally remembered the punchline. He thought it was incredibly funny, but I still don’t get it. Here it is:

Musician 1: Did you hear that Bob died?
Musician 2: Really? What’d he die of?
Musician 1: Something serious.

That’s it in a nut shell. Is it funny?