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Welcome to the BOMB.

The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...

About Me

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My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my thirteen year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my two year old gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)

  • Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
  • Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
  • Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  • Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
  • The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Diet Dr Pepper Crisis

It had the potential of becoming a crisis of monumental proportion.
I was almost out of Diet Dr Pepper.   I had a few swallows left in my cup, but they wouldn’t last the night, so I stopped at Cefco.  I’m a regular at all the late night convenience store and fast-food drive-thrus.  I usually rotate stores and drive thrus, so no one will know the extent of my DDP addiction. However, since I had purchased the last DDP at the Cefco the night before, I returned.  The DDP stock would be replenished and therefore fresher.  So went my rationale. As I licked my lips in anticipation of an icy cold, DDP I froze.

The row was still empty.

While inconvenient—I could barely classify it as only a small problem. A problem easily remedied by simply driving down the street to Smith Brothers—where I purchased their last DDP.  Is there a DDP shortage?  This actually could become a small problem.  But then I remembered I had seen plenty of DDP at both WalMart and H.E.B. (our grocery store) earlier in the week. It would be a little less convenient to drive there for DDPs, but it would not be the end of the world—and definitely was not crisis worthy. Not yet anyway.
The crisis arose around 3am when I finished off the few remaining DDP swallows in my cup and I attempted to open the new bottle. Between the arthritis in my hands and the cap not being properly serrated, I could not get the cap off.  It wouldn’t even budge.  I was close to tears, and jonesin' in a bad way.  It was the middle of the night and I couldn’t go back to the home of a friend who has a really helpful bottle opening tool—the kind of tool that can assist in twisting off the cap of a soda bottle. I had already checked both WalMart and H.E.B.  and neither had a duplicate of her bottle opener.  

I needed something to hold the cap tight enough to apply a twisting motion. My search for the pliers was fruitless. I seriously considered trying to open the bottle with my teeth; but the initial attempt, along with a remembrance of the money I spent on dental last year, caused me to stop that silly notion after two half-hearted attempts—one on each side of my mouth.  A couple of hot tears spilled over my lower lashes and burned a path down my cheeks. The last time I was unable to open a bottle late at night I had marched back into the store and had one of the baggers open my drink for me. The bagger had commiserated with me and confided that she frequently opened soda bottles for her Grandmother.  Her Grandmother!  Since I had good luck the last time I could not open a bottle, I seriously considered dressing and returning to the convenience store—I even knew how it would play out this time.

I would stumble into the Cefco, bleary-eyed, hair tangled, the night air cool on my tear-stained face, my hands jittery and barely able to hold the DDP bottle out to the clerk. I would be wearing either the first jeans and t-shirt my hands came across, or if I was daring enough I would forgo dressing and just don my zebra print robe (all the drive-thrus in town have seen my robe). My speech, depending on how badly I needed the DDP fix when I finally arrived,  would alternate between demanding and incomprehensible blubbering.  The dialogue would go something like this:
“My hands aren’t working and I can’t open this bottle.  Please open it for me.” I would implore the clerk in a pitiful whinny voice as I held the bottle of magic elixir out in unsteady hands. My eyes aglitter in fevered anticipation.
“Weren’t you in here earlier?” he would ask frowning as a look of recognition stole over his face.

“Yes.  It was shift change, but I didn’t realize you saw me. Can you open this bottle?” I would thrust the bottle into his face as my hands shook uncontrollably.
“I noticed you because you didn’t purchase anything from me tonight.” His accusation would hang in the air.  The heads of three customers would suddenly appear as the curious would peer over the displays at  us.

“That’s correct. I bought your last DDP the night before.”  I would calmly say as I threw the unspoken accusation back in his face. You didn’t do your job and restock the empty shelf. My stomach would begin churning, caussing me to wonder if I would need to make a mad dash to their bathroom.
“So…where’d ya get this bottle?” He’d toss the unopened bottle back and forth in his hands like a juggler.  I would see the bubbles forming and rising to the top. My breathing would become rapid and shallow and I would lunge for the bottle as he feigned a drop.  

I’ll have to be careful when I open the bottle. Otherwise precious DDP might spew forth and be wasted. “Down the street at Smith Brothers,” I would mumble as I lowered my eyes, no longer able to challenge him. I would be at his mercy—and he would know it. He would revel in the knowledge of his newfound power and lord it over me.
“Our competitor?!” the look of incredulousness that stole over his face would mock me. But he would also experience a small measure of respect.  The girls got balls.

“Yes.” My mumbled whisper would go unheard as the tinkling bell attached to the door would announce the arrival of a fourth customer.  The customer tending the rotating hotdogs would grab the newcomer and whisper in his ear, “shsssh!” An admonition the newcomer would follow.  The cool breeze would ruffle the day-old newspapers as the door closed once again.
The clerk  would pretend to consider my plea. He might even toy with me and make me think I had a shot at actually getting him to open the bottle for me.   After a few seconds, that would crawl by at the lightning speed of oil paint drying on canvas, he would finally say, “I can’t open this bottle.”

His response would arouse the caring nurse that dwells within and I would ask him “Do you have arthritis too?  You’re much too young.” I commiserate and compare notes on pain relief methods and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory meds that actually work.
“No." his derisive laugh would echo and bounce off the walls of the Cefco.  "I don’t have arthritis. I’m just not authorized—“

“Not authorized?!  What?!”  The customers would pop open a bag of chips and mindlessly munch as I exclaimed in disbelief.
“Yeah, it’s in our Sellers Agreement.” The clerk would reply sarcasticly as a sly, knowing smile would creep onto his face. He would savor this moment.  

I won’t start a fight, but I also won’t run from one either. Not since Mike K. hit me on top of the head with a wooden yo-yo when we were in the 4th grade.  I had been sitting on the school bus waiting to go home, minding my own business, when Mike walked past me and, for no reason, other than being a bully; he hit me on the top of the head with his yo-yo. The blow produced a painful headache and hot tears of frustration.  I didn't strike back...not at first. I waited until we got off the bus, and as it pulled away, I slapped Mike.  He responded with an upper-cut to my chin that made me taste blood and temporary loss of vision.  I swung out blindly and caugh air. He boxed my ear. My vision returnedas bright shooting stars and my ears were ringing. He laughed. It was the wrong thing to do.  I returned the blow with a right-cross of my own. It connected; however, it was woefully ineffective. I’ve never had good upper body strength. But my kick?  My kick to his groin was lethal.  Mike cried like a baby and he left me alone after that.

I’ve never been one to allow anyone to mess with me. I wasn't going to start tonight. Shaking my head, I cleared my memories of a fight long past as if they were cobwebs being swet from a long-forgoten corner.   “Quit yankin’ my chain and open the bottle before I lose my temper!”

“I can’t. I’m not—“
“—authorized. Yeah, I heard.”  I would realize the strong-arm tactic might not work.  Mama always said you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  I would wonder if Donnie could be bought.  “Tell you what…” I would say conspiratorially, “…it should be jsus about time for your break...”
“…yeah….”  Frowning, his voice would waiver with uncertainty, not sure where our conversation was heading.

“What if I hire your services?” The onlookers would nudge each other and nod. Great plan!
“I’m not that kind of guy, Ma’am!” the clerk would feign indignation.

“Not those services you pipsqueak!”  I would lose my temper at his denseness.
“Uh Ma’am,”  the third customer, a day laborer with a hot dog on the verge of dehydration, that he had doctored with copious amounts of yellow mustard, floresent green sweet pickle relish, and onions, shuffling his feet in the loosely formed line behind me would say. “If you’re trying to get him to help you, it probably isn't a good idea to call him a name.”

“Who asked you?! This is my pseudo-dream. Why are you even in it? Why are any of you in it? Be gone!”
“I was going to offer to assis—“

The pseudo-customers disappeared in a pouf as I impatiently banished them with a flick of my wrist.  I would then turn to the clerk with a smile on my face as I searched for a way to connect with him. Engage him.  Get him to invest in helping me.  “Now…Donnie is it?” I would say as I read his nametag, “ What a lovely name. Did you know one of my heart throbs when I was growing up was Donny Osmond?”

“He was—and Barry Manalow too. ” A sappy look would come over my face as I sighed and remembered the wonderful years of listening to Donnie and Barry  on the radio, saving babysitting money and my allowance until I had enough to purchase an album (real vinyl!), and the countless Saturday mornings that I sat glued to the TV, all activities on hold as I waited to see if either one of them would be on American Band Stand.

“Uh….Ma’am?...Ma’am?”   Donnie would become concerned as he realized although I remained in his store, I was in my own little world.
“Humm?” I’d give myself a mental shake and return to the present, and the dilemma at hand. “Oh, right.  Will you please open the bottle, Donnie.”

“But Ma’am—“
“Yeah I know, ‘You aren’t authorized’.”  I’d recap. No pun intended. Well, maybe a little one.

“Yes Ma’am. I'd like to help, but I can't.”

“But Donnie, you know I come in here just about every night to get a nice cold DDP.”
“Yes Ma’am. You're one of my regulars.” Donnie would nod his head in agreement.

“And you want me to continue to purchase my DDPs from you don’t you?”
“Yes Ma’am. I do.”

“Well, Donnie that’s not going to happen if you don’t help a girl out here.”
“Girl? What girl?” Donnie would look to the doorway to see if the cute blonde was returning to pay for the bag of chips she and the other banished customers had eaten.

“It’s an expression Donnie. It’s an expression.”  Shaking my head in exasperation, I would change tactics. “You said you'd like to help. Were you ever a Boy Scout, Donnie?”
“No Ma’am.”

“Pity…Well, they are known the world-over for helping LOLs.”
“Laughing Out Louds?!”

“No, Donnie. The original LOLs.  I used to call Little Old Ladies LOLs way back in the day—a long time before texting decided to steal my acronym.”
“Wow. That would’ve been, like, a loooooong time ago….right?”

“Yeah, Donnie it was a long time ago—but not that long ago. Stay with me here.”   I would snap my fingers for emphasis.
“Yes Ma’am.”

“Now where was I?

“Oh yes. Thank you Donnie.”
“You’re welcome, Ma’am.”

“The Boy Scouts are famous the world-over for helping LOLs—and I’m a LOL.”  I would smile and look expectantly at Donnie as I waited for him to make the connection.
“Yeah, but….I already told you I wasn’t a Boy Scout.”

“That’s the beauty of this pseudo-dream Donnie—I have the authority to make you an HBS!”
“An HBS? Really?!”

I would nod. "Yes!"
The look on Donnie’s face would soon cloud over, and then he would ask, “But Ma’am.  What’s an HBS?”

“An HBS is an Honorary Boy Scout, Donnie!  Don’t you want to become an HBS?”  I would smile my most engaging smile and look to him with eyes shining in anticipation.  "It's within reach, Donnie!"
“That does seem like a really nice honor.”

“Oh Donnie, it is!  It is! You’d be the envy of all your co-workers.” I would whisper this on an outgoing breath just loud enough for Donnie to have to incline his head toward me in order to hear this promise of respect.
“It would be nice to have people look up to me.”  Donnie would say dreamily.

“Not only that, your customers would adore you.” I would draw him in closer.
“They would? How do you know?”

Because I would adore you and I’m one of your customers!”  I would exclaim jubilantly.
“Yeah, you are aren't you?  But ...but not tonight you weren’t.”  The dull look would come back to Donnie’s eyes as he remembered seeing me leave his store empty-handed a few hours before.

I would lose patience with Donnie and I would grab him by the smock.  I would bring his face down close to mine and deliver the ultimatum. “Donnie?.....Look at me!  I came to you first. But your shelf was empty. Do you know why your shelf was empty?”
He would shake his head wide-eyed, unable to speak. Perhaps he would be a little frightened.

“Your shelf was empty because I bought your last DDP last night. Normally, that’s not a problem. But for some reason I can’t fathom, the DDP shelf is still empty over 24-hours later!  That means one of two things:  You’ve restocked and had a run on DDPs—which would indicate that you need more than one thin line of DDPs so you need to increase your order, or you and your fellow coworkers haven’t have restocked in over 24-hours. Either way, your lack of DDPs is costing the owner—your employer—money......Donnie, do you want me to call your employer and tell him that not only are you slacking on the job, you are not helping the paying LOLs that enter his store with a simple request; and therefore, you Donnie, are costing him business? Do you really want me to tell him that?!"
Donnie would look at me like I was way past crazy—and he’d be right.

“Well? Do you?” I would shake Donnie.

“Alright then,” I would release the smock and smooth it out as I told him, “You have a choice to make, Donnie. You can overlook the tiny little fact that this bottle did not come from your store, and you can become a HBS by helping out this LOL…or I can make a phone call. What’ll it be, Donnie?”
And Donnie would make his choice.

Luckily, it didn’t play out that way.  After the failed plier search and reconsidering the wisdom of using my expensively fixed teeth,  I finally remembered my gripper disc magnetically held to the refrigerator door. Unlike psuedo-Donnie, it was waiting to be of assistance.  Several attempts failed. But I finally got a good grip, twisted, and heard the seal pop.  Thank goodness!  I won’t have to go visit Donnie at the Cefco and cause a scene.  I took a deep swig of now room temp DDP and sighed contentedly. The jonesin’ dissipated immediately. Calmness and a feeling of well-being flowed over me. All was right with the world.  I drifted off to sleep almost immediately.

And then my alarm rang.

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