This week was one of the slowest weeks I’ve experienced in forever. I kept thinking it was the next day, almost every day. Maybe it’s because I went into the office twice, I dunno, but yesterday in the office felt like the longest work day since before the pandemic. Megan said it was because we didn’t get to go out for a lunch break walk and she’s probably right. It was also a lot of socializing and I am still so exhausted, like I have a chatting hangover. It was…a lot. I think I’ll stick to my one-day-a-week routine, thanks. The older I get, the more I learn about my extremely fickle social preferences and one of those is that I definitely prefer 1-on-1 chats.
Anyway, the rest of the week was same-old. Here are some fivers on my mind(ers). Please do be enjoying.
- Slushie Standoff
Chooch has really been going through it at work lately, to the point where sometimes I forget he’s only 16 because he comes home SOUNDING LIKE ALL OF US. Valid gripes, training woes, stupid people rants, managerial clashes.
The latter is what brings us here today, my fine blog-eyeballers. Because when Chooch came home from work Monday, practically foaming at the mouth as he angrily recounted his night, I thought of YOU, DEAR READERS, and how much I wanted to tell you this story.
OK so there is new-ish manager at McDonald’s. We’ll call him FRED for the purposes of this story. Now, FRED and Chooch have been butting heads for a few weeks now, it seems. In Chooch’s words: FRED came from BURGER KING, where things are done DIFFERENTLY so now he thinks everyone at McD’s is doing it WRONG and he’s fucking shit up, essentially. Like, sit down FRED, amirite? Now Chooch has told me a whole collection of maddening stories so far, like FRED telling him he’s in the way (“when it’s actually FRED’s big ass that’s in the way, but cool” Chooch spat the other day), and at one point Chooch purposely told some other co-workers that he doesn’t respect FRED, knowing it would get back to FRED because hi, teenagers.
(This cracked me up because it reminded me of when I worked with ELEANOR as some of you might remember. Her strategy was to lodge complaints to the snitches in the department knowing full well they’d go scampering TO THE OFFICE with these bread crumbs of employee unrest. She killed me.)
(I mean, not literally, I’m still here. Although we did have a fight over scissors one night which could have gone terribly awry.)
“Did FRED find out?” I asked.
“Yeah! He cried about it to [another manager] but she didn’t give a shit!” Chooch laughed.
At work on Monday, someone came thru the drive-thru and ordered three blue slushies. According to Chooch, their machine is wonky but the work-around is that you have to defrost it or something, who cares, I was zoning out when he explained it – Chooch takes his job very seriously. So, FRED does not know this fix and was struggling. Instead of helping him (because anytime Chooch tries to help, FRED tells him he has an attitude problem and calls him YOUNG BUCK), Chooch just stood there and watched with delicious anticipation.
FRED, now realizing this was going to take a bit, told the car to pull over and he’d bring them out.
So then he finishes the blue slushies, leaves them at the machine, and goes out to the car to tell them that they were done and he’d bring them out.
“Wait, but if they were done, why didn’t he just take them out with him then?” I asked a la Fred Savage being told a bedtime story.
“Exactly! Because he’s a moron,” Chooch said.
While FRED was out there doing a questionable attempt at customer service, another car came through and ordered a blue slushie. So…Chooch (being Chooch) took one of FRED’s slushies and gave it to them.
BECAUSE CHOOCH WOULD.
Now, FRED is back inside expecting to collect THREE BLUE SLUSHIES. Here, Chooch pantomined FRED counting the slushies and going ballistic. “WHERE IS THE THIRD SLUSHIE?? I HAD THREE SLUSHIES!!”
Chooch calmly told him that he gave it to another car.
“BOY, DON’T BE GIVING AWAY FREE SHIT!” FRED shouted.
“I didn’t. They paid for it,” Chooch said in the only way Chooch knows how: full of teenage arrogance and heavy on the sarcastic monotone.
Then FRED told another manager that he was taking his break because he needed to get away from “that kid.”
He reminds me SO MUCH of me when I was a young worker person.
(Sorry, I love this ^^^^ story so much that I will take any chance I get to link back to it!)
Anyway, Chooch was going to put in his two weeks notice today and then just get a new job when he comes back from Mexico in August but then he said, “What will I do with myself for all of June??” so I think he’s going to stick it out for now. I gotta hand it to him – he genuinely enjoys working. Thank god he got something good from his dad!!
2. Chooch Ran Away
I made Henry go for a walk with me after dinner since I missed my afternoon walk. Look, I’m an addict, OK? I’m a food-phobic, exercise-maniac, walking-addict. Do I need therapy? You bet. Do I care? Not currently.
Anyway, now that I got that honest confession off my chest, I dragged Henry around Dormont for a walk. He got to stop and get cold brew at Dunkin’ so he was mostly content. (I almost typed “sedated,” and I guess that too; dude practically sleep-walks through life.)
We got home and 10 minutes or so passed. I wanted to tell Chooch something so I ran up to his room and started banging on his door with FIRE ALARM vigor like I normally do, which normally causes him to hiss, “WHAT DO YOU WANT” but this time – silence.
I yelled, “I’m coming in!” and when I burst through his door like a firefighter, I found it empty. HE WAS GONE.
“Chooch ran away!” I screamed to Henry as I came barreling down the steps. He of course ignored me because I was making this way too dramatic and it wasn’t worth the energy.
“He’s probably riding his bike somewhere. It wasn’t in the basement when I was just down there,” Henry mumbled, probably cruising the listings for some auction site that he is OBSESSED WITH lately and it’s so annoying.
Then I got caught up watching roller coaster videos on YouTube (my visual Snuggie, OK?) and forgot that my child was gone. I mean, he’s 16. He comes and goes as he pleases.
He burst through the front door about 20 minutes later and I was like, “Oh. It’s you” and he was like “I saw [friend from elementary school] but didn’t say because my face is so numb.”
Now my mommy-panic was activated. It’s always during times of bodily harm that I’m catapulted into Mom Mode. Yes, it’s alarming even to myself. “OMG why!? What happened??” I screamed.
He just started at me. And then, slowly, “Because I was at the dentist….”
OMG THAT’S WHERE HE WAS! I totally forgot that he had an appointment. Good thing he remembered and that he’s able to take himself there via bicycle because Henry and I SURELY didn’t remember while we were out gallivanting around Dormont like two non-parents.
And that’s my story about how Chooch ran away, straight into the dentist’s chair.
3. Baby Buddy & Bambi (aka Drew)
Are you sick of hearing about my squirrels? OH WELL probably everyone at work is too, to be honest. We have a new lady on our team and every Tuesday I’m like DAWN LOOK AT THIS VIDEO OF MY SQUIRRELS and she’s like “*nervous laugh* oh jeez.” Anyway, look at Drew, that unbothered queen.
OK that makes no sense, but let’s roll with it.
Today one of my coworkers asked me if I had plans tomorrow and I said YES’M I AM GOING TO CEDAR POINT and she was like OH OK because apparently she had won some Riverhounds tickets (THAT IS A PGH SOCCER TEAM IN CASE YOU ARE FROM LIKE, OTTAWA, AND DON’T KNOW) and had planned to take her niece and nephew but they have prior commitments so now she’s trying to find people to go with her and I’m sure I was not the first person she asked but THANKS FOR THINKING OF ME.
Anyway, the whole point of this is that way back in like 2000, I quit my job that summer and then babysat the two daughters of one of my ex-co-workers. The older one, ERICKA, was such a biotch, I fucking swear to god. Like, the highlight of that summer for me was when she went away to some church camp and I only had to deal with the younger girl for like a week and that was fine because she was sweet but as I’m typing this I cannot believe that anyone trusted me to watch their kids ALL DAY LONG when I was 21 and a total irresponsible moron and not only that but they let me drive them places in my EAGLE TALON which I drove like a fucking race car and I took them to places like THE SOUTHSIDE which was still cool back then and full of punks and other boho types.
Then Ericka came back and was inexplicably obsessed with the song HOOKED ON A FEELING and asked me who sang it and then proceeded to not believe me even though I know everything about music but cook on little middle school bitchdemon.
Wow, I really hated her. My brother was in the same grade as her I think. I about to text him to see if he knows what she’s up to now that she’s like 30.
Oh wait, my point!!
So Ericka played soccer and I was always having to take her to her dumb practices at Mowry Park. There were some Riverhound players at one of the practices and I guess it was a big deal but I had no idea we even had a soccer team (maybe it had just formed at that time?) so I was not impressed. But the reason why I remember this is because this was the day I was sitting on the side of the field and ERICKA came over at one point and apropos of nothing other than the fact that it was true, bluntly said to me, “You really need to lose weight.”
I WAS WEARING AN ORANGE SHIRT THAT DAY TOO AND NEVER WORE IT AGAIN THANKS YOU DUMB BITCH.
So my point is that every time the Riverhounds come up (which is periodically because our Firm is always giving out tickets it seems, I think we’re a sponsor probably), I can hear that brace-faced bitch telling me I’m fat IN SO MANY WORDS.
5. THE CARPET MAN
You guys. Henry found my fake poem collection in the attic, in a binder, printed on old-school see-through printer paper with light gray type. I was so excited!! I went through a heavy fake poetry phase in 10th grade because my friend MELISSA/MARTHA/POPTART was actually serious about writing poems and kept a poetry notebook in her bag at all times, so I, being the BULLY OF A FRIEND that you all know to me, decided that I too would be a poet. I even gave myself a pen name – EMERALD – which two entire teachers began calling me when I asked them to (my 9th grade english teacher Mr. Gershna and one of the gym teachers MR ROSENSTEEL, loved both of them).
Anyway, my friends mostly thought this was so dumb, except probably Janna who enjoyed being the subject of many poems, such as the JANNA IS READING A BOOK TRILOGY. But my favorite was the FIVE POEM SERIES spawned by the fateful time my mom took me to HUGHES FLOORING to pick out new carpet for my bedroom and I imprinted on THE CARPET MAN, but not in a romantic sense for myself, but moreso in that I was orchestrating a grand imaginary romance between him and my mom.
Then of course I borderline stalked him, even making my friends Keri and Ken drive me to the carpet store for literally no reason other than I wanted to cachinnate all over the carpet samples and then choke on my idiocy.
Anyway!!! No one understood why I was so fixated on him but I just was and it gave me so much joy to scribble out stupid “that’s a real stretch” poems about him. Having this back in my life inspired me to google him and I think the found the obituary for his mom!!! :(
I thought it would be super hilar to make a little chapbook dealio for my mom for Mother’s Day, since the Carpet Man series happened because of her. I made the background of the cover and every page various pictures of CARPET, naturally, and then I needed to add more poems because Shutterfly was like “we will not make a five page book for you, that’s fuckin’ ridic” so I added some other Val-inspired poems as well. It arrived yesterday and I have been CRACKING UP over it ever since!
I’m taking it to her tonight and she is either going to like it or be super confused. If she even says she doesn’t remember this phase, I will die.
THIS WAS A WHOLE FUCKING THING. It happened when I was in 8th grade and I was SOOOOOOO OBSESSED with it (for literally no reason) that I even tried to explain it to my homeroom, going so far as to draw a diagram on the chalkboard and I was laughing so hard that I almost peed and blacked out and Scott Ash called me a SPED which I never understood until I was thinking about it recently and it clicked. All this time I thought he was calling me derogatory term for lesbian.
THE MONKEY BAR IS A LOCAL BAR IN THE TOWN WHERE I GREW UP.
This was maybe my MOST FAMOUS POEM. I think I wrote about this in greater detail at some point, but this one is a classic that I wrote after she called the police on me in 10th grade because I took a streak knife to the family portrait and then locked myself in my room and she was scared about what my explosive anger and I were planning next. 👼🏼 Meanwhile, all I was doing was sitting on the floor, being a depressed teenager, and listening to Bone Thugs n Harmony. They ended up taking me to the ER by ambulance. The EMTs that fateful afternoon were two seniors who sat near me in study hall. But no, I wasn’t embarrassed. And once I guilted my mom into signing me out of the ER (the doctor wanted to admit me–for what, I’m still not sure 👼🏼), she took me to McDonald’s on the way home and we all got a big laugh out of it. She did say that I wasn’t allowed to go to Kennywood for school picnic day after that but then school picnic day came and guess who was at Kennywood, jotting down notes for the KENNYWOOD SERIES of poems she was going to pen?
Actually, this was a supremely bad time in my life. I was going to a child psychologist, medicated, and having severe explosive anger issues, and also was self-harming to an extent and also dabbling in anorexia which I told myself wasn’t that but just a form of punishment – I mean, all functioning people withhold food from themselves. 10th grade was….awesome.
We were actually just fondly reminiscing about this day recently. She said the family portrait is still in her shed if I want it. I had no idea she kept that??
I sent this to my brother and it prompted a whole text discussion about how we looked like a family that had it all but we were sooooo dysfunctional. I mean, how many people can say that they have a normal family though, right? What even is that.
👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼
WOW I’M SENSING A REAL THEME WITH THIS POST AM I HAVING A BREAKTHRU.