Jul 312010

The summer of 2005, I was placed at HydroTech for a totally craptastic temporary secretarial assignment. Pasted inside my journal, I found this email that I sent to my friends regarding my short time there, so I will now transcribe it because I’m panicked for content:

I arrived at this pipe-cleaning place at 8am and met my “boss” for the day, Anton. Literally, my only duty all day long was to answer the phone and take messages. I was supposed to get their name, company, phone # and reason for calling. Basic secretarial minutia.

Right after I arrived, Anton gets a call on his cell. He stood next to my desk and repeated in a raised voice everything the caller was saying to him. Common sense told me, “Hey fatty, maybe you should be taking this down” so I grabbed a pen and scribbled down everything he was repeated. When he hung up, he put his hands on my shoulders (gross) and said, “That’s really excellent that you knew to write that down when you heard me raise my voice. You’d be surprised how many people wouldn’t know to do that. Good job.” I wanted to yell, “Yo, I was on the Dean’s List.”

After an hour, he said he had to go to the doctor and then he would be back. He called about 45 minutes later to tell me not to be alarmed, but he was being admitted into the hospital. I was officially there alone, save for the very weathered and grizzled mechanic in the garage (John). He had me put John on the phone so he could take care of the scheduling and other odds and ends.

Shortly thereafter, Anton called again and had me take down some info. Basically, he had a few companies he needed me to call to confirm appointments. When he got done with one of them, he said, “You have their number, right?” I said, “No” and he literally freaked the fuck out on me,

“What did I tell you this morning?! The most important thing is to get their phone number! Without that, I can’t do anything! DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THAT! Do you see what you did?! Where does that leave us now, Erin?!”

I somehow calmly (and you know my temper, so this is a feat) explained to him that the company in question had not called, and that maybe John had spoken with them because I knew that I had not. He yelled (from his hospital room!), “Why the hell is my goddamned mechanic answering the phone?! This is the only think I asked of you!!” And I indignantly said, “I HAVE ANSWERED EVERY CALL THAT HAS COME THROUGH HERE TODAY. PERHAPS JOHN CALLED THIS PLACE ON HIS ACCORD.” Then I suggested that I could just look up the number, and you know what that fucking blue-collared prick said to me?

“You aint’ that good.”

Excuse me?! I’m not good enough to LOOK UP A FUCKING PHONE NUMBER?? So while he continued on his tangent of how I’m a moron who can’t take a message, I somehow mustered up enough intuition from my sorry moronic ass and FIGURED OUT HOW TO WORK THE BIGSHOT ROLODEX ON MY DESK and found him his motherfucking number.

Nine hours of sitting alone in a wood-paneled office and dealing with THAT cocksucker? No thanks.

And that’s today’s issue of my Summer Jobs newsletter.


Erin “Housewife Never Sounded So Good” Kelly



Jul 312010

We’re in a typical disorganized frenzy to enroll Chooch into pre-school. Naturally, like any good parents, we can’t find his birth certificate so Henry was sitting in a pile of personal affects yesterday, hoping to find it. And to not get bit by something living amidst the relics.

Chooch was “helping,” as he does so well. Suddenly, he comes running into the living room where I’m sitting on the couch and shouts, “HAHAHA, LOOK WHAT I FOUND!” And then, “LOOK HOW BIG MOMMY’S BOOBS ARE!” and somehow I knew what it was going to be. I just knew.

And then I saw the flimsy purple plastic photo album in his hand and my fears were confirmed. Before I could steal it from him, he had flipped to the page he wanted me to see and held up, covering his mouth with his other hand and laughing.

Pictures from Henry’s 30th birthday party in 1945.

Pictures from Henry’s 30th birthday party in 1945 WHEN HE HAD A STRIPPER GRINDING ON HIS LAP.

Snatching it from his hand, I shouted, “This is not me! This is a STRIPPER!”

“No it’s not,” he chided. “It’s YOU!”

Maybe I might have been flattered if it was some hot piece of 20-year-old ass, but this broad looked past her prime, not to mention I’m pretty positive she was a Steve at some point in her life.

Besides, had this been me, I would have been SIXTEEN. I mean, I had a rough childhood, but it wasn’t bad enough to send me gyrating against poles and the laps of moustacioed creepers.

I was going to wait until later to post these  great retrosexual photos of Henry but I want to humiliate him while he’s still in the house. He’ll probably go AWOL here soon, because it’s Blogathon and he fears Blogathon Erin.

She actually looks somewhat hot here. Like Kristen Bell a little! Must have been a good angle.

This is my favorite! What a fucking loser. “Oh mama, there is a female ASS in my face right now! HOOOOO BOY!” I bet he called all his old SERVICE friends to tell them about it. “And this time, I didn’t have to pay for it! Someone ELSE did!”

Seriously, I’m not convinced that’s not a man.

Also, I’m glad I didn’t get “Clean Shaven, Sleazy Henry.” I prefer “Bearded Woodman, Sleazy Henry.”

I bet Henry’s wife had sex with her later.

Jul 182010

Jul 10 2010 082[Promise this is the last of this series!]

There were two reasons I had to go back to the Butler County Fair last week:

  1. When Chooch found out that I had gone to the fair without him, the sad dog pound eyes he gave me seriously made me feel like the biggest asshole of a mother
  2. I’m so neurotic when it comes to photos that the fact I left the Canon at home absolutely gnawed at my heart

I needed to go back with:

  1. my son
  2. the good camera (it’s a sickness, I’m aware)

Alisha was game to go back too. We decided we (Alisha, Henry and myself) would just stick with the $5 general admission and just get the ride all day pass for Chooch. I thought I would be OK with this, having had just re-learned how to walk without bowing my legs after all the riding I did the previous week. But as soon as we walked through those gates, that goddamn itch was there. I saw the Wacky Worm and the Freak Out and began wistfully chewing on my lip. Then I saw KIRK! and yelled to Henry, “OH MY GOD IT’S KIRK, LOOK! NO DON’T LOOK! LOOK IT’S KIRK!” He was walking right toward us and I was practically weaving a disguise out of Alisha’s hair so he wouldn’t see me.

Jul 10 2010 030

Then we saw Andrew and his Dutch pancakes and I shouted, “Oh my god, there’s Andrew! Henry, do I have your permission to have sex with him? OH MY GOD, DON’T LOOK OVER THERE!” It was so surreal, like we were walking through an alternate plane, seeing all these people Alisha and I had met a week before, but now they were like celebrities that we couldn’t approach. (Mostly because I was being too idiotic at that point.)

In my other Big Butler accounts, I never mentioned this one super slick guy Alisha and I previously met. She and I were innocently sharing an order of cheesy tornado chips at a table tucked away behind two food vendors when this really smooth guy sauntered over and asked, “Do you think I should put this shirt on, or would it be too much blue?” Currently, he was wearing a gray wife beater with blue plaid shorts. Alisha and I both agreed that he should just leave well enough alone.

“That’s what I was thinking, too,” he said, stuffing his t-shirt under his arm. “I’m Jordan. What are you guys drinking?”

“Well, I have water, and she has tea,” I answered slowly, wondering where this was going and instinctively palming the top of my water bottle to block any imminent date rape. The next thing I knew, he had grabbed his friend John from one of the food booths and, after introducing us to him, smugly added, “They’re partying with us tonight.” Oh OK, how lovely. Alisha and I exchanged surprised glances. Actually, hers was more of a “Do they not know I don’t like dudes?” smirk. There was some more braggadocio-laden banter, when Jordan realized he had a customer at his sunglasses tent. “Customer, be right back. Don’t leave!” he yelled over his shoulder.

We left. Quickly.

And then we saw him again a week later, as Henry was ordering food FROM JOHN and I did everything but stuff lit cigars in my eye sockets to keep from making eye contact.

Jul 10 2010 094

JOHN. He “owns all the booths on the block,” according to Jordan.

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JORDAN. He was actually sort of cute, but his personality was trying way too hard to be Jersey Shore. Alisha said if she liked weeners, he would be her type. Then she fist-pumped.

I made sure to tug on Henry’s arm and point Jordan out to him. “I could’ve had sex with him last week,” I added, in a bored tone, blowing on my finger tips. “But he was trying too hard.” Henry really enjoyed this virtual walk of carnival boyfriends. I think he would have probably handed me over to Kirk though. Actually, I kind of wish I had instigated a fight between those two.

Jul 10 2010 068

Unlike Kennywood, Chooch was actually very eager to ride things. I couldn’t get him to ride the fucking Wacky Worm though! He preferred instead to ride things where he could make girls do all the work. I really don’t know where he learned that considering I don’t do shit for Henry.

Chooch’s favorite ride seemed to be that stupid Fun Slide; you know, the one that requires asses to be swathed in potato sacks? There was another little boy who was just as charmed by it, and they began racing each other. They’d get to the bottom, throw their sacks at the Mexican carny, then run right back to the entrance. Finally, the carny was like JUST KEEP THE SACKS, JESUS. Alisha and I were sitting in the grass, watching this spectacle, while Henry stood off to the side looking like a creeper. The little boy’s mom deduced that I was Chooch’s mom and inched her way closer. At first it was a brief laugh and smile, a shared acknowledgment that yes, our sons looked cute racing each other down the slides.

And then, before I knew it, she was popping a squat right next to Alisha, and delving into a tale about how her sister Amy was on her way from PITTSBURGH to bring her cigarettes and she sure hoped Amy would arrive soon because her phone was dying and she sure did need a cigarette.

“I’d take anything at this point!” she said, passively hinting to Alisha.

So Alisha sighed and fished in her purse for a cigarette. Sometimes Alisha is nice like that.

Jul 10 2010 109

Meanwhile, I’m trying to prop my camera up on my thigh to shoot clandestine snaps of her.

I got a text from Henry that said, “You are the WORST at stealth photography.”

A helicopter flew past and Anonymous Mom asked if any of us had gone up in it yet. Rides were $15 per person. We said no and she told us that she and her son had done it and it was totally worth it. Alisha and I pretended to be impressed.

My brother Corey and his girlfriend Danielle were there that night and came over to join our awkward pow wow. Corey sat right next to Anonymous Mom and began pulling out all the Silly Bandz he and Danielle had purchased. “This entire pack is fast food scented,” he said, draping each bracelet carefully across the bag on his lap so we could all not ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh.’ Danielle was excited to show off her collection, too.

Jul 10 2010 116

Then Corey brought up the helicopter, since we were sitting relatively close to it’s little launch area.

“Oh, she went on it with her son!” Alisha announced with faux enthusiasm, pointing to Anonymous Mom, which prompted her to give Corey the same spiel we already snored through. While she was talking about it, I texted Corey: She just sat down with us…?

Once he learned that we had no idea who she was, he put on this exaggerated guise of interest, totally making her think like we gave a shit about her helicopter ride and sister Amy from Pittsburgh.

We must have sat there with her for thirty minutes without ever making introductions. It was so uncomfortable (clearly not for her, though). When we finally pulled Chooch away from the slides and began to walk away, Alisha hesitated and then said, “Nice meeting you!”

Later on, we saw her again. Amy was with her! We rejoiced.

Jul 10 2010 117

Naturally, this girl’s mom had to come running over to make mom-talk with me, too. Thank god she didn’t linger though.

Jul 10 2010 025

“It’s that damn soup place, don’t make eye contact!” I yelled, but then I was like, “Piss on that, I want some samples.” So once again, Alisha and I promised to be back for a full bowl but we stood them up because it’s SUMMER TIME. That soup was seriously good though. I went to their website and they have apple pumpkin soup, so now I want to buy a batch and have a soup party at Alisha’s house.

Jul 10 2010 103

Eating tornado chips like a champ. (Don’t ever call them tornado fries. Alisha made that mistake and almost got punted out of the fairgrounds by a grisly old lady in a red cowboy hat. It only got worse when she ordered “pop” and not “soda.”)

Jul 10 2010 026

Chooch just walked right up to the food places and said things like, “I WANT LEMONADE.” Then Henry would be all, “SHIT now I have to pay for this, thanks.”

In the end, I caved and decided it was imperative to at least ride the Freak Out and the Zipper. So Alisha, Corey, Danielle and I bought tickets. I loved Freak Out even more this time, though I was pretty aware of the group of guys across from me who mimicked me during the entire ride, and decided that I really need to have this in my backyard, just as soon as the house behind me accidentally gets hit with a “meteor.” A quick jaunt on the Freak Out will soon become my new morning coffee. You just wait.

Jul 10 2010 138

Danielle was so happy to have survived her first time on the Freak Out, that she began doling out hugs to everyone.

Before we left, Chooch begged me to ride the Sizzler with him, so I had to pay another goddamn $3 for a ticket, but it was worth it because he was laughing his little underoo’d ass off the whole time. And I didn’t drop him after the ride ended. Not that that’s ever happened before.

Jul 10 2010 175

I don’t see how any other county fair this summer is going to outshine the majesty that is the Big Butler Fair.

Jul 10 2010 158