Patsy Porco

Archive for March, 2013|Monthly archive page

I Owe You What?

In Catholics, Humor, Religion on March 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Catholics often equate their burdens with Jesus’ carrying of his cross. We all know that anything we’re suffering can’t compare with His suffering, but we still call long-term physical or emotional struggles “our crosses to bear.”

I was recently talking to an older woman about her depression and the cause of it. Neither one of us had a solution, so I lamely suggested that she should consider the problem as a cross she had to bear.

She responded that she had lived a long life, and had borne many, many crosses. “When I get to Heaven, after I pay God what I owe him, I’m going to expect change.”

I hope God has a cash box.




Did You Get a Haircut? No, I Got Them All Cut.

In Hair, Haircut, Humor on March 23, 2013 at 3:00 am

Did you ever notice that one day your hair looks perfectly fine and then, the next day, it looks overgrown and shapeless? It happens in a matter of hours, probably when you’re sleeping. You go to bed with reasonable hair and awaken thinking that a cat’s sleeping on your head. Hair growth spurts are exactly like kid growth spurts. A child goes to bed in his size 3 long-sleeved, long-legged pajamas and wakes up wearing a wife beater and shorts. Anyway, my hair had a growth spurt—or a sprouting, judging by the wings on the sides of my head—so I had to act immediately before I met up with my perfectly groomed in-laws on Easter.

The trouble is, about six months ago, I had a falling out with the woman who had been cutting my hair. She is really talented and her haircuts are reasonably priced, but once we became bitter enemies, I lost access to her. She probably would still cut my hair—money is money, after all—but my mother warned me that my former friend might scalp me. My mother seemed to think that scalping me would be understandable, considering what I had done. I don’t think that I was at fault, but either way, I can’t go to Easter dinner with my brains hanging out.

After I lost my stylist, I tried a salon that was voted “Best Hair Salon in N——” in some local online publication. Six people voted for it. Probably only two people even read the online rag, so I imagine that the owner and his one stylist triple-dipped in the voting box.

The first time I went to the best hair salon in N——, the hair cutter barely removed any hair, but what she removed gave my hair some shape, so I was happy. In between my first cut and my second cut, I suspect that she met and became best friends with my former friend/stylist and swore to exact revenge on my ex-friend’s behalf. My second cut looked like it was done in a blender.

So, today I was at loose (and split) ends. I decided to take my chances at S——, a bargain hair salon chain. A new branch of the chain recently opened close to my house, so I went there. My husband had warned me that this branch was sketchy. If by sketchy he meant that the hairdressers had hacked, badly permed, multi-colored hair and facial piercings, then he was right. If they thought that they looked good, then who knows what they’d do to me? There was one hairstylist who looked normal, at least in those surroundings, so I prayed that I got him. My prayer was answered in the affirmative. As soon as the guy was finished with his customer, he meticulously cleaned his area, and then called my name.

Now here’s where it got weird. The stylist’s first language was Spanish and he didn’t seem to speak much English. When I asked him for a “beachy” cut, he stared at me. I asked if he understood the term, “beachy,” and he shook his head no. I wasn’t sure if he didn’t understand the term, or the question. So, I kept it simple and asked him to give my hair some shape, and cut off about two inches. He nodded like he knew what I meant.

I thought about flinging off the coverup and running for the door, but by this time the other three employees, all women, were talking about me in Spanish and I didn’t want to give them more to talk about. My hair cutter, Jorge, and his three coworkers were having a good laugh at my expense. I knew this because all four of them were pointing at me and smirking.

I stared down the three women and Jorge finally turned his attention to my hair. During the time that he was mocking me in Spanish, he also picked up fluency in English. He proved this by picking up a strand of my hair and saying, “I think that two inches is too much to cut off. Let’s start with an inch and see how you like it. I’ll also even out the back and layer the front, around your face.” His very long announcement didn’t hold a trace of an accent. He was obviously having fun with his latest patsy. And he wasn’t done.

“So, how long have you worked here?” I asked.

“I started here yesterday,” he answered. “Yesterday was the very first day that I ever cut hair.”

Now, I knew this wasn’t true because, while I was in the chair, a woman had come in and requested that Jorge cut her hair. She asked for him by name, indicating that she had been there before.

“If that’s true,” I said, “then how does that woman know your name?”

He grimaced in defeat and replied, “Okay, I’ve worked at this branch since it opened. And I worked at the branch in W—— for a number of years.”

“That’s good,” I said.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because I don’t want you making beginner mistakes on my hair.”

“What do you want for $15.95?” he asked.

He had me there. I had nothing to say, so I let my wallet talk. “If you do a good job, you’ll get a really good tip.” Now, in truth, a good tip could be less than four dollars at this particular hair place, but I think he understood that I would go higher than that.

At that point, he buckled down and spent about twenty minutes concentrating on my hair. That’s about three times longer than most cuts take at that salon, so I figured the tip accordingly.

When he was finished, he gave me a mirror and let me look at the back of my head. That’s always a good sign. I was very happy with the cut and thanked him profusely. Then I tipped him twenty percent of a $50 haircut, and paid the $15.95 bill.

Everyone was happy, at least while my hair was wet and looked good. Once I got home and it dried, it looked like he had cut my hair while blindfolded. It was the worst haircut in the history of haircuts. As I fumed, I remembered Jorge’s words, “What do you want for $15.95?”

I wanted blood, his blood. So, I went back to his shop and killed him.

Okay, I didn’t really, but I wanted to. Instead, I went to a different branch, got a good stylist who not only fixed Jorge’s mess but didn’t charge me. She did, however, get a good tip from me, and a really good laugh when she looked at my hair as I sat down in her chair.

What a Pickle

In Food, Humor, Pickles, Religion, Science on March 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm


Pickled by Patsy Porco 001

I don’t believe everything I hear, even if what I hear has been proven by science, or is generally accepted by deep thinkers.

For example, I don’t care if every doctor, nurse, and health professional in the world say that you can’t catch a cold by sitting around in soaking wet clothes after getting caught in a downpour. They can talk and talk about how it’s impossible to catch a cold by simply being chilled and wet, and I will refuse to believe them. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve had it happen. And a lot of parents will back me up. In private, though. They don’t want to look stubborn and foolish.

I also get annoyed every time I hear, “There are no accidents.” If that’s true, then every stupid mistake I have made was on purpose—or for some higher cause. We’ve all heard stories about a person who shut his hand in a car door, went to the ER, and discovered that his hand was fine but that he had a tumor the size of an adult human head in his stomach, which was then removed in the nick of time. Therefore, the universe caused him to slam the car door on his hand in order for doctors to discover a giant protuberance in his gut. Up until then, everyone had just thought he was fat.

I have to admit that I lean more toward believing metaphysical truths that can’t be proven than scientific facts that have been proven. So, whenever I am involved in an accident, I stop and wonder why it happened.

Today, for instance, I was carrying several flimsy plastic supermarket bags full of groceries on one arm, while closing the car door with the other. The bag containing a giant glass jar of dill pickles broke, and the jar smashed on the road. Pickles and glass were everywhere. This was clearly an accident. While cleaning up the mess, I cut my finger on a piece of glass. That made two accidents. Then my husband came out to help, and he cut his finger. That made three accidents.

If “there are no accidents,” then I was supposed to drop those pickles, and we were supposed to cut our fingers. Maybe the pickles were poisoned; it is possible to get very sick, or die (I’ve heard), from improperly pickled pickles. Or maybe the universe was objecting to my not using cloth grocery bags. Okay, I could accept either of those reasons.

But why did we have to cut our fingers? To make a blood oath? That was the explanation that I settled on. My husband settled on ignoring me. That made four accidents.

I’m Going to Kill a Mockingbird…Again

In Humor on March 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Two years ago, I wrote about being fooled by a mockingbird into repeatedly answering a phone that wasn’t ringing. This morning, I got up when my alarm went off, but it wasn’t my alarm ringing at all. It was the bird. He’s back. It has to be the same one as before, because he remembered the sound of my alarm clock. It’s only a matter of time before he starts imitating our car alarm. When the police arrive to issue us a summons for disturbing the peace, they’re going to have to deliver it to our tree’s current resident. I hope they bring a ladder.

For those who want to read the original “I’m Going to Kill a Mockingbird,” please click here:

Think About It

In Humor on March 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Whenever I need time for contemplation, I get inside the box. It’s nice and quiet in there, now that everyone else is thinking outside it.

Hot Topic

In Humor on March 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm

I’ve got several irons in the fire. How do I know when they’re done? And how do I get them out? And why did I think this was a good idea?

Life was much simpler when all I had to worry about was my pot calling my kettle black.

Chuck Smith, Virginia Author

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