Patsy Porco

Archive for December, 2017|Monthly archive page

See Ya, 2017

In 2018, Humor on December 31, 2017 at 6:15 pm

It’s the last day of the year, so it’s either time to say, “Thank God that 2017 is nearly over!” or “2017 was a great year!” Everyone, however, can say, “I hope 2018 is a wonderful year.” There’s no judgment implied in that declaration, so God or the universe won’t be tempted to jinx you from day one.

I used to think that “the universe” was a PC way of saying “God,” but they could be separate entities. I can see the powers of evil in the universe jinxing you just for fun, but I think God just sits back and lets us mess up our lives on our own.

I’m happy to see 2017 go, but it ended pretty well for me and my family, despite the occasional curveball thrown throughout the year. There are inklings of good things occurring in 2018 (knock wood, universe!) so I’m curious to see if they’ll pan out. There are also indications that not-so-good things could happen (God forbid, universe!), but I’m not going to think about them.

I remember thinking, as a child, that life didn’t make sense. “You learn it all and then you die,” I thought. I didn’t realize that that was the whole point of life. You make mistakes, learn lessons, do jobs, and then, one day, you’re done. It basically comes down to: Was I a good person? Did I love my neighbor? If I had worn my lucky socks to bed every night during 2017, would the Yankees have made it to the World Series?

Happy New Year everyone! May 2018 be a great year for you, and may the evil in the universe stay the hell out of your way.

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Clap On! Clap Off!

In Humor, The Daily Post on December 27, 2017 at 10:11 pm

via Daily Prompt: Confess

If I do something wrong, I almost always confess. I cannot bear carrying around guilt. To my knowledge, I only have two things on my conscience that I haven’t confessed. They happened years ago — one of them happened when I was in elementary school. For the first and only time, I copied an answer from another student’s test. The answer was “The Holy Experiment.” I will never forget that. And the other thing, which I did many decades later, involved a lie I told to a close friend. I will never be able to right these wrongs. My fourth-grade teacher, if she’s even alive, would be flabbergasted to get a call from me regarding my cheating, and I still don’t have the guts to tell my friend I lied to her. So, these two things will have to be reconciled in my next life.

This Christmas, my husband gave me a pile of wonderful gifts … and the Clapper. I refuse IMG_3439.jpgto have the Clapper in the house. I will not turn my lights on and off by clapping my hands. Every time I think of the Clapper, I remember an episode of “Roseanne,” where Roseanne Conner, or maybe Dan, clapped her, or his, hands to turn on the lights. I refuse to own anything that Roseanne’s family owned. I can’t even buy plaid furniture because of their plaid couch with the black-bordered granny-square afghan hanging over the back. I remember one of the female actors hugging a male actor and asking him what he smelled of. The answer was, “the couch.”

I have to confess, though, that I love granny squares. The hippies were about 10 years older than I was as a kid and I admired the girls with their long, straight, center-parted hair and their granny-square vests and sweaters. I have crocheted lots of granny squares over the years, but I have never used black yarn in them. To me, the black-border screams “low-class,” because of the afghan on the Conners’ couch.

Anyway, back to the Clapper. My husband asked me when I was going to hook it up and I said, “Never.” I explained that I loved his other gifts but not that one, because it was trashy. I told him that there was a list, on Amazon’s “Clapper” page, of things that people who bought the Clapper also purchased, and a light for the inside of the toilet and a Chia pet were featured. My husband said, “I almost got you a Chia pet.”

I shuddered and then told him that he could have the Clapper. He said, “I don’t want it. Do you think I’m trashy?” I said, “Of course not.”

I didn’t ask him if he wanted a light for the toilet or a Chia pet, though.

Addendum: My husband said that the Clapper was a joke gift, and he didn’t get why I didn’t get that.


Two Christmas Trees

In Babysitting, Christmas Season, Humor on December 10, 2017 at 4:13 pm

The other night, I babysat two young boys, aged 4 and 7, while their parents, Jodie and Joe, went to dinner with another couple.

Christmas TreeJodie is Jewish and Joe is Catholic. Jodie solved “the Christmas tree conundrum” by putting up a Christmas tree and decorating it with blue and white Hanukkah lights. The ornaments are mainly Santas and snowmen, though, since they’re much more plentiful in stores than dreidels or latkes. Jodie did, however, manage to find a few Hanukkah ornaments, and also hung several of those handmade picture frames that elementary-school teachers are required by law to have their students make. This year, Jodie persuaded Joe to buy a fake tree. It was so tall and full that I couldn’t tell that it wasn’t a real tree until I touched it. Even though it looked like a real tree, Joe didn’t like it on principle.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, I had brought an unconstructed gingerbread house to make with the boys. I have never made a successful gingerbread house. Even though I always buy the pre-made gingerbread, I am never able to get the walls to stand up and the roof to stay on. This one had interlocking walls. You would think that would have been foolproof. You would have been wrong. The notched pieces mostly stuck together, or the pieces that didn’t break off did. The adhesive was made of confectioner’s sugar, and the picture on the box made it look like it would be easy to pipe it out of the bag without slopping it down the sides of the walls and all over the roof. It wasn’t. Confectioner’s-sugar glue dries instantaneously, so you can’t wipe it off when it drools all over the gingerbread. You just have to move on. I built the house by myself in order to avoid more mayhem than necessary and then called the boys over to decorate it.

The plan was for me to dab sugar-glue on the house and the boys would stick candy all over the walls and roof. Those kits are stingy when it comes to how much candy they supply so we would have run out even if the kids didn’t eat most of it. Luckily, they knew where their mother hid candy, so they were able to find enough to make up for what they consumed, plus plenty extra. When it was all done, the house didn’t look bad. It didn’t look especially good, but it was festive. It was also germ-ridden since one of the boys had a cold and the other kept licking the candy before sticking it onto the house.

Afterwards, we had some leftover candy canes. I remembered that I had seen a recipe for handmade candy ornaments, so I decided to melt the candy canes and then pour the liquid into cookie-cutter molds. The three of us smashed candy canes and I put them on a plastic plate which I transferred into the microwave oven. I melted it for a minute at a time, stirred the candy, and then microwaved it for another minute. I kept doing this until it was melted … along with the plastic plate. The boys thought it was hilarious that one of their dinner plates had a big hole in it. I doubted their parents would be as amused.

Then I lined a cookie sheet with waxed paper and put a plastic Christmas-tree cookie cutter and an angel cookie cutter on top of the waxed paper. I poured the melted candy canes into the molds. The liquid went into the molds and right out the bottom, spreading all over the waxed paper and melting the empty plastic cookie cutters. I added two Christmas Cookie Cutterscookie cutters to the list of things I had to replace.

I took a picture of the melted plate and cookie cutters and sent a text to Jodie: “I owe you a plastic Christmas tree and angel cookie cutter and a plastic plate, which I melted.” I attached the picture and sent the text. I then cleaned up the mess and told the boys that they were forbidden to eat any more candy. They each grabbed a handful of candy and scurried off to watch TV. In the meantime, Jodie sent me back a text saying, “No worries.”

After the boys were in bed, I sat in the living room with their adorable poodle puppy. Suddenly, the puppy woke up and went to the garage door. Somehow, she had heard her parents come home, whereas I had heard nothing. This says something about who was really watching the house. I heard the inside door to the garage door open and I called out, “Hello!” A strange woman answered, “Hi!” The dog didn’t seem alarmed, so I decided not to be either. The woman came into the living room and said that she and her husband had gone to dinner with Jodie and Joe. She said that they and her husband would be right in. I introduced myself.

She laughed and said, “Jodie was freaking out when she thought you burned down her Christmas tree.” ”

What?” I asked.

She laughed again. “Jodie read your text about melting her tree to us at dinner. She really lost it.”

“I didn’t burn down her tree,” I said. “I melted a Christmas-tree ornament.”

We figured that out,” she said, “when Joe took the phone from her and said that there was a picture attached. Then we saw what you had melted.”

Right then, Jodie, Joe, and the woman’s husband came in. I said goodnight to everyone and Jodie walked me to the door. I told her I was sorry that I had melted the ornaments and the plate. She said, very calmly, “No problem at all. I was initially a little surprised by your text, but we eventually figured out what you were talking about.”

“I’m sorry I upset you,” I said. “I’ll replace the plate and the cookie cutters.”

“I wasn’t upset at all,” she said. “I am happy, however, that the tree wasn’t burned down.”

Her husband called out from the kitchen, “I’m not.”

Jodie shot him an annoyed look.

Joe needs to learn how to sugar-coat the truth like his wife does.



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