Patsy Porco

Archive for March, 2018|Monthly archive page

What a Boob

In Humor on March 17, 2018 at 3:32 am

The other day, a friend of mine asked me to write a funny post about boobs. I thought I had written it, but my sister told me that I had only transcribed the conversation I had had with my friend about writing the story, so it didn’t count. In fact, she said that my readers were “gypped.” I have an uneasy feeling that “gypped” has something negative to do with gypsies. If any gypsies complain, I intend to print out directions to my sister’s house for the caravan to follow.

My sister went on to say that I still owed her and my ten readers a post about boobs, but she doesn’t use the word “boobs,” so she said “bosoms.” I told her I’d be happy to write about “bosoms,” if she could supply me with a time machine that would transport me to the 1920s, or whenever the heck it was that people said “bosoms.”

I don’t particularly like the word, “boobs,” either, but that might be because of Sister Marian Arlene, the nun I had in first grade. I remember her pulling my long hair and calling me a boob because I didn’t erase my part of the blackboard to her satisfaction. Back in the 1960s, “boob” meant idiot. I was very hurt and offended. But maybe she was prescient.

For example, I fell on my head today. Hard. It happened in my company’s office. Everyone had left for the day and I was alone.

We are moving next week, so some of our things are packed up and some are not. The clock that I depend on has been packed. I feel its absence every time I arrive and every time I leave. I no longer know if I’m late for work when I get there, or whether I’ve allowed enough time to catch my train home.

Since I was the last one to leave today, I had to check that all of the 22 windows were shut, and perform other closing-up chores. When I got to the lounge, I discovered that there was a clock hanging on the wall. Nobody will be using the lounge because the couch was moved out today, so I reached up and removed it from where it was hanging.

Then I took the clock out to the main office to hang it where the missing clock used to be. I couldn’t reach the nail on the wall in this room, however, so I grabbed the nearest chair and climbed up on it while holding the clock. I leaned up, and over the printer, to attach the clock to the nail on the wall. Just as I almost reached the nail, my chair shot out behind me and I fell forward. I tried to break my fall by reaching for the printer but, instead, I crashed into the floor. I’m not sure what hit first, but I have a large bump on the right side of my head and a bruise on my left hip. After I fell, I couldn’t move for a while. I just sat on the floor holding my head and listening to the plastic clock spinning like a top. I kept thinking that I couldn’t function until that clock stopped spinning.

When the clock finally fell over, I lifted my head and saw that I was surrounded by white fragments of something. A lot of white fragments. The printer and the clock were both black and the shards were white, so what did I break, besides myself? With great relief, I discovered that I had knocked over the trash can that contained shredded paper. After cleaning up the paper and righting the trash can, I picked the clock up and put it on top of the printer. Then I dusted my footprints off the black cloth seat of the chair that I had stood on. The chair with wheels.

I finished closing the office and left for Grand Central to catch my train. It didn’t occur to me until I got home that I might have internal bleeding in my head. I feel fine, but you never know.

Many years ago, when we were young, my mother told my siblings and me a story about her maternal great-uncle. I think his name was Otto. Otto was a little boy and one Christmas Day, he went outside and some roughneck kid hit him on the head with a bag of walnuts. Otto returned to his house and told his mother that he was tired. He lay down under the Christmas tree and never woke up. This story made us very sad.

I hope I wake up tomorrow, because nobody is going to be sad if they hear that I stood on a chair that had wheels and fell on my head. They might call me a boob, though. And they’d be justified, unlike Sister Marian Arlene.



You Want Me to Write About What?

In Humor on March 14, 2018 at 3:01 am

“Write a funny post about boobs,” suggested a friend recently. “It would really cheer me up,” she said.

“I can’t even say the word,” I told her. “How am I going to use it in a post?”

“Oh, please write about boobs,” she said. “I’ve been through a really hard time with mine, and I need to laugh about my boobs, rather than cry over them.”

I paused for a moment, overwhelmed by the excessive use of the word “boobs.”

“Maybe I could call them something else,” I said. “‘Boob’ just isn’t a word I grew up saying. My mother always said ‘bosom.’ I don’t think I was even comfortable saying ‘breast’ until recently.”

“I get it,” my friend said. “My father could never say ‘breast.’ Whenever we had chicken, he always asked for the ‘white meat.’ But everyone says ‘boobs’ now. It’s an accepted word.”

“But what would I say about them?” I asked.

She started to sing, “Do my boobs hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?”

I couldn’t help but join in, “Can you throw them over your shoulder like a Continental soldier? Do your boobs hang low?” We both laughed like bad kids.

“Maybe your story angle could be about how language has changed and how words that used to be offensive aren’t anymore.”

“I don’t know,” I stalled. “To write that post, I’d have to use words that some people still consider to be crass, and I might lose one or two of my ten loyal readers.”

“Well, then, just stick to boobs. You can write about mine. They’re perfect. I have Venus de Milo boobs.”

I didn’t know what to say. So I said, “Excuse me?”

“I do!” she said. “They’re small and perky!”

I wasn’t aware of this. I’ll have to take a closer look the next time we see each other. I’ll need to be discreet, however, or she might whip off her shirt.

“Did you know that the champagne glass was modeled after Marie Antoinette’s boob?” she asked.

I pictured Marie Antoinette squashing her breast into a champagne flute. Then I figured

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 2.50.52 AM.png

coupe glass

out that the champagne glass in question was a coupe glass, with a wide, shallow, drinking bowl.

“And did you know that the Grand Teton mountain in Wyoming translates to ‘the big tit?'” she asked. “It’s the largest of three Tetons and together they were called ‘The Three Breasts.'”

“That’s very interesting,” I said, wondering where else this conversation could lead. “I’ll think about writing about … ahem … boobs, but not … uh … tits.”

“Oh, please do,” she urged. “Your blog always makes me laugh, and a post about boobs is just what I need right now.”

After hearing about the Grand Teton, writing about boobs didn’t seem so bad.

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 2.41.34 AM

Venus de Milo photo from Wikipedia









No Quilt for Old Jeans

In Humor on March 10, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Five or ten years ago, my friend decided to learn quilting. She is now an expert quilter. Some people are like that: they make a plan, stick to it, and excel at what they’ve learned to do. I admire those people. I will never be one of those people, but I admire them.

My friend is now a member of a traveling quilting group. The members meet weekly at rotating houses. The houses belong to the members. They don’t just show up at random houses, hauling armfuls of material and quilting paraphernalia.

The other day, I decided to thin out my family’s closets. By the end of my culling exercise, I had a pile of clothes to donate to local charities, and a pile of clothes that would be too embarrassing to donate. In fact, the clothes in the latter pile would probably be thrown out by the charities, due to their tattered states.

However, I don’t like to throw out clothes. Except for old socks. I know that I should learn darning eggto darn socks, but I don’t have a darning egg and don’t want one. And everyone who has ever sewn holes in socks with a needle and thread knows how uncomfortable lumpy socks are to wear. So, I draw the line at holey socks and just toss them. Then my dog digs through the trash, hauls them out, and litters the house with them. But that’s another blog post for another day.

Anyway, I had a pile of clothes that I couldn’t donate and couldn’t bring myself to put in the trash. I was at a fork in the road, so I went straight to bed. While I napped, my subconscious sorted out my clothing conundrum and made me realize that old clothes could make great quilts.

I immediately contacted my quilting friend. I started small, however. I didn’t offer her stained, ripped shirts and sheets. I offered her only my very best junk. I told her that I had a collection of jeans in a variety of colors that couldn’t be worn any longer because they were torn in unfashionable places. I asked if she or her quilting group would be interested in cutting the jeans up into squares, or any shapes they liked, for use in their quilts.

It turns out that my knowledge of quilting is antiquated and romanticized. My friend told me that she doesn’t know anyone “who makes quilts out of old jeans.” She said that people use T-shirts or other shirts for memory quilts, but old jeans have no place in quilts.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 1.43.15 PM

I bought this patchwork quilt on eBay.

Huh. I had a vision in my head of patchwork quilts being made from any and all scraps of material by women sitting around a large, round, scarred wooden table next to a giant fireplace. I thought that my donation of many different pairs of jeans would be met with glee, especially since, as I told my friend, there would be a lot of material to work with due to my long inseam.

But, my offer was rebuffed. Nowadays, people make pretty quilts, not utilitarian quilts like they did in the olden days.

I personally love patchwork quilts made from scraps. I appreciate their rustic beauty. I don’t like “crazy quilts,” though. I prefer quilts made with at least a little sanity.

So, I still have a pile of ripped jeans that I can’t donate and can’t use. I suppose I could sew vintage patches over the gaping holes and wait for 1970s’ fashion to come back into style. Or, I could look for a quilter who would find a use for my old jeans, and maybe even my holey socks.

There has to be at least one person in the world who has lower standards than my friend has.

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