Patsy Porco

Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

The Mystery of Mothers Who Home-School

In home-schooling, Humor on January 15, 2018 at 7:56 pm

I don’t understand why any woman would voluntarily home-school her children. Please don’t say that men home-school their children, too. They don’t.

Why would a mother decide to forgo six or more hours of having her kids out of the house? That still leaves about 18 hours to have them in the house, so it’s not as though they’ll forget what she looks like.

I was watching Love It or List It on HGTV and there was a couple who needed to either enlarge their home or find a new one for them and their seven children, who were home-schooled by the wife. Their seven children. What is wrong with that mother that she doesn’t want them to go away for at least part of the day? I was the eldest of seven children and my mother was happy to see us go to school. She was also mostly happy to see us come home, but I suspect that was because we had left for a worthwhile stretch of time.

Putting aside a mother’s suspicious need to be surrounded by her children at all times, what qualifies any mother to teach seven children all at once? At some point, their lessons are going to be difficult, if not impossible, for her to teach. What then? Does she say, “I never saw the need for geometry, anyway. You only really need to know the basic shapes”?

I’m a smart person, according to all of the Facebook quizzes I’ve taken. Not only can I read a sentence backwards but, according to the quiz I took last night, I have many of the indicators of high intelligence: I’m tall, I’m the eldest child, I’m a night owl, and I enjoy alcohol. But I would never attempt to home-school one child, let alone a passel of them.

I also think kids need to socialize with people their own age so they learn how to interact in society. And, if the older kids don’t get opportunities to make their younger siblings jealous, by doing things the young ones can’t do, then what is the point of being an older kid? And what is the point of being a middle child if you aren’t ignored, or the baby if you aren’t indulged? Instead, they all share the same space, day after day, lumped together as one student entity and treated identically by their no-doubt harried mother/teacher.

Speaking of the mother: How does she work, either in the house or out of the house, if she’s always monitoring her kids’ lessons? She mustn’t get anything else done. And how does she maintain her sanity with everyone around all of the time?

There’s only one answer: These home-schooling mothers are all tall firstborns who stay up all night and drink.

teacher in class




Don’t Eat That, Eat This!

In dogs, Humor on January 14, 2018 at 8:05 pm

IMG_3567We adopted a dog, Duke, from the Connecticut Humane Society last week. We were told that he’s about four years old and a German shepherd mix. He was surrendered by a family who was moving and couldn’t take him with them. That’s all we learned from the shelter.

What we learned directly from him this week is that he is a very happy, sweet, loving dog. He doesn’t know many commands, but he’s housebroken and he comes in from our fenced-in yard when called. We were unable to train our last dog, Rudy, to do this, so we were very glad that he obeyed that command.

Also unlike Rudy, Duke likes his Kong, which is an indestructible plastic toy with a hole in it. You put treats in the hole and the dog spends hours—or minutes, depending on the dog—trying to get the treats out of the Kong.

Being a thrifty person, I decided to make treats to put in Duke’s Kong. So, last night, I put globs of Jif peanut butter on a pizza pan and baked them. The globs spread out into round cookie shapes. They didn’t come off the pan like cookies, however. They broke up and became gravel. I formed the gravelly bits into cylinders that would fit in the Kong’s hole, put them back on the pan, and took them outside to freeze.

Peanut butter doesn’t freeze. I think the oil in it might be the reason. Nevertheless, I gave Duke one of the cylindrical-shaped peanut butter globs and he ate it. I gave him another with the same result. Success! Now I have a container of peanut butter things to use in his Kong.

There’s only one problem. They resemble something else and I don’t want to train him to eat that other thing. I think the solution is to not let him see them again. I’ll fill his toy when he’s not looking.

We’re teaching him to be good, not disgusting.


100% baked Jif Peanut Butter



Rhapsody in Email

In Humor on January 13, 2018 at 3:35 pm

Yahoo Mail is down and I need to open an email from my bank. I got locked out of my bank’s online site for entering the wrong password three times, and I was told that I would have to reset my password, using the authorization code that was sent to my Yahoo Mail address. However, I can’t open my Yahoo Mail.

I should get rid of Yahoo Mail because, apparently, if you have Yahoo or AOL for your email, everyone knows that you are OLD. Having a Gmail account tells the world that you are normal — not cool, just normal, as opposed to being a stuck-in-your-ways old person.

I have a Gmail account. In fact, I think I have several. I even saved the logins and passwords, so I can access them. I just don’t use a Gmail account because everyone emails me at my Yahoo address. It’s such a hassle to change email addresses, because you have to check your new and old email accounts for a long time because, even if you let everyone in your address book know that you’ve changed your email address, not all of them will stop using the old one. Some of them will and some of them won’t. That’s because it’s a nuisance to change someone’s email address in your address book. The only people who will use your new email address are those to whom you’ve sent an email, because they can just hit, “Reply.” They won’t even notice what address they replied to.

But, back to my Yahoo Mail problem: I googled, “What is wrong with Yahoo Mail?” and was taken to a page with a “real-time” chart of Yahoo Mail’s activity. According to the chart, while Yahoo Mail did have problems this week, they’ve been resolved. Maybe they have been resolved in Yahoo world, but I still can’t open my email. Neither can a lot of people, and they left comments. The comments section on any web page is always entertaining to read. Here’s my favorite from this page:

My child just died a week ago and I needed a bunch of emails and information. This YAHOO problem made my personal loss even more difficult and from here on out I hope to phase out this crappy yahoo service. I have no access to many pictures of my dead child and as soon as I get those back I will delete my account forever.


If “nonshopper” really lost his or her child, I am sorry. But I have to wonder if he or she is telling the truth, because who keeps pictures in Yahoo Mail? Accessing photos from your email is very time-consuming because you have to remember who sent you the photo you’re looking for, then do a search for that person’s emails, and then look for the paperclip icon to see which email contains an attachment. Sometimes people will email photos by copying/pasting them right into the email, so a paperclip icon wouldn’t appear at all. I’m having a hard time believing this person. Some people enjoy jerking the chains of others.

Take my husband. The other day, he got a telephone call from a telemarketer. He listened for a second and then said, “Hold on a minute, Sarah. I’m busy now. How about you give me your phone number and I’ll call you when you’re busy?” (He borrowed this line from a Seinfeld episode.) Then he hung up.

“I can’t believe you were so rude,” I said. “That person is just doing her job.”

“We’re on the no-call list,” my husband replied.

“Then report the company,” I said. “Don’t yell at the poor woman who is just trying to make a living. She’s probably working on commission. If she’s lucky, she’s making minimum wage.”

“I don’t think so,” my husband said.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“It was a robo-call,” he replied.

It turns out that my husband likes jerking my chain.

chain jerk

How Much is that Doggie in the Credenza?

In dogs, Humor on January 10, 2018 at 11:09 pm
Duke 01:08:2017

Photo credit: Luke Porco

We got a new dog, Duke, two days ago. We adopted him from the Connecticut Humane Society in Westport. We were told that he is a German Shepherd mix. He looks more like a Golden Retriever/Husky mix to us. He might have some German Shepherd in him, but he doesn’t have the long pointy face or ears. He actually looks eerily like our Golden Retriever, Rudy, who died this summer, except for his stocky body.

Speaking of Duke’s stocky body, we were told that he is on a weight-loss diet. He had lost nine pounds since arriving at the shelter and we were encouraged to keep the weight loss going. Boy, did he come to the wrong house. I am not a paragon of clean eating by any means. My family has started to work on his weight, however, with exercise and low-calorie food. Duke needs to buckle down and cooperate, though. Yesterday, he ate my slippers and I happen to know that they’re high in saturated fat.

His weight makes him very broad across the back and rear, so I have had to take his girth into consideration while shopping for a crate. We hope to crate-train Duke, once we figure out what that means. We had the same intention for Rudy, but he refused to go anywhere near his crate.

Maybe it was because it looked like a prison. This time around, I decided to get an attractive crate that looks like a piece of furniture. My sister has a beautiful wood and metal crate for her dog. It’s so pretty that I would consider napping in it.

When I went online and searched for “furniture dog crates” and “wood crates,” I found some unexpected designs. Many of the wood crates on the market are actually pieces of furniture that you keep your dog in.

They’re downright odd. Think about it. You go to someone’s house and put your bag down on their credenza (aka buffet) and are greeted by a dog who is staring at you through the bars. Or, you turn on a lamp at a friend’s house and there’s a puppy inside the side table. Imagine working at your corner desk while your pet nips at your ankles.

Take a look at these crate designs and see if you also think that they’re creepy. I’m a big fan of multi-purpose objects, but as the saying goes, “these ain’t them.”

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.29.39 PM.png

I think this design came from an animal cracker box.

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.31.17 PM

I wouldn’t want to be around when he finally gets out.

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.33.00 PM

Yes, he is supposed to hang out in there.

Photos from

Snow Write

In Humor, snow on January 6, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Many years ago, my sister, brother,Central Park and I walked to Central Park from our apartments on East 83rd Street in Manhattan. It had snowed tremendously, and our companies had given us a snow day. This was before anyone had computers in their homes so very few people were expected to work from home.

We trudged westward through the snow, up East 83rd to Fifth Avenue, and across Fifth to the park. We slogged through the knee-deep snow, alongside the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s glass enclosure that housed the Egyptian room.

My sister told my brother and me that we should write about what it was like to walk around New York City in the snow. She said that that was what real writers would do. That was a dig at us because we fancied ourselves writers. Our brother was actually earning a living by writing for a trade magazine at the time. I just told people that I could write and some of them, my sister included, believed me.

Anyway, we returned home with cold hands and feet … and warm insides due to our prolonged stop at a bar. Neither my brother nor I wrote about our day. Even if we had, who would we have submitted our stories to? It’s not like there were blogs back then.

The next day, my sister, brother, and I must have met up again because I remember her waving The New York Daily News, or maybe Newsday, at us. “Look at this,” she said, pointing to an article. “Jimmy Breslin wrote about walking around New York in the snow yesterday. I told you both that you should have written about the snow.” We told her that we weren’t well-known writers with established columns in a New York newspaper. She said it didn’t matter. That’s what writers did: they wrote. Looking back, I see that she was right. We should have written for ourselves, if for no one else.

The other day, it snowed a foot in Norwalk, Connecticut, where I live. The winds blew maniacally and the temperature felt like it was in the low single digits. It was too cold to leave the house, so my only interaction with the snow was through my home-office window. From what I could see, the wind was so strong that the snow fell sideways, and nobody came out of their houses due to the extreme cold.

My company’s office was officially closed for the snow day, but we were all told to work from home. I complained to my husband that snow days weren’t fun anymore, now that we had to work through them.

But, truthfully, I was secretly relieved to have an excuse for not writing about the snow.

Straight Talk

In Humor, politics on January 3, 2018 at 11:59 pm


Love him or hate him, President Trump’s total disregard for propriety has to occasionally make you laugh … or cringe.

We’re all used to politicians giving perfectly polished speeches that say nothing. This president says and tweets whatever he wants, whenever and wherever he wants.

He doesn’t run his opinions by his handlers first. As a business mogul, he is used to having the last word. And if that isn’t how things have always worked in Washington — well, that’s how they work now.

I think he tweets from the bathroom, in the middle of the night, behind a locked door, so that not even Melania can check on what he’s doing.

Not that she would. She’s probably relieved when he leaves their bedroom and she can sleep in peace.

He looks like a major snorer to me.


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.

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 6.12.57 PM.png

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.



Don’t Pass Gas in a Puffer Coat

In Humor, shopping on November 29, 2017 at 1:28 pm

As a public service announcement to all of you out there who are about to start shopping Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 2.42.21 AMfor winter coats, you should know that puffer coats grab onto smells, absorb them, and hold on like a baby to a pacifier.

I went to a Korean-barbecue restaurant the other night and came out smelling like I had never left. My coat drank in the pungent scents and retained them like water. It’s two days later and that coat still reeks.

Which brings me to some other aromas that will stick to your coat like glitter to anything: body odor, bodily gases, perfume, and cooking smells. Basically anything that your nose can sense will move into your coat and start unpacking immediately.

My husband has asked me not to wear my puffer coat until it’s stink-free. He came at me today with a bottle of Febreze but I wouldn’t let him spray my coat for fear of staining it. So, for now, it’s hanging outside in the yard. I hope there’s nothing smelly out there.

Wearing a skunked coat would really stink.


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