Friday, April 24, 2009

Love notes from Gloria

You've all read about Gloria, the 84-year-old neighbor (see this post:

She knocks on my door yesterday. "Tommy! Tommy! Are you in there? Are you sleeping?" I had just come out of the shower (hmmm. Impeccable timing or opportunistic vixen?) so I was dressed only in my skivvies and a t-shirt. Throw on some jeans and answer the door:

Gloria: Oh, you ARE there. Were you sleeping?
Me: No, I was just in the show---. Uh, I was getting dressed.
Gloria: Oh, you're going out?
Me: Yes, but I won't be home til the evening.
Glo: Perfect. Can you get me some wine?
(Now, I've done this for her; fetched two large bottle of red swine, I mean wine, that she favors, so this isn't an unusal request)
Me: Sure.
(Long, uncomfortable silence ensues. Me wondering: 1. What was the cheap brand again? 2. Where's my money you needy wench?)
Her: Oh, they know what I like.
Me: (Thinking: 1. Who are "they" exactly. I'm now a psychic and I know where you buy your wine now? 2. Where is my money you needy wench?)

(Did I mention I'm not a nice person. I don't think I'm hell material, but I'm not Gandhi. Yes, I tend to eat quite well).

So I figure I can remember the bottle when I see it. It will be the biggest bottle for $5.99 in the joint. And I know the approximate location of said wine)

So, an hour or so later I leave for my afternoon meetings and appointments (I gotta work to support Gloria's drinking habits.) There is a note outside my front door. And $15 in cash.

Now Gloria is 84, as I said. She sometimes leaves notes "Open this" for her goose-neck Clorox toilet cleanser or "I'm sorry you didn't clean off my car yesterday (in the snow)."

Direct, to the point.

But here is the note from yesterday:

"Tom: 2 of these (note next to empty bottle of Livingston Burgundy Reserve Red Swine, I mean Wine.)

Thank you for taking garbage out. *

I'm waiting for the doctor to tell me when he's going to do the job. **

See you later. I'm going to go for the mail. I hope I make it." ***

Okay, after resisting the urge to swallow every capsule, tablet, drug and cleansing product in my condo, I thought the following things from this note.....

* I had no choice but to take the garbage out. Gloria leaves the foyer at about...hmmm... 100 degrees, so she's warm while waiting for the taxi pick-up most days. Even during the summer. (Anyone who's been here knows I am NOT exaggerating). I usually take her garbage out anyway, but this day she left the garbage outside her door in the morning. When I left that evening, her garbage included: an empty tuna fish can and an empty (I think) cottage cheese container.
Okay, I mentioned the 100 degree thing, right? Blistering heat. Tuna fish. Cottage cheese. You get the idea. I had no choice to take out the garbage or else risk the smell of hot vomit when I got home.
I'll wait while you go vomit yourself too.

** Um, Gloria and I talk once in a while but I don't know her last name, how many children she has, where she was born. None of that. Our conversations are limited to the length of time I can stand breathing in 100 degree air, or until she asks me my cat's name ("Fumbles" I tell her, followed by her saying "Hello Tumbles." This has happened five times already). These conversations last about 38 seconds or roughly the amount of time my first layer of skin takes to melt.
So what's with this too-much-information note about the doctor and doing the job?? Uh, I got nothin' Glo Worm. Usually a line that includes "doctor finishing the job" would be ripe for humor, or adult movies. But this was kinda sad in a "maybe you shouldn't be drinking shit wine" kind of way.

*** The mail is literally 20 feet from our foyer. Look lady, I removed the steamy bag of garbage (by bag I mean the little plastic shopping bags that old people use for trash containment. And next time Glo Glo, can you tie it up at least?). And I'm buying the wine. Don't guilt trip me into the mail thing. Just because my name is Mr. McFeeley doesn't mean I'm a mail delivery expert. My uncle did that crap with that cheesy Mr. Rodgers til he had to go postal on the Neighborhood of Make Believe. It wasn't pretty. Or make believe.

And, besides Glo Stick, if I do this mail thing, then it's gonna be "Can you reach that can of 10 year old pea soup. I'm just so weak, I can't do it" or "Come change my light bulb. It's so dark and I'm so weak. And I can't even see the can of soup I'm going to ask you to grab for me." And we all know what will happen. My sweaty hands in your 105 degree condo will drop the can of soup, hit you in the head, and then I'll have to somehow call your family (if you have one) or go to the emergency room with you. At least the ER will be more comfortable.

So later in the day I leave the wine outside her door (with the two dollars change. She asked me once where her $1.17 in change was, though never offered extra money when I bought one extra bottle of swine, I mean wine), and I barely get into my place when she swoops up the wine and the money.

I haven't heard from her since then. Given the daily treks to the mailbox, the vague doctor/job reference and the hope I make it crap, who knows if she got to finish either of the bottles yet.

I won't get worried until I smell rotting cottage cheese -- from INSIDE her condo. Or, is that REALLY cottage cheese that's rotting????

Wow, I AM going to hell afterall. I hope they dont' serve Livingston Burgundy Reserve Red Swine.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm Not Always Nice, But Am I Going to Hell?

So yesterday on my Facebook page, I posted something you might call "mean." Okay it wasn't nice, but I was joking.

It said something to the effect of: "I think Susan Boyle is just Taylor Hicks in drag.....I'm sorry, but she's just too ugly to look at."

Okay, definitely not kind, but come on....She's only famous BECAUSE she is ugly. And she's only famous because she's ugly because we, as a society, have made attractiveness as important as talent in determining celebrity.

So, in my opinion, this "uplifting" and "touching" story is a non-story. It's our own fault it's a story.

And, by the way, if you put Taylor Hicks in a dress.....that's what he would look like. I'm sorry, I'm not wrong about this.

So, seconds after I post it, I was the object of a online firestorm. People, and by people I mean women, were shocked and appalled. They called me mean and said everyone's been called ugly or fat in their lives and this was such a good story blah blah blah.

The underlying message? "You're the devil."

So then I thought "wait a minute, AM I going to hell? ME????"

Personally I don't believe there is a heaven or a hell. I think it's a cool religious fable to "teach" us to be good. I think you become a rotting corpse or some ashes over your favorite park or body of water, or bar. Other possibilities might include afterlives as a dictator, a frog, or a porn star.

But I wondered, wheh my time comes, how the interview for heaven might go.......

St. Peter: Ah, Tom McFeeley. I've been waiting for this day. I was afraid you'd come on my day off. When St. Patrick gets the gate, he lets all the Irish dudes in. Except those who had pet snakes.

Me: It's okay. I'm not that fond of St. Patrick's Day. I hope he doesn't read blogs. But, hey, you get days off?

St. Peter: Dude, it's heaven. The benefits up here are ungodly. Ooops, I keep saying that. But, we have lots to talk about. Would you like a seat in the heavenly recliner? There's a cold Heineken in the cup holder.

Me: A recliner? Outside the gates? Cold beer waiting? Sweet.

St. Peter: If it's that good outside the gates, imagine what it's like inside.

Me: Strippers?

St. Peter: If you get in, you'll find out. Now let's talk about this Susan Boyle thing.

Me: Pete, I'm really sorry. I was kinda tired that day. I was tired of the whole Susan Boyle thing. You see, it's only because she's ug -

Pete: Relax, McFeeley. It was freakin' funny. Taylor Hicks? That's just genius. But don't worry about that one. God made her ugly as a test.

Me: A test? What are you talking about?

Pete: Yeah, first God invented boils. On the feet. He thought it was funny, but you guys got all medical about it and didn't get the humor. Then he sent you Peter Boyle. Now that guy was odd, and very funny. And you still didn't get the joke. Well Gene Wilder, he got it. "Puttin' on the Ritz?" Pure genius. The big G loves that scene. We have a big party planned for Mr. Wilder upon is arrival.

Me: Peter Boyle is funny.

Pete: WAS funny.

Me: Oh, yeah he died.....Wait, he just died....Then we discover Susan Boyle. Is there a pl--

P: There is always a plan my man. Now you're getting it. She's 49 and never been kissed? Never did the tickle pickle, come on. Could we put ANYMORE fish in the sea. Clearly we just invented her this year.

Me; Yeah, otherwise she might have ended up with William Hung huh? (I chuckle)

P: Yeah, William Hung was St. Alyousius's idea. I'm telling you, you give a saint a fucked up name and he fights through it with good humor. It's like naming a boy Cody or Courtney or one of those other bullshit 21st century names.

Me: Yeah, I didn't have kids when I was married.

P: Thank GOD for that.

Me: Well, I guess you can. Where is the big guy?

P: Around the corner, but you gotta take an angel quite a distance. The G-man can't wait for Hefner to get here. God's pad makes the Playboy Manson look like a Studio Apartment.....Now, let's move onto the real business....We liked the Susan Boyle thing. Your appreciation of Stephen Lynch is somewhat disturbing. But that song about him waiting for his AIDS test? Funny stuff. So is there anything you wanna tell me?

Me: Uh, I once almost set a willow tree on fire when I was five. I let my brother take the fall for something I did. Though I did try to bring him some dessert.

P: Oh, how noble of you, you little rat.

Me: Uh, I once cheated my Mom when she was my English teacher and the girl I had a crush on to win a chocolate bar.

P: A Whatchamacallit, right?

Me: Yeah.

P: Good choice. What about that day you hooked up with a woman at a bar after you walked your blind date to her car and came back? Or letting that crazy girl in college think your friend was a warlock? Or your ongoing childhood attempts to put your cat in the toilet?

Me: The hardest thing to do, shoving a cat in the toilet. Those cats are strong creatures.

P: Well, you ain't going in the morality hall of fame. But you do help your elderly neighbor. You're good to your Mom. You generally go out of your way to help people, though the vast majority of them are attractive women.... But you make people laugh and laughter is slightly less important than oxygen. And we do think your idea of Special Olympians playing college mascots in basketball, though rough around the edges, does have potential. Both financial and economic. Good thinkng.

Me: So....I'm in?

P: Yes, you get in. Let me find the right key here. You'd think we have one entrance, but everytime a baker arrives, Gandhi just attacks him. That is one hungry dude.

Me: (trying to hug St. Peter), Thank you so much. I really appreci-

P: ---- oh stop with that. Orientation is at noon. You do have to shower first.

Me: Well...what....where are my clothes.

P: Dude, it's heaven. Only the front gate guy has to wear a robe. We go au naturale up here.

Me: Sweeeeet!

And then I wake up and realize I'm definitely headed to hell. I mean who tries to stuff a cat in a toilet...Oh yeah, my brother Sean tried it too. We're both going to hell. That's how our cat Oogie would prefer it. Yes, Oogie, don't ask. I'll tell you about it in hell.