Friday, September 30, 2011

Baby Boomers, wake up and smell the coffin

I Know the title of this blog is a bit shocking, but I just finished reading my hometown magazine and I was aghast at the amount of advertisements there were for cosmetic surgery. I almost feel like a big fat failure, due to the all too obvious consequences of my normal aging process. Not to mention, I am down to my last feminine wile. Please don't ask me which one, I have forgotten and misplaced it as well.

When, as a society, did we place so much more importance in how something or someone looks rather than who they are? Maybe it has always been this way, but I believe we're way over the edge. Gone are the days of successful ageing, or being revered for being rich with experience. The elderly are no longer turned to for their wisdom or worldliness, but sadly reduced to a 20% discount and considered a second-class citizen.

Want to know who I blame? Car manufacturers! That's who! Notice how the names they give cars reflect the way society behaves? We started out with the model T and the Model A. Simple, timeless, and absolutely no underlying message. Then came the nouns. Viva, Previa, Nova, Probe, symbolizing reaching out. Animal names became popular. Mustang, Colt, Durango, Falcon, Impala, Cougar. GRRRRIP the road! Go for the jugular! Names morphed into a sort of lifestyle. Land Rover, Dakota, Yukon, Tahoe, Tacoma, projecting adventure and ambiance. The biggest culprits are, Infiniti, 5th Avenue and Park Avenue, whether you're playing Monopoly or driving a car, the message is the same...larger than life, rich, and beautiful.

I would like to recommend some no-nonsense, down-to-earth names for cars that actually tell it like it is. No sugar coating, just the unvarnished truth and then let's just see where it takes us. Hopefully, our addiction to outer appearances will begin to diminish and we can relax into our comfortable wrinkled bodies and instead, work to expand our spirit.

How about:

Ford Derelict – The main function of this utility vehicle is to drive you to drink. Navigation is performed solely on Bott dots, as tires collect cognizant and constant feedback from the lines on the road. Deluxe interior features include, thirty-three cup holders with automatic lid capabilities, to avoid violating open container laws, driver’s sun visor is equipped with detachable eye patch, to eliminate double vision when inebriated, dual function windshield wiper fluid/beverage storage, with toggle switch, to wash windows or serve your favorite beverage to the central cup holder directly from the fluid well. Lush, leather interior, is available in champagne beige or burgundy red.

Mid-life Chrysler – Youthful design and enough power to take you from sixty to hero in six point five seconds. Equipped with a younger, fitter, replica of your spouse or, if you prefer, a current rock or movie starlet. Complete with soft-focus mirrors behind the sun visors and also on rear view mirror to blur those pesky wrinkles. Satellite navigation is pre-programmed with younger crowd night spots. On-board slang dictionary is constantly updated to include the latest terminology. Inset moisturizing and anti-wrinkle lotion dispensers in each door and bucket seats with Mesotherapy to eliminate cellulite. Handy overhead botox dispenser will keep frown lines from forming due to road rage. (we should have at least one model to maintain our vanity).

Dyslexis SL – Whatever car you currently drive, this model is the exact opposite. Left is right and right is left. Or is it the other way around? As a bonus, this model, will automatically and without notification, backtrack to correct directional miscalculations. Speedometer begins at 120 mph and ends at zero. Luxury signage transposer, will photograph and flip the image of any road sign in as little as five seconds. A lavish treat for any driver suffering from Dysleiax…Dsylexi…Dyslexia.

Oldsmobile Bulimia – Don’t let Consumer Reports frighten you away from this vehicle. Once a portion of all fluids have been purged from the engine, this little roadster has very few rivals. Suspended fluid pan protects garage and driveway surfaces from stains and corrosion. Flushed fluids are fully recyclable. This model is light on its wheels and sport tuned. Actual mileage may vary.

Dodge A.D.D. – The perfect vehicle for, on-the-go, inner city driving. Optimal performance limited to short trips. If longer excursions are necessary, the battery cables can be re-routed to stun the engine at five minute intervals to prompt responsiveness. Stereo scans available music stations every 10 to 20 seconds and is programmed to jump from news-to-news broadcasts every 15 seconds. Turning signals and windshield wipers tend to activate before being initiated. Caution: This model is known to have trouble executing turns and tends to rev the engine without notice.

Just my 2 cents.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Appliance Whisperer

I couldn’t sleep last night. Two hours of tossing and turning compelled me to remove myself from my sleeping platform and shuffle into the kitchen for a glass of water or perhaps a chunky peanut butter and banana sandwich on lightly grilled Turkish flatbread.

I was almost through the living room when I thought I heard conversation. I stopped to listen, half expecting to hear the familiar voices of our neighbors telling each other where to go and where they could stick unpleasant things, when all of a sudden I realized that the voices I was hearing were coming from the kitchen. My thoughts were racing which I believe may be the cause of my insomnia in the first place. Thousands of daily stragglers stumble in at ungodly hours hitting both walls of my temporal lobe. Who could sleep through that?

I inched closer to the kitchen and listened to a strange rasping. It was sort of a Mezzo-soprano droning that sent chills up my spine. Its comments were perceptible now. “If she opens my door one more time and sticks her butt-ugly, no-make-up face, morning hair, looking like a troll with an updo, in one more time I think I’ll blow my compressor.” I held my breath. My ears felt as if they were distended as I strained to hear more. “I don’t think she has aired out my crisper in months! There are mystery veggies oozing in the back and growing God-knows-what kind of bacteria. It offends me.”

“I hear you,” a deeper voice replied. “My hood is greasier than a used car lot and my burner knobs are cracked. Really burns me up.”

A shrill voice piped up, “I’ve seen the same stupid orange Fiesta dishware for years and my spray arms are exhausted from fending off week-old dried food chunks. I’m losing teeth and rust is eating its way through my intake valve as we speak.”

My hand flew up over my mouth. Dear God, was it me they were complaining about?

“Just you wait and see what happens to you!” the soprano voice said.

“I’m new, never been used,” a younger voice said cheerfully.

There was a knowing chuckle. “Yeah, we were too once but look at us now. One day you’ll be struggling to melt a piece a cheese over one of her Tuscan chicken crock pot sandwiches and she will just toss you in the garbage.”

“Crossbreed!” a barratone voice bellowed. “What the heck are you anyway? A toaster or an oven? She used to come to me when she wanted a hot meal. Now I have cobwebs on my rack and dust bunnies in my broiler. I might get a once-a-year job when she shoves in an oversize fowl. Talk about feeling useless!”

“Can’t we all just get along?” came from the direction of the blender.

“Easy for you to say,” the refrigerator chimed in. “You and your sharp blades and tight base gasket. Didn’t you get here at the same time as toaster-oven? New, never been used, fourteen speed, 450 watts of ice crushing power!”

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I should be ostracized,” the blender whined.

“I thought Oster was your name,” said the stove. “I guess that would make you Ostercized.”

A burst of laughter filled the kitchen. I took a step forward to get closer. The floor squeaked. Suddenly the laughter stopped and everything went silent.

I almost did a half in-half-out back flip with a ½ twist in tuck position when my husband tapped me on the shoulder and asked what I was doing.

“I’m trying to hear what the appliances are saying about me but they are non-responsive.”

He gave me a quirky look and turned around and went back to bed.