Monday, November 30, 2015


Today my fellow teachers and I were eating lunch together and we were talking about the house plant that the art teacher has outside her room.  It's poisonous and several years ago for some unfathomable reason a kid picked a leaf off and ate it and then his mouth and throat started to swell and they had to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

Did I mention I work in a high school?

Anyway, that reminded me of when I turned 40.  My mom gave me a beautiful Jerusalem cherry tree.  It had gorgeous tiny orange fruits on it.  I raved.  Before my mom let me get a good look at it she said, "Hey! You can't eat it. It's poisonous."  What 40 year old woman looks at a house plant and wants to eat it?  Did she think I was a glutton or just a moron?  I was offended.  But then.... well, here's my thought process:

She thinks I'm an idiot.  I'm 40 effing years old and she is still giving me moronic commands like "don't eat houseplants."  How ridiculous.  Why would she get me a plant with such beautiful fruit on it if I'm not supposed to eat it?  How poisonous could it be?  Would I get die from it or just get a little sick?  If she thought there was even a chance of me eating it, why would she give me a poisonous plant?  Is it "throw up" poisonous or  "brain damage" poisonous?  I wonder what those little fruits taste like.  They look delicious.  I bet they taste like tomatoes.  They look a little like tomatoes.  She's watching me like she's going to slap my hands if I touch it.  How insulting.  I'm way faster than her.

Then I plucked a little orange fruit off of the plant and ran to the opposite side of the room.  My mom said, "I knew this would happen.  I thought you'd like it because it is so beautiful, but after I bought it I learned it is poisonous I thought you might do this.  DON'T YOU DARE EAT THAT!"

Did I mention I was 40?

I wasn't going to eat the fruit.  I believed it was poisonous, but I wanted to make a point that I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT, MOM!  So I took the teeniest, tiniest bite of the skin.  And my mom said, "You are an IDIOT."  Shortly after taking the teeny tiny bite my lips and tongue got a little numb and weird feeling and I got a little concerned and wondered again about HOW poisonous this plant really was, but I couldn't admit it. I had doubled down and showed her she couldn't tell me not to eat poison.  I couldn't get sick and prove her right!  A bit later mom asked me how I was feeling and I had no choice but to say, "I'M FINE!" through lips that felt like I had just finished at the dentist.

That plant was a challenge to have.  Not because it was particularly hard to care for, but because it was a constant temptation to see just how poisonous it was.  I remember cutting one of the fruits open once and I MAY have stuck the tip of my tongue in the pulp. I googled it after that to find out what I was messing with and the top symptom is coma followed by delirium and diarrhea.  I didn't have any of that.  (Well, not the diarrhea anyway.) I'm fine though, so I think I've made my point.

What is my point, you ask?  There are several:  I AM actually an idiot, my mom is right; the term "poison" is relative to how much discomfort a person can stand before they cave and go to the hospital; I really really wonder about what that plant outside the art room tastes like.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Remember Wet Head? (Not her real name)

I got the greatest message today out of the blue from a "followaaaah."  He said that he was sad my blog is gone because what will he read at work now?  I explained to him why I put stronger privacy settings up and added him to the reader list.  

The last thing I intended when I stopped writing on this blog with any regularity was to deny anyone  a reason to be less productive at work.  My bad.

Obviously I have not been blogging, but I do have a blog-related story to tell you.  A long time ago I wrote a letter to a fellow-blogger who was trying her hand at giving advice.  She answered my question in a video blog which you can see HERE.  Go watch it and then come back.

Funny lady, that Hobo Siren, right?  So then I wrote a blog post about it.  Read that HERE, and then come back.  I love screen shots of videos.  We all make so many funny faces if you just watch videos in milliseconds.

I was telling this story to a friend of mine just two weeks ago because I admitted that I don't really care enough about new people to learn their names so I told her the story of Wet Head, and I directed her to the video blog answer which she thought was hilarious.  Before that I hadn't thought about Wet Head in years.

But just yesterday at the grocery store I SAW WET HEAD!  I had to smile at the mere coincidence of it all. But that isn't even the best part.  Yesterday, November 15, 2015, I actually learned Wet Head's name.  It's Anne.  She's a cashier and another cashier said, "Hey Anne, are there any more apple boxes over there?"  I almost screamed, "ANNE!  ANNE!  WET HEAD'S NAME IS ANNE!  WAHOOOOO!!!!"  But I didn't.

I immediately texted my friend and told her that I finally learned Wet Head's name.  Her response? "I didn't realize that you never actually eventually learned her name."    Good point.  That fact speaks volumes about what a jerk I am.  Thanks, What's-Your-Face, for making me feel like it's 100% my fault for not eventually learning Anne's/Wet Head's name after working with her for five years.  It takes two to tango and Wet Head was a good dance partner.

Oh, and BTW, yes, Wet Head's hair was dripping wet.  Like I'm supposed to remember "Anne" when I'm looking at a person whose hair is still dripping wet at two o'clock in the afternoon.

(There, J, with links and videos and everything.  This post might kill about 15 whole minutes!)