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    Esther Blumenfeld  

    The purpose of this web site is to entertain.  My humor columns died along with the magazines where they were printed, although I cannot claim responsibility for their demise.  I still have something to say, and if I can bring a laugh or two to your day, my mission will be fulfilled.

    Everyone I know thinks he has a sense of humor.  Here is my unsolicited advice. If you try to be funny and no one laughs, don’t worry about it.  However, if you try to be funny and no one EVER laughs, you might have a little problem.

     

    Friday
    Jun212019

    SPUR OF THE MOMENT

    It’s one thing to put my foot into my mouth. It’s something else when I can’t get it into my shoe. When I’ve  got my foot in my mouth, it means I’ve said something inappropriate. When my big toe rebels, it means the bone spur in my foot is making friends again with a nerve—-whom he lost touch with—-three years ago. It’s kind of like, after you think you’ve gotten rid of him, Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING, pops his head in an yells, “Here’s Johnny!” Not as scary, but exceedingly unexpected.

    The reflected pain inside my hiking shoe drove me to my computer. Perhaps, this time, I could find a cure less painful than a Cortisone shot. Although, it worked three years ago, it’s not the most pleasant experience.

    Here are some suggestions that Dr. Google gave me:

    Soak your foot in hot Chamomile Tea. He also recommended drinking Chamomile Tea, but it wasn’t clear if I was supposed to drink the tea water in which I was soaking my foot.

    2.  Bathe the foot in hot Epsom Salt water. However, nowhere did it say to drink the Epsom water.

    3,  Soak the foot with Borax dissolved in cool chlorinated water. I guess this is for people stuck in third world countries where it’s hard to boil water so chlorination is recommended. I think the instruction should have said, “Definitely, do not drink this!”

    4. Do low impact foot exercises.  It wasn’t clear if, at this point, I was to put my foot into my mouth.

    5. Swim!  This was not explicit at all!  I did not know if I was to put Borax, Epsom Salt or Chamomile Tea into the pool.

    6. Eat Healthy. I knew this wasn’t going to work at all.

    7. Massage area with extra virgin olive oil.

     That’s when the “extra virgin” part got me to thinking that maybe a guy wrote all of this advice just to get a date, and I decided that I needed to choose between my favorite activity—hiking in the mountains—or submitting to a Cortisone shot, which might serve me well for another three years.

    I took the shot like a big girl. The Podiatrist instructed me to ice the foot, and hold off hiking for a few days.  He cheerfully added, “If you need it, you can come back for a second shot.”

    At least he didn’t say, “Now, you can go to Viet Nam!”

    Esther  Blumenfeld.

    Friday
    Jun142019

    YUMMY YUMMY

    Honoring the saying, “You are what you eat,” I decided to prepare a super-duper salad for my dinner. With a nod to my vegetarian friends, it was truly a masterpiece of greens, and spectacularly colorful red, orange, and purple vegetables. I also added a handful of nuts, and to top it all off, I added a few grapes and an avocado.

    What a treat, until 2 a.m. when I woke up and my usually iron-clad stomach announced that I had swallowed a football. That could not be. Although I had thrown everything into my salad except the kitchen sink, I knew that pig skin would never pass my lips.

    I was feeling pretty awful (an oxymoron if I ever heard one), and for awhile I lay there trying to reason out why my body was rebelling. After all, I had eaten purely healthy food.  Not to panic! I knew the discomfort was situated much to low to be a heart attack, and that burping was not a symptom.

    Perhaps, I should not have watched CNN News while devouring my meal. Maybe, I shouldn’t have added irritating Presidential twitters to my salad. Well, it was obviously a case of indigestion, which is a very rare occurrence for me.

    I knew it was time to take something to relieve my discomfort, and remembered that I had some old Zantac somewhere in my medicine chest. I stumbled into the bathroom, but  really didn’t want to turn on the overhead light. I knew if I did that, I’d never fall back to sleep. The night light would suffice.  I pulled out several old packages of out-of-date cures for ailments I never had, but felt that I needed just in case.  

    Finally, I found the box of Zantac. I took one.  I didn’t care how old the pill was. I only hoped that my stomach would stop demanding attention and let me go back to sleep.

    I woke up the next morning. That was the first good news. And, the discomfort was all gone. I went into the bathroom and looked at the Zantac box. The pills had expired way back when, but as long as the expiration date wasn’t stamped on my stomach, I didn’t care.

    I kept the pills and threw out the rest of the salad. Had lamb chops, a baked potato and cooked vegetables for dinner. My stomach was very happy. Yes, I am what I eat.  So it goes.

    Esther Blumenfeld (“I have never developed indigestion from eating my words.”) Winston Churchill

    Friday
    Jun072019

    EAGLE ROCK--THEY DON'T!

    Day One

    Help! I was held hostage by the Eagle Rock Road Company. Not exactly true. I was, however, in a self-imposed four-day exile.

    After numerous e-mails, my neighbors and I were notified that the workers at Eagle Rock would seal coat the extremely narrow street in our forty-eight house neighborhood. Peta, do not get your knickers in a twist, seal coat does not mean a nice, warm fur coating, but rather a slick, black, spray-on, oily preservative. Our road is so small (“How small is it?”) that two cars can pass each other comfortably—if both drivers are paying attention.

    In the twenty-five years that I have lived in this community, our street has been sealed three times. The way it was done in the past was to seal one entire half of the community street on the first day, and then seal the rest of the street on the second day. Easy!

    However, this time, the powers-to-be, figured out that a vertical line could be drawn down the center of the entire community street, and one half could be done on one day, and the other half the next day. BIG MISTAKE! Turns out that if one car was going East on the dry side of the street, and another car was driving West on the dry side of the street, one car would have to back up, or drive on the black oily slime, and then turn around on an irritated neighbor’s driveway.

    Being very protective of my little, old Saturn, and my sanity, I opted to stay home, and blocked my driveway with garbage cans, so no one could slip and slide and leave sooty tire marks  on my lovely concrete.

    Day Two

    When I looked out of my window the next day, I noticed that our street now looked like an inky potato chip with ridges. A car had been left in the street on the dry side, and no one could get around it without taking a dip in black muck. The Eagle Rock workers arrived at 7 a.m. The Eagle Rock workers disappeared at 10 a.m. The other half of the road was not even a little bit done. They never came back. I called the company and was told that the big oil truck was broken. No oil. No workers. No finished road. Unfortunately, at this point people had trouble knowing where not to drive, so it was like a slip and slide Indy 500 out there. I stayed in.

    Day Three

    7 a.m. No Show! 10 a.m. Still No Show! 2 p.m. More No Show. At least they were consistent. I called Eagle Rock one more time, and was told that some of workers hadn’t shown up, but they would pull men off of another job, and finish our road before closing time. Closing time was 5 p.m. I figured no one was coming at 4:45 p.m. By now, some of my neighbors were taking up a collection to hire a hit man.

    Day Four

    The crew arrived at 8:30 a.m., finished the job and roped off the wet section of the road, but not before one of my neighbors threw her body in front of a car whose driver, a visitor to our community, decided it  would be fun to drive on the freshly sprayed side of the street. That clueless driver decided to turn around in my neighbor’s driveway…just for the Hell of it!

    Esther Blumenfeld  (Oh, I forgot to mention that the person in charge left town.)

    Friday
    May312019

    HELLO AGAIN AND AGAIN

    Telephones used to be easy. You looked up a number, dialed it, talked with the person on the other end of the line, and hung up. The only aggravation was the occasional prank that kids pulled on Halloween. Usually, one of them called, said something stupid such as, “Is Mickey Mouse there?” They all giggled and then hung up..ONCE!

    Last week, my phones were gas lighting me—-trying to drive me crazy!

    Tuesday evening, as I was drifting off to sleep, a loud alarm blew me out of my bed. Was the house on fire? No!  I ran lickity split all over to find out what was happening. The noise quit. I stared at my home fire alarm, but it was silent. The house was dark. I went back to bed, and the piercing alarm went off again. I leaped out of bed and realized that the screeching was coming from the innards of my purse. I grabbed the handbag, opened it, and saw that my tiny, dumb cell phone was shrieking at the top of it’s inner lungs. It was an, “Amber Alert.”
    Someone was missing, somewhere, but obviously not in my house. I disabled the function, and prayed that I could go back to sleep and that the missing person would be found—but not on my property.

    Cell phone problem fixed! However the next day, I got a call on my landline from myself. Yes, my name and phone number were calling me. Strange call indeed, but I was sure that I wasn’t calling myself. I ignored it the first time—the second time—the third time, but on the fourth call, I picked up the phone. No one was on the other end of the call..except me..maybe. Throughout the day, I kept calling myself..NOT!

    I finally called Comcast, my landline provider, and gave the Comcast Robot all of the information about me, my account and life history, before I was finally connected to a live person in the Philippines. When I describe the problem to him, he suggested I block the number. I replied, “If I put a block on the number, no one will be able to call me, because it’s my own number.” “Oh,” he replied, and connected me to the Big Cahoone, in the Philippines,
    who helped me register on my computer to NOMOROBO.

    Now, the phone rings once, and Mr. NOMO gives a karate chop to the ROBO and I am treated to blessed silence.  Finally, I found technology that I like..So Far!

    Esther Blumenfeld

    Friday
    May242019

    DO I KNOW YOU?

    Twenty-eight years ago (I remember it well), when I still lived in Atlanta, I was about to enter the doors at Lenox Mall, when I heard a man’s voice shouting, “Esther! Esther!” I turned around and saw a man jogging toward me. He had just emerged from the American Airlines Kiosk.
    Smiling, he enfolded me in a bone-crushing hug, and said, “It’s been years. It’s so good to see you.”

    After he let me go, I looked at his joy-filled face and said, “It’s good to see you too,” but I had absolutely no idea who he was. As far as I knew, I had never seen him before. However, with that effusive greeting, how could I say, “Who, in the Hell are you?” I guessed that perhaps he was one of my friend’s discarded husbands. Maybe, he was taller than I remembered, but I couldn’t say, “My, how you have grown!”

    While I was pondering my next move, he said, “How are Warren (my husband) and Josh?”(my son), and I said, “They are just fine.” Now, hoping to get a clue about a name I recognized, I said, “And, how’s the family?” I figured everyone has a family. No clue there because he said, “Just fine.”

    Then I tried, “So, what are you up to these days?” He responded, “You know— This and That.” At that point, I figured, if this dull man wasn’t a discarded husband, he obviously  should be.

    “Well,”I said,”It’s really been something seeing you. Got to run,” and I did!

    I have a very good memory for faces, even if I forget a name, but this time I did draw a blank. It only happened to me one more time, but this one was understandable.

    Here in Tucson, last year, a woman’s voice trilled across a store, “Esther!  Esther!” “Look over here.  Here I am!”  Sure enough, she was there, but I did not recognize her.  However, she greeted me by saying,”I’ll bet you don’t know who I am.” I said, “I’m not sure, but I kind of recognize your voice.”  She said, “I was your neighbor 25 years ago, but I had a face lift, and a nose job after I moved.” Her hair was a different vibrant color, and she told me that she had lost 100 pounds.  Then I said, “I remember who you used to be,” and I did. I remembered the day she was sitting in a tree in my back yard, looking for her lost bird. How could I forget!

    The guy in Atlanta? I’m still not sure who he was, but I do think that he was one of my friend’s former husbands. But, I must admit, that after number FOUR, they all started looking alike.

    Esther Blumenfeld