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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.

     

    Thursday
    Oct312019

    PACK UP ALL YOUR CARES AND WOES

    By now, most of you know that I have been right sizing in preparation of my imminent move to the newly built, "Hacienda at the Canyon Senior Residence.” It’s been over two years in the making with numerous construction delays, and I have been watching the slow progress from across the street, because that’s where I live. In the meantime, I have been disposing and packing, and every closet and shelf in my house is filled with boxes.

    Of course, there are many ways to pack. When stowing stuff in suitcases for an airplane ride there are weight and size limits, as well as rules that tell you, what you can and cannot pack.
    Also, I always try to pack my purse as light as possible, but I never really succeed.

    Years ago, when my husband, Warren and I lived in San Diego, friends invited us to go sailing with them on their boat. Warren asked me to pack a lemon in my handbag in case he got seasick. It was a smooth sailing day and no one got sick, but when we docked it was definitely time for a drink. Warren ordered a scotch on the rocks with a twist of lemon. The chagrined waiter said, “I’m sorry, Sir, but we are out of lemons.  “Not to worry,” I replied, as I pulled one out of my purse. The amazed waiter said, “Wow!” what else do you have in there?

    When we lived in a tiny apartment in Chicago, we invited the whole family to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. Because the weather had turned very bad and the roads were icy, My in-laws took the commuter train.They arrived with two suitcases filled with mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, stuffing, biscuits and apple pie. The smell must have driven everyone on the train mad with desire.

    Packing food obviously ran on that side of the family, because when Warren was invited to give a lecture in Boston he arrived home with a lobster packed in ice, and when he came home from San Francisco, he pulled a loaf of  sour dough bread out of his briefcase.  Not very romantic, but delicious. I shouldn’t have been surprised with my gifts because this was the man who, when he was a teenager, gave his petite, fashionable, mother a basketball for her
    birthday. Of course if she couldn’t use it—-.

    It’s amazing how much stuff one can accumulate over the years, and how much of it I probably won’t miss. The other day, I found the “What is this?” wedding gift that we never  did figure out what it was meant to do. I hope that Big Brothers and Big Sisters will find a use for it.
    Every two weeks they have been picking up donated items from my home. Now, when I call them, I get a cheerful, “Oh, you’re a regular.”

    Tomorrow, I will begin to move into my new digs. It's a process and I won't have my furniture in until Nov. 12th.  In the meantime, I’ll pack a few more boxes and a lot more memories to help me on my way.

    Cheers,
    Esther Blumenfeld


    Friday
    Oct252019

    ASSORTED LAUGHS

    For years, people have asked me how I find funny things to write about. I guess my mind just tends to bend that way, and humor is my favorite coping mechanism. Listening to what people say helps. For instance, the other day, my friend, Paula told me that she had read an article written by a renowned somebody. He claimed that, “As you get older, one meaningful activity, a day, is enough.” Paula asked me, “Does getting out of bed count?”

    When my son, Josh and daughter-in-law, Barbara came for a visit, I was able to show them the apartment that I will be moving into at Hacienda at the Canyon. They were very impressed with my view of the Santa Catalina Mountains. However, since there is still some construction being done, I also have a view of a row of port-a potties. After complaining that I would really like those things moved, I was told that they will be gone as soon as the last touches on the building are finished. So, at a resident’s meeting, I announced that as soon as I move in, I will be selling port-a-potty viewing tickets. Gives a new meaning to “Zip It!”

    I am usually good at remembering people’s names as long as I write them down in my notebook. I am now confronted with many new neighbors and have written names down as fast as I can. Unfortunately, I packed the damn book!

    Right now, my mind is occupied with putting my house on the market, preparing for the move and keeping track of everything written in my calendar. So, I thought that taking a break would be good for me, and went to see a movie with my friend, Jane, who is a member of the Loft Cinema. After we purchased our tickets, I saw a fellow handing out free popcorn to members, and he said, “Hi, Esther!” He really looked familiar, but I just couldn’t place him. He said, “You don’t remember who I am do you?” I said, “Of course, I do, Joe!” (He was wearing a name tag), and then it hit me. Joe was the actor who played the lead in my play, UNDER MIDWESTERN STARS that had a staged reading in Tucson a year ago..A YEAR AGO! The role was based on my Father.

    When I got home, I e-mailed Joe an apology. “Of course, I know who you are, but I was taken aback when I saw my Father giving out popcorn at the Loft Cinema, and at first I did not recognize you off stage.  It’s like seeing my proctologist at the grocery store squeezing melons. Who is that masked man?  Please forgive me.”

    Joe did not take offense other than being compared to my proctologist, but I comforted him by saying that my doctor retired immediately after my colonoscopy.

     Well, that’s how my mind works, and it is stimulated by events such as a recent newspaper headline, “Hot Ideas On Fish-Farming and Braless Fashion Recognized.” The article stated that,”A Tucson start-up to help fish farmers boost production, and a clothing company to help women go comfortable braless shared in a $25,000.00 Grand Prize sponsored by UAVenture Capital.” Another company won a $1000.00 prize for their drones that can pollinate tree crops.

    I was thinking that maybe the drones could also have an uplifting affect on the braless clothes. I would have pitched that idea to the judges. So goes my brain.

    Esther Blumenfeld

    Friday
    Oct182019

    POST IT ON YOUR FOREHEAD

    I never found it plausible when, in a scary movie, some guy is hiding in the backseat of your car, and, as soon as you get in, he sits up and yells, “Drive!” First of all, when I unlock my car door, I usually toss my heavy purse into the backseat, which would elicit a loud  OW! And, if anyone is in the backseat of my car, I always know it, because, invariably, he puts his head in my mirror’s sight line.

    I always know when kids are in my car, because one of them usually kicks the back of my seat, and the others are fighting to sit by the window. And, all children are programmed to say, “Are we there yet?”

    Toddlers sit in elevated car seats, and even when babies are sleeping, you can smell them—a sweet  (or not so sweet) baby smell, and they cry, coo or babble. Also, babies travel with more paraphernalia than a movie star with an entourage.

    I never needed a reminder when my son was in the car, because I enjoyed his company—even when he was a teenager and didn’t especially want to be seen with me. However, nowadays some people are so pre-occupied, when they are driving, that they can’t see, or hear, or remember that someone is in the car with them. However,  I’ll bet they would never leave their smart phone behind.

    Consequently, by 2025 (if climate change hasn’t washed away, or melted, all of the cars on the road) new vehicles in the U.S. will come with electronic reminders that drivers should check their back seats, so they don’t leave anyone (including their own children), behind when they get on with their, “Oh, so busy day.”

    I don’t know how people, who leave their children in cars, can find a 3-hour parking space available—anywhere in a busy city. And, I am sure that most of them would never get away with doing that to their dogs, because a lynch mob would be waiting for them when they got back.

    So, auto makers are taking the responsibility, that parents should take, to remind them to care for their children. Only Tesla didn’t agree to install backseat reminders. I guess they figure that if you can afford a Tesla, you can afford to leave your kid home with a nanny.

    The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a bill to pursue legislation that requires auto companies to take the steps, that parents won’t do, to protect children. That means that if something happens to a child, when left in a car,  the auto maker will be held accountable.

    If I were an automaker, I’d put a loud speaker in every car, and if a person forgets  that a child is in the back seat, the speaker would yell, in many decibels, for the whole neighborhood to hear, “You freaking jackass. You forgot your child!”

    That should do it!

    Esther Blumenfeld

    Friday
    Oct042019

    A CELEBRATION

    It’s been a long time since I was invited to a birthday party for a two-year old. The little fellow was very polite as he greeted each guest. He didn’t even grab the gifts.  Of course he looked spiffy for the occasion. He was so delighted when his brother arrived, and the little tykes ran around, and around the room.  

    The adults played Trivia, and I won a bag of candy when I answered the question, “What was the dog of Chinese Royalty?” The answer:  “Pekingese.” Of course, those dogs must have been named after Peking.  Was there a Emperor named “Pe?”

    After the game, we called the little fellow to come into the room so we could sing, “Happy Birthday” to him, and then we ate little cupcakes. He didn’t get any!

    Oh, I forgot to mention that “Murphy” is an English Spaniel with long eyelashes and longer silky ears. He also has a pedigree. I think that’s like a degree from Cambridge. I don’t know if he has an English accent, because I didn’t hear him bark.

    And, how good would you be at “Doggy Trivia?”

    Woof!  Woof!  Gotcha!

    Esther Blumenfeld

    Friday
    Sep272019

    JUST A LITTLE NIP

    Some adventures, when living in the desert are more fun than others.  All I was doing was standing in my backyard, when, out of the crushed rock, a critter climbed onto my left foot and took a quick nip of my toe, which obviously looked very delicious to him, and then he disappeared.

    The bite didn’t hurt, but when I went into the house, and removed my shoe, my toe looked like a big red strawberry, with blisters, that was crying out for professional help. Of course, everything like that screams out for a doctor on the weekend.  Immediately, I washed off my toe and took a Benadryl, which made me loopy, so I went to sleep.

    The next morning, my blistered toe still didn’t look very appetizing, but I figured I’d wait a day, and then go to the doctor’s office on Monday. After all, it was just a toe, and probably a wayward ant that wandered out of his nest. The nurse took one look at my foot and said, “That was no ant. Something poisoned you!” Wow!  She then told me to soak my foot in baking soda and water, and keep my toe dry. She also told me to stop applying the anti-itch cream that I had slathered on the toe.  Just “soak and dry.” I was ordered to treat it with an oxymoron.

    Happily, she said it was not infected, but prescribed a big pill for a few days.  I said, “Are there any side-effects?”  And, she replied, “Sure. All meds have side-effects.” That made me feel much better.  

    I went home, soaked and dried and took one of the pills and went to bed.  And, then, I dreamed that there was a big boulder sitting on my chest. I woke up suffering with heart burn that radiated into my jaw. Never felt anything like that before, but it did take my mind off of my toe.

    The first thought that came to me was, “Oh, Lord!  I am having a heart attack.” Then, I thought that before calling 911, perhaps I should read the, “All meds have side-effects”, pamphlet that was written in teeny-weeny print.  After finding my glasses, the first thing that sprang off the page was, “GANGA INDIGESTION!”  (I made up the Ganga part).  But, sure enough, after taking a Pepcid, the boulder rolled off my chest.

    The next day, I called my super-duper pharmacist to see what he might prescribe for my blistered toe. After he heard my sad tale he said, “Sounds as if a spider got you.  Just soak the toe and keep it dry.” I learned that desert  pharmacists also like to treat ailments with oxymorons.  

    So, I am soaking and drying and avoiding looking at my poor, blistered toe.  However, next time I venture into my backyard, I am wearing combat boots.

    Esther Blumenfeld