Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: FanBase Follies

True Confessions + Some Actual Content

I’m going to tell you a secret. Actually, three secrets, but the other two will have to wait. Only then can we move on as a nation.

I’ve been trying to figure out if this blog is still viable now that I’m retired and no longer able to provide content that you couldn’t get anywhere else. Or that you weren’t getting anywhere else, more precisely. Which brings us to the secret, of sorts.

I never thought this blog would make me famous, since I’m not insane. However, I did think it might attract a wider readership of fellow 911 dispatchers. Toward that end, someone more publicity-minded than I am (well, that could be anyone, couldn’t it?) linked to this blog on a dispatch Facebook page so that others could view it. I received my highest readership that day, some 360 people. That was a big surprise to wake up to. The bigger surprise was that all those extra readers never came back. They checked it out once and decided it wasn’t for them.

I’ll discuss why that might be so in the next post, but in the meantime, if you noticed a point at which S.G. lost momentum, and I could no longer be counted on to post regularly, that would be why. Nick, if you call me a “poor thing” again, I will…well, I don’t know what I’ll do. You’ll have to check back with me later.

I remember when I couldn’t wait to get home and post all kinds of exciting stuff about my less-than-exciting life. I still get ideas, but I tend to lie down and wait until the urge passes. BUT NOW…


–“Why you gotta be so cruel? I’m gonna marry you anyway.” Always a good idea.

–“Marry you no matter what you say.” I believe that’s illegal.


“Sun’s out, buns out!” That’s illegal, too.


I don’t read my daily horoscope, but mine must have said “Taureans will have trouble accessing public restrooms.”

At CVS, they’d put up the “No Public Restrooms” sign in front of, well, their public restrooms, as they do at unpredictable intervals. (Whenever they see me coming, for all I know.) It actually says, “No Public Restrooms–Please Don’t Ask,” which infringes on my freedom of speech.

At Walgreen’s–well, if you smell an almighty stench as soon as you turn into the hall leading to the restroom, you know not to go in there.

At Thornton’s, the women’s room had a sign saying “Closed for Cleaning.” Feeling a bit desperate by now, I slipped into the (empty) men’s room. When I came out, I saw a mother and daughter waiting for the Cleaning to come to an end. The little girl said, “Mommy, that lady came out of the men’s room!” I went and got my fountain drink (thus beginning the cycle all over again), glanced back, and saw mother and daughter emerging from the men’s room, looking a good deal more relaxed.


On another occasion at Walgreen’s (see, this is what happens when I post regularly, so be careful what you pray for) (if anyone was in fact praying for this), whoever keeps mischievously locking one of the stall doors from the inside (I’m guessing a poltergeist) had again done so. I thought, What this situation requires is someone able and willing to slither under the door and unlock it. So I did. It meant that my clothes acquired bathroom cooties, which makes them ritually impure until they’re laundered, but two-stall functionality has been restored. I expect a plaque on the stall door for my efforts.


…having dropped a brand-new shoe in the toilet. So that shoe now has toilet cooties (even though the toilet was clean), which will not be removed until I get caught out in the rain wearing those shoes.

OK, I’m tired of this topic. Time to resume arguing with A Certain Person about whether Nick is adorable or not.


Crisis Averted

You must excuse any typos because I’m pretty drunk right now. Nick, you may avert your gaze.


Disclaimer: Drunk enough to make many typos, sober enough to correct them.

Who would have thought I’d ever be popular enough to reserve a whole room at Hacienda? (Notice: Let’s see how well I do at Chuck E. Cheese on Sunday.) The most decadent thing I did was get chip crumbs in my hair–hardly a match for Easter Vigil at St Boniface, where I got hot wax on my hand and holy water in my eye–and I got tipsy enough to think sending Nick a picture of me with a drink in my hand was a good idea (though it wasn’t that bad an idea {disclaimer–I meant to do italics for “bad” rather than boldface, but I’m drunk, so suck it}, since I wasn’t driving).

There was no question of any sort of singing, since we were SO LOUD anyway. {Non-disclaimer: I have resumed this post several hours later and am now sober, which makes it much easier.} I was very pleased to see several former colleagues who had gone on to greener pastures (I guess the sewer department might produce greener pastures, for one). It is worthy of note that, in spite of this being a Mexican restaurant, A Certain Person had a burger covered with loathsome vegetables and a huge pile of fries. I had two of their wonderful strawberry daiquiris, the  most painless way to get alcohol into your body there is, but, combined with the large quantity of food I consumed, they just made me sleepy. I went home and dozed off mid-rosary on the couch, which sounds like some kind of retirement cliche.

Nick’s owner assured me he was sorry for his absence and would make it up to me somehow, both of which he loftily denied.

Now it’s time to shower, and I need to remove nail polish first, so I must go.

Living Dangerously

The other day, I was absentmindedly screwing the top back on a jar candle, with one hand, and I knocked the candle off the table onto my toe. And not just any toe, but the one with the nail that’s been weird since I tripped over the paving stone and dislocated my finger. (Alien Finger sends its regards.) Was there any reason I couldn’t have used both hands?

The very next morning, I was turning over in bed and wrestling the covers around myself, and my hand slipped and I ended up gouging the side of my nose with my thumbnail. Only I can get injured turning over in bed.



“I waited for 38 minutes and the cops haven’t shown up yet! Thanks for NOTHING!” So now they have a new means of being sarcastic to us. Thanks for NOTHING indeed.


March 19 marked the first anniversary of my being bitten on the leg by a dog. I still have jaw marks on my leg. Speaking of which, we had a guy with a felony warrant attempt to evade arrest, and he got bitten by a police dog. The warrant was for animal cruelty.


One of the kindly people who drives me home said that she should drive me to the North Side and abandon me there, to give me something to write about. I cannot discourage this strongly enough. (Although maybe I should make it unnecessary, by writing more often.) I don’t think even Nick would do such a thing. Speaking of him, he starchily informed me that he is just “a fictional character,” so perhaps I should stop mentioning him in these pages, to maintain my credibility. He is indeed a fictional character. The guy the guests at my birthday party thought they met was actually an actor I hired for the occasion. He had to leave early for his clown gig at a kid’s party.



A Typical Post

“It has been two months since you last posted.”  Yeah, about that…I’ve received a couple of requests. In fact, Nick is biting his lip until it bleeds.

Remember that I was in Blog School? Well, why would that give me Fear of Posting, especially on a blog I ALREADY HAVE? Because I am what I said I am, to quote the eminent Eminem. Speaking of which…


“Hey, is the print on this shirt navy blue?! I thought it was black! So I wore black pants! I better go check it in the sunlight to make sure. Oh, good, I was right the first time. That could have bothered me all day.” It wouldn’t have ruined my day, exactly, but I would have had to wear the same shirt with the correct pants at my earliest opportunity.

Anywayz, let’s pretend the last 2 months never happened, OK? OK, my first assignment was to write a post, of a sort which could be considered typical of what one might find here. “Like a mission statement, letting us know your blog’s focus.” Well, I got no mission, and I got no focus. All I got is a bunch of Andy Rooney-esque rants.  And to those who say Andy Rooney rants make one seem old, I say, Bite me. {“But you told me never to bite you again!” Nick whimpers. “After what happened last time…” Long-time readers, if any, will notice that his I.Q. has gone down steadily over the course of the blog,  like what they did with Homer Simpson.} Actually, I can remember a mission statement of sorts from a previous post–that I want to be the S.J. Perelman of my generation, and my generation doesn’t even know it needs an S.J. Perelman. But now that I think of it, Fran Lebowitz filled that position. So I got nothin’.

See, there’s something you can typically find on this blog! A flurry of punctuation and sentences you can’t diagram.


Title stolen from, I mean courtesy of, Jim Carroll.

I think someone is sticking pins in voodoo dolls of us. First I got bitten by a dog in March. (I still have jaw marks on my leg.) Then Rom and I got a disgusting oozing rash on our arms, which (eventually) disappeared as mysteriously as it came. Then on May 20 I dislocated my finger, which is still in therapy, trying to recover from its trauma. Then on August 2 Rom, not to be outdone by some old finger, fell off a ladder and broke his heel. So now it’s like the blind leading the naked (phrase stolen from the Violent Femmes) around our house. Actually, the blind leading the naked would work out pretty well, if you think about it.

And what Typical Post would be complete without…


“That’s not a terroristic threat, that’s a statement. Wait, how did we get from this to raping a child?”

“If you close the car door and keep the air conditioning on, I’m sure your cake will be fine until the police arrive.”

My Ideal Reader

Sure, it sounds cheesy, but it’s today’s Blog School assignment. “Picture the person you’re writing for, and address a blog post specifically to them. Include some type of embedded content you’re not familiar with.” Well, that would be all embedded content, wouldn’t it? And now I feel Awkward & Self-Conscious addressing a hypothetical person I made up myself. THANKS, WordPress! Anyway (ignoring Nick, who is holding back tears and saying, “I thought was who you were writing for!”), the accompanying video, should it display correctly, shows the sort of person I’m writing for. The sort, in other words, who could find humor in….


Most of my time in therapy is spent with the therapist stretching my fingers, which sounds gentle and soothing, but actually means making small talk while she hurts my hand. I can provide a surprising amount of talk under these circumstances. Today, however, she came up with a new twist, so to speak–curling my hand up as much as possible (which is only about halfway at this point), and then wrapping it tightly into that position with some type of insufficiently-stretchy mummy tape. “The longest I’ll leave it like this is five minutes,” she said. Rather than the usual stream of distracting conversation, the only thing I really wanted to hear at this point was how many minutes I had left.


“Does it feel OK?”

“Well, it’s starting to throb.”

“It’ll do that, I have it kind of tight. Let’s see, we started at 1:06, it’s been a minute. You doing OK?”

“I’m starting to think about Chinese foot-binding at this point.”

“OK, almost 2 minutes!”


Not only am I paying for this, but I signed on to do it for another month.

And my reward is–I got to shower WITHOUT MY HAND IN A PLASTIC BAG tonight! I haven’t had such good morale since I got to remove the nail polish which had been chipped in The Incident. There is a great deal of dead skin grossly flaking off the affected hand. Hopefully this will resolve itself before I return to work.

Where THEY NEED ME, because, in my absence, Tragically-Hip Nikki decided she would rather work for the SEWER DEPARTMENT, and KatClaire departed to go work for St Louis County. I worked at the Recorder of Deeds office there (the beginning of my lifetime in government service!) from 1978-1980. I left in a dispute over the dress code, which was a recurring theme in those days. You can neither dress me up nor take me anywhere.

Well, Alien Finger has had enough of a workout typing. Time to go stretch my fingers. Yes, I do that at home, too. It’s a high-maintenance finger.


What You’ve All Been Waiting For


“What we’ve been waiting for is a damn post,” they interrupt testily. “Didn’t you say something about trying to write every day…again…”  Well, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. “Then why didn’t you write about it?”  It never stops, nevernevernever stops…

Ahem. My birthday was Saturday, and featured a surprise VISIT FROM NICK, with his mate and pair of spawn in tow, all in red shirts. I don’t think that man knows how to dress unless some type of uniform is involved. (No, Nick, I will not take fashion advice from someone whose shoes fall apart.) I also got a SURPRISE HUG from the same individual, which mildly alarmed me, and a birthday card congratulating me on turning 85, which just goes to show that a beast can’t count. Seriously, I’ve always wished there were specific cards for all ages–“To A Special 37-Year-Old…” Did you know that Rom once thought he would die at 37? See, he’s not always right. I once dreamed I died at 83, on March 16 of whatever year that would be. (Now who can’t count?) I ought to sign up for one of those services that send you an email from yourself on a specified future date. On March 16 Whatever Year, I’d read “Have you died yet?” and promptly die of fright. I would die as I’d lived, namely, ironically.

Thornton’s gave me 10 cents off a gallon of gas for my birthday, showing a lamentable lack of knowledge of my buying habits. Lands’ End gave me a 20% off code, which I will not use to buy green gingham shorts, unless I happen to be drunk at the time.


Stephen Colbert informs us there is currently a national surplus of cheese. Rom & I are doing our best to address this, thanks to a recent shipment of Wisconsin cheese from my sister. You all need to help out and eat an extra 3 pounds of cheese a year, or the extra cheese will…get moldy, I guess. Moldier.



In spite of my charming/disarming tell-all tone in this venue, it is my habit to keep my personal plans to myself, in case…well, in case someone uses the information against me, I suppose. It’s like when I’d go with colleagues to the FOP Club in the 90’s. I’d drink too much, turn sullen, then call a cab, slip out and wait for it on the corner, without telling anyone I was leaving. You know, being mysterious and stuff. Or the way I never want to tell my co-workers which shift I’m picking until the last minute, even though I always pick the same one anyway. SO, recently I caught myself thinking, “I wish I could tell my FanBase what I’ve been doing lately,” and realized, What’s stopping me? It’s my own blog, after all.

“…which nobody will be reading if you don’t get to the point,” they point out. 


What I’m getting at is, when I turn 62 at this time next year, I’m planning on retiring. (I already feel panicky, like I should qualify that–I mean, it’s always possible that the numbers won’t add up like I think they will, since I’ve already proven I can’t do math.)

I went to one of the retirement workshops sponsored by our pension fund. I ran into someone I used to work with, which was kind of embarrassing, in that “Well, what are you doing at this whorehouse?” sort of way. I also picked up a magazine called “The New Retirement,” put out by AARP, who ought to know, I suppose. It included an article about financial planning, which mentioned that a professional financial planner can help you come up with a plan for your pension and Social Security. You mean, other than letting them send me a check every month? Because that was my plan.

So this will be the last year of the Crisis In Progress department. I will now be a lame-duck dispatcher. I’ll be doing a bunch of stuff at work for the Last Time, probably getting sentimental about stuff like being yelled at on the phone. “No one will ever say they’re paying my salary again!” Perhaps I will become dangerous and yell at them on the phone. I hope to have a drunken retirement party–if you play your cards right, you may get the “House of the Rising Sun” karaoke I’ve been threatening for years. And if I take up skydiving in retirement, you’ll be the first to know.


S.G. Is 3 Years Old, For What It’s Worth


It has been a month since my last confession, I mean post. I was attempting to have a period of, shall we say, discernment, because I discerned that I seemed to be repeating myself, and feared I was running out of stuff to write about. But how can this be, as long as there is…


Drug store clerk reporting a theft:

“The guy’s been in here before, and he always takes liquor bottles into the bathroom, and empties them into a container he brings with him. He’s thin, has a mullet and missing teeth, and always brings his wife who’s in a wheelchair, but I’m not sure she really needs it.” Could he be more perfectly-suited to his crime? All he needs is a tattoo that says “100% Honky” (there are actually several people in this town who have that tattoo, although they disagree on the spelling of “honky”) and a car with flames painted on the sides. We can only hope he has a meth lab waiting for him when he gets home.

Anyway, I am trying to find ways to make this blog a little less, well, impaired, but, y’know….Interestingly (or not–YOU BE THE JUDGE), no one’s dared to nag me for not posting this time around. Maybe you’ve abandoned hope, or perhaps you feared it would lead to whining.


Everyone says, “Life isn’t fair,” but WHY ISN’T IT? We all agree that it ought to be, so what gives?


There is software you can get (well, you can–I have a special old-folks computer {to go with my special old-folks phone} which keeps things uncomplicated so it’s not overwhelming, and I therefore can’t add software) which will delete your work if you don’t keep writing regularly. That’s supposed to be motivational. I guess it would be, in the same way that someone smacking you if you didn’t write would be–I’m not sure if I’d actually write more, or just curl up in a spiny ball of despair.


“Subject has Asperger’s syndrome, cannot make eye contact, and may become violent when touched.” Since when is it a law that one has to make eye contact? Also, I think that not being touched by police sounds like a pretty good deal. Hey, I’m un-arrestable! It’s like another alert I had to give–“Subject is barred from jail property.” Score!!



Let There Be Dark!

…first step on getting to work–turn off all the lights day shift left on. They hurt me.

Welcome back to the world’s most obscure blog. I received a couple questions from Rom’s Sister Mary, answers follow:

–No, I don’t know who read how much of what. I just knew “someone” read 17 posts. And Nick informed me that people who signed up to receive this thing via email are not included in those stats, so I could have as many as 17 readers!

–Leading right into, in her words, “Who or what is Nick?” “Who or what,” indeed. Nick is a former dispatcher, now a police officer, who became my friend (that is what we are, Nick, right?) as the result of a memorable training session with me (memorable to him–I don’t remember training him at all. Doubtless I was just wishing he’d go away and stop bothering me.) . As far as the “what” goes, I make up stories in which he is a subhuman beast. (Nick, stop growling, or we’ll have to revisit the whole shock-collar issue.) Many believed that he was entirely fictional until they (Sister Elizabeth among them) got to see him at my birthday party. However, he then became frightened and scuttled into the darkness outside, so the witnesses are now questioning what they saw.



“A guy just held me up at gunpoint and took my gun, and now I’m following him.”

Let’s get this straight:

He had a gun.

He took your gun.

Now he has 2 guns.

And you have none.

Should you be following him? DO THE MATH.


“911? You know that sex shop called The Playground? How long has that been here?”

“Sir, that’s not an emergency.”

“Then who can I call?”

Any suggestions?



Turning Over a New Leaf & Stuff

Actually, it’s the same old leaf. I wanted to decorate the blog, add some color, and put in some of those things along the sides that you see on real blogs, even ones by people with Asperger’s, but I can’t figure out how to do so, so there you go. And really, what purpose would it serve? I don’t think this thing makes much sense to people who don’t know me personally (and it’s only gotten more idiosyncratic over the years {all two of them}), so there’s not much point in trying to expand readership. And links to other blogs I read? Those are either about perfume or religion. That and Time magazine’s site, which I don’t think needs any help from me. OK, enough making excuses for myself. I would have liked to add some color and illustrations, though.

It occurs to me–I don’t really need to worry about being kidnapped and tortured to make me write, because NICK would be eager to help and rescue me! Just look at him, he’s smiling. Nothing to be concerned about here!

Speaking of which, I saw the recent episode of “Sherlock” (and so agonizingly few and far between they are), and reflected again on Nick’s and my Sherlock/Moriarty relationship. But which would be which? (“You know the answer,” he says. “You’re the one who’s formed a whole mythology to reduce me to a beast.”)

…Overseen (it’s like “overheard,” except with your eyes) on the back of the bus seat today–“F*ck you, bitch.” They actually underlined “you,” in case I thought they were referring to somebody else.

…Overheard on the McDonald’s music channel (best music IN TOWN–Jonathan Richman! Patti Smith! Elvis Costello! The list goes on!)–

–“I hear the secrets that you keep

When you’re talking in your sleep

You tell me that you want me, you tell me that you need me, you tell me that you love me….”

–Should you be sleeping with someone who keeps those things a secret?



I’m Writing This Under Duress

No, I’m not on a ridealong with Nick (the ultimate form of duress). I was given a sharp rebuke for not posting by someone who, as a Stephen King fan, is the likeliest to kidnap me and force me to write something. So, to avoid the whole pain thing, here is…

well, something. Something uncoordinated, due to the amount of alcohol consumed. Are you tired of hearing about how drunk I am yet? I thought so.

Redd’s Wicked Mango Ale is the perfect alcoholic beverage. I will accept no argument on this point.

Even I cannot necessarily avoid clicking on Facebook news items, ESPECIALLY when they feature…


“ARTIST KNOWN FOR COMBINING BRIGHT COLORS WITH SOLID SHAPES DIES AT THE AGE OF 92.” You know, I could combine bright colors with solid shapes. I did that when I was 4. Why am I not famous?

There was one other news item I meant to feature; can anyone tell me what it is so I don’t have to go back and check? No? What good are you?

Makeup advertising display at Walgreens–“Wild Is a State of Plan.” A. No, it isn’t (except maybe for Nick, and the only cosmetic he needs is tactical Chap Stick), B. English no language speak?


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