Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: Mildly Amusing Adventures

Day 6.1–It {was}’s My Birthday and I’ll Post If I Want To

Well, it was yesterday, and I didn’t want to. Plus, I was severely indisposed for the last hour of it. Let’s just say amine intolerance (which I decided to develop, because food intolerances are so fashionable these days, and lactose and gluten are so overdone) + stromboli sausage = a lot of bathroom time. The more distressing because the strombolis were an annual rite to celebrate meeting Rom in 1978. Of course, Rom can’t eat ice cream, and misery loves company.

Many thanks to D. (henceforth to be called Trex, for T. Rex, because Rom thinks she has really short arms), for the gift of a MARCASITE NECKLACE. I love marcasite, but my previous experience with it has been 2 Avon rings, one with black plastic rose center, and one with hematite center, which eventually turned my finger green, as cheap rings will. (I HOPE I’M NOT SUED BY AVON FOR THIS STATEMENT.)





“Every beat of my heart belongs to you.” Looks like that “Every Breath You Take” guy finally found his ideal woman.

“We’ll be together forever like Bonnie & Clyde.” You do remember how that ends?


My RETIREMENT PARTY will be June 14 at Hacienda on 1st Ave. Here I am, blithely inviting my entire FanBase, even though I’m not the one organizing the affair. Just show up and pretend you just happened to be sitting at the bar.


The latest plan for my Last Day Of Work is to show up drunk and naked. Although that will lead to difficulties walking there.

–Bumper sticker: “She Reads Truth.” Alright, then. Must be some hipster cultural thing I’m not aware of. Rom always says, “Ignorance of your culture is not considered cool,” but since when have I cared about being cool? Well? Which reminds me of the time I said to A Certain Person, “You know me, keeping a low profile,” and she said, “Since when?”


There was a children’s book, “Time To Sleep–A Touch and Feel Book.” It had something soft to feel on every page. I thought, Oh! I’d have loved this as a little kid! Did I pick it up and touch the furry spot on every page? Of course not, why would you think so? I promise I didn’t sweat on it. This is, by the way, the other side of having sensory issues.

It’s still hard for me to believe I soon won’t be working. I keep thinking it must be some mistake, and I’ll find myself with no job and no money.


When I got back home today, Rom was napping. I went in and said something so he’d know I was home, and he started violently, which startled the cats, so they both exploded off the bed. He said, “My first thought was, Did one of the cats just speak?”



Day 13: I Got Your Fortune Cookie, Baby

Yeah, this was supposed to be a workday, but…you know when you crack open a fortune cookie, you read your fortune, and then you add “–in bed”? Well, I sprained my toe. In bed.


Longtime readers (a few may still survive) may remember how Rom once broke the bedroom window of our apartment downtown during an amorous session. This contributed to our loss of the damage deposit, but the best part was the landlord asking how the window got cracked, and Rom stammering, “Uh, from all the–wind we had in that storm the other night.”

Well, now that we’re homeowners, we can break all the windows we want (unless Nick decides we’re disturbing the peace and arrests us). But those hypothetical longtime readers may also remember the time that our candle (we always do it by candlelight) set off our smoke alarm. (I still fondly remember one night dispatching the fire department to someone’s house in response to “a smell of burning rubber in the bedroom.”)

Which brings us to last night. We’d just gotten up afterwards, congratulating each other on our mutually rewarding experience, and I said, “But my toe is hurting for some reason.” Then there’s the moment when you look down and think, “Did it always look like that?” It was bent sharply at a weird angle. Not as weird as Alien Finger, but still. It was already beginning to swell, and of course I thought of all the times I’d read that you can break a toe without even knowing it. And you especially wouldn’t even know it if you were, well….Let’s just say I was bracing my feet against the sideboard of the bed.

Well, this morning it was a lot better–just a little swelling remaining–but I decided walking a mile and a half to work was contraindicated. I will try to do better tomorrow.

Day 15: Beam Me Up, Scottie

Since I still have (and I guess always will have) the mark of a big dog’s jaws on my leg since 3/19/16, I’m not very tolerant of dogs running loose. There’s a Scottie I encounter at Barker/Franklin, and this is the SECOND TIME this dog has attacked me. Same scenario as the Black Lab of 3/19–“I’m running loose where I shouldn’t be, my nerves are on edge, and I don’t know you, but instead of running away, I think I’ll just bite you.” So the stupid thing gets his teeth in my pants leg while I kick at him. This time he had an even runtier dog running with him, who was about to run away until Scottie decided to take matters into his own teeth, but then decided to stand her ground and yap instead. (Gender pronouns based on the brown Chihuahua having a pink collar, and the Scottie lifting his leg on the stop sign.) And there better never be an owner saying, “Hey, you’re kicking my dog!,” or else I’ll bite. You’d think the dog would realize, “Running loose always makes me paranoid and angry, so I better not do it anymore,” but we can’t get people to realize that about meth, so there you go.

I am now reading Harry Potter, because Nick flew over to my house with a bunch of books in his teeth.



“Sir, it’s not against the law for someone to knock on your door.”



Quite a few long-term McDonald’s employees have quit recently, perhaps because of the new manager who won’t allow them to sing. Hey, we should start singing in here! “Bohemian Rhapsody,” anybody?



My hair is once again as long as it was when I started here! Oddly appropriate, now that I’m leaving. And my fashion sense is no better, although I did buy more red nail polish. Walgreen’s was promising proceeds from sales of the same would go to charity. Now I just need someone to tell me I’m doing a good deed by buying perfume.


Day 22: Me & Crazy People


–Waiting for the bus at 2nd Ave./Columbia: A woman walking down the sidewalk apparently got overheated, whipped off her shirt, dropped it on the sidewalk, and stood there in the middle of the sidewalk in her tank top, apparently airing out her armpits. Two guys who looked like gangsta rappers had to walk around her. One of them muttered, “What human being is so disrespectful?” As she walked by me, she squinted at me like Popeye.

–A guy yelled something from a car that sounded like, “Good people should wear shoes!” The crazy part is that everybody in the vicinity was.

–Walking down St Joe from Taco John’s, a guy walking up to and past me said, “Get out of my face! Like your cross! Get out of my face!” Thanks for the compliment on my crucifix, but what you call being “in your face,” I call “using the same sidewalk.”


CRISIS IN PROGRESS: SOMEDAY I’LL SNAP DEPT. (Disclaimer: I only have 22 days left to snap in.}

–“I’ve grounded my 17-year-old from the computer, and I need the cops because he won’t give me the mouse and keyboard.”

–“Subject said he was at Oak Hill Cemetery drinking a lot of energy drinks and driving erratically. Then said he has a hook in his foot and it aches something awful.” Doesn’t he know you’re supposed to have a hook for a hand? You have a peg leg. And a parrot for your shoulder, and an eye patch.

–“Can I talk to someone?”

“I’m someone. What’s the problem?”

“I called AT&T to get my phone number changed. They were supposed to call me back at 8:20 to tell me my new number, and they haven’t yet.”

“Well, that’s between you and AT&T. 911 doesn’t have anything to do with that.”

“Oh, OK.”

–Someone found a pile of internal organs in a field.. The organs were accompanied by a cardboard box and a pair of surgical gloves.



Ever encountered someone who’s exactly like a fictional character? There was the time at Rom’s grandmother’s funeral where the priest sounded exactly like the Grand Nagus on Star Trek. And then, the other day at Wendy’s on St Joe, the guy mopping the floor looked just like Captain Obvious, before he became a captain. He told me, “Someone will be up here to take your order in a moment,” but I refrained from saying, “Thanks, Captain Obvious!”



I just discovered imgflip. By accident. But did you expect anything less? Sure, I’d been wondering how people created all those clever memes on Facebook, but I figured their professional skills were forever beyond such as myself.

Day 26.1: Marvel of the Modern World

I was off today, but I just have to post anyway (I’m in danger of developing good work habits!) to tell you that I had not yet witnessed the McDonald’s remodeling in its entirety. Now it’s even more 1959 by way of 1974 (with music from 1987–R.E.M.’s “Finest Worksong”–excellent!). The brightly-patterned wall coverings! The woodgrain vertical-slatted dividers! The fine large window with an expanded view of the drive-through, with CVS looming grandly in the distance! It is a wonder to behold.

While I awaited my order (Lenten Friday fish) (no tartar sauce, because tartar sauce is just mayo with boogers in it), the manager, a woman recently-promoted, was telling a subordinate, “Now don’t sing to yourself while you’re out there.” Seriously? Yes, she was dead serious. MIcro-manage much? Yeah, customers in the drive-through are always complaining, “That employee picking litter off the lot was singing again.” It made me want to burst into song right then and there. Hey, maybe that could become a lucrative second career! The world needs a female Lou Reed.


Day 30: The Final Countdown

(You should say that like they do in the song by the same name.)

Somebody asked, “Are you counting the days till retirement?” I realized I was not, and a person such as myself certainly should be doing so. But I’m not counting down how many days are left in my employment, since I have vacations in the next 2 months, but how many days of actual work are involved. Hopefully, having to report back each day will ensure semi-regular posting (and drinking during vacations will probably ensure the rest).



“Caller at business hired a homeless subject to hold a sign, and he is now threatening them.” You know, you would think holding a sign would require the least vetting of any job.

“Suspect said he’s been tased before and knows to wear extra layers of clothing, also he could pull the darts out and run fast.” Let’s test that theory, shall we? One more reason to plan my outfits in advance!

“Subject states he is military police and has more power than the police.” Let’s test that theory, too!

“I got whiskey poured in my eye and I can’t see.” Well, I got Boone’s Farm wine poured down the front of my shirt once. The guy then tried to clean it up with his tongue. I should have told my caller that.

Officer’s comment on traffic stop: “You can’t be driving on a suspended license in a car covered in blood.” It turned out to be fake blood, but that only makes it more puzzling.


McDonalds at St Joe/Maryland has been remodeled. I was wondering if they’d go for the slick gray cyberpunk look of the one at Lloyd/Rosenberger, but no. It looks like what we thought looked modern in 1959, but in a 70’s color scheme. If I get dementia, they could just set me down there and I’d feel right at home, although I wouldn’t be sure exactly which past decade I was in.

McDonald’s is the place everyone ends up at eventually, so it’s like Life’s Rich Pageant in there–mostly Norman Rockwell, but with a few fringe elements. (I suppose I’d qualify as a Fringe Element, but only on close inspection, and I don’t invite close inspection.) When I last went there, there was a crowd at the counter, and an old guy apparently having some kind of medical episode, so I didn’t anticipate getting my order taken any time soon, and went to Taco Bell across the street instead. (I usually prefer Taco John’s for my infrequent Mexican food urges, but they’re farther down the street, and it was starting to rain.)

The clientele at Taco Bell tends to be younger and more redneck, and the music being played was appropriate. Weirdly, though, it was appropriate for when I was younger. Not that I would have heard it at a fast-food place–businesses didn’t pander to youthful tastes in those days–but I would have heard it blaring from passing cars as I walked down the street in my halter top and bell-bottom jeans. The Stones’ “It’s Only Rock & Roll.” “Dreams I’ll Never See” by Molly Hatchett. (I had to Google that, not having thought of that song for all the intervening years.) Then I thought–I know those opening chords very well–Blue Oyster Cult’s “In Thee,” which I’ve never heard when I’m out. Maybe I should go to Taco Bell more often.



“Now you’ll have lots of time for that ridealong!”

must think fast…“He’d probably just refuse, out of spite.”

“No, I think he’d probably accept–out of spite!”

Good thing he’s only imaginary.



This new radio system sounds like it’s recording what I say, even when I’m not on the phone or air. But that couldn’t be true, could it?





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.



Elastic Reality

…is what you get in the land of alternative facts. Actually, you are now at a prime source of alternative facts. For all you know, Nick might not really have wings and a scaly tail.


There is an afro wig lying in the gutter on N. Barker Avenue.


Down the street from the abandoned afro wig was a small black car. On its back window were the words “I Am the Captain of My Life and the Master of My Destiny.”  The car must have belonged to the guy I talked to the other night, who said, “I got a warrant, but don’t send an officer. I’m gonna turn myself in. I don’t want to get arrested on anyone else’s terms.” Wait, isn’t getting arrested the exact opposite of “on your own terms”? Not that I’d know, but you hear stories.


Brought to you by The Loud Guy On the Bus!

“Yeah, we just brought him in and laid him in the bathtub. Then all the cops showed up and asked me, ‘What do you have to do with the guy who’s laying here shot in the head?’ And I was all like, ‘I don’t know nothin’, I just got here 3  minutes ago,’ ’cause the only thing I care about is whether I go to jail or not, y’know? ‘Cause I ain’t been before a judge for 20 months.”  His personal best, I’m sure.

On to McDonald’s, where the Table of Retired Guys was in session to discuss the issues of the day. One gentleman opined that Obama was, too, born in Kenya (to their credit, his companions corrected him, about that and about Obama’s mother being a Muslim), and that, if you use McDonald’s Wi-Fi {spell-check just capitalized Wi-Fi for me, and I take no responsibility for that decision}, everyone else in the building can see what you’re doing on the internet. {Apparently we’re not capitalizing “internet” anymore.} The opinion was also expressed that someone “oughta be shot for treason,” and I was very tempted to butt in and say, “You mean Trump, for colluding with the Russians?” Actually, I wouldn’t have been butting in, because they regularly ask about Alien Finger (which remains Basically Functional But Not Quite Like a Finger That Has Never Been Dislocated) and express hope that I will soon retire and join them. They will be sorry if I do, because I heard them refer to Catholics as “usually good people, but they’ve been brainwashed,” and I can argue the Reformation all afternoon, and twice on Sundays, thanks to Sunday bus service!


–Archer, 5 years old: “I like diamond shapes. They’re aerodynamic.”

Speaking of things that are aerodynamic, Nick wants me to think that I’ll never break his heart of stone, but I suspect I already have. See, Nick? This time I parenthesized the post with references to you. Satisfied? You are like Cat Esmerelda, nagging me for belly rubs.


Alternative Facts


“Suspect was wearing a colorful muumuu.”

“Intoxicated subject got out of his car and tried to start a fight. Started to leave and now his car won’t start.”


EBay sends me emails regularly saying things like, “Paula! Check out what people are watching


most on Ebay this week!” As if that determines my buying habits. But they recently sent me one that said, and I quote, “You’re really going to like this, FirstName!” You know me so well, AuctionSite!


Rom said he saw Donald Trump walk out on stage to the inspiring sound of the Rolling Stones’ “Heart of Stone.” Did Trump actually listen to the words of that song? At the risk of being sued by the watchful agents of Mick Jagger:

“There’ve been so many girls that I’ve known

I’ve made so many cry, and still I wonder why

Here comes a little girl, I see her walking down the street

She’s all by herself, but she’ll never break this heart of stone

What’s different about her? I don’t really know

No matter how I try, I just can’t make her cry

Don’t keep on looking that same old way

If you try acting sad, you’ll only make me glad”

Now if he only wants to go by the title, the Stones’ catalog has countless options, including As Tears Go By, Under My Thumb, and my favorite Stones song, Paint It Black. Rom suggests Sympathy for the Devil, but that might be too obvious.


–the President

–the bus service

–the Diocese of Evansville

List will be augmented as necessary.


At the rate they’re going computerizing everything, eventually the only thing that won’t be done by robots is answering the phone. But Rom said, “Wouldn’t it be great if robots did answer 911? They’d be impervious to the drama! All the screaming and cussing would have no effect!” Hey, just have robots answer the phone, and I’ll do everything else. I keep reading advice that says it’s foolish to retire at 62, but sometimes I think that I’ll Just Snap.


We will soon be inundated by trainees, an event that resembles the Hunger Games, or maybe Survivor.


“Approach with caution. She has been here 30 years, and is very wise and very dangerous.”

–I emerge hissing from under a rock.


“This is Thing #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5.”

–I hurry past, avoiding eye contact.


Fiona and Archer are, as you may remember, 5. Sample conversation from the back seat:

“She’s poking me with a sword!”

Mother: “Give me the sword.”

“Now she’s poking me with the sword holder!”

Mother: “Give me that, too. Don’t poke your brother.”

“I just wanted to show him how it feels.”

The relations among nations are determined by the same principles. Like the relations among nations, negotiations soon degenerated into a conflict over who had started it, and what importance that fact should have in the larger scheme of things.


The title is taken from Kellyanne Conway’s term for what used to be known as lying.








Better Work Habits

Remember those? I don’t, either.

I have been home with a cold, and feeling diseased and gross. I used up an entire box of tissues (DISCLAIMER: one of the smaller cube-shaped ones) (with roses on it!) (OK, I BOUGHT OUT WALGREEN’S ENTIRE SUPPLY OF THOSE, ALRIGHT??)  in a day and a half.

Secret Santa at work gave me a fuzzy throw, decorated (in a rather macabre fashion) with cat heads, and it is the WORLD’S SOFTEST THING. So sometimes I sit there just feeling it. Yes, I have a Security Blanket, and woe to the one who attempts to take it from me.


–Their new changes are only half as annoying as I portrayed them to be. Further details are too boring to present here.


Valentine stuff has been spotted at Area Drugstores. It has been at Walmart since December, I’ve been told, but Walmart is evil and I don’t go there. Aside from their corporate policies, any place with aisles higher than my head needs to be no bigger than Walgreens, or it makes me nervous.


I was thinking of all the people who’ve said (over the past 30 years), “I could never work at 911! I couldn’t handle the stress!” After all the jobs I couldn’t handle the stress of, why am I still here?

You know what I’ve found most stressful about the job? In the early 90’s, they decided we would benefit from training with/observing other agencies. So we had frequent “field trips”–to the ambulance service, firehouse, the new jail, basically anyplace they could think of. (Luckily, the visit to the morgue was optional, although the visit of the Crime Scene tech with grisly color pictures was NOT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, THE WORDS “CRIME SCENE IN-SERVICE” STILL FILL ME WITH HORROR.) I thought, What ever happened to the job I agreed to, where I go to the place and just stay there until I leave?

Now, I don’t handle unfamiliar settings very well. (Yeah, I know, how can they become familiar if I don’t embrace new experiences, etc.) So, while I was supposed to be absorbing new information, I would be sweaty-palmed and queasy, thinking about how far away from home I was. And mandatory police ride-alongs were the ultimate “state of frozen horror,” as Nick so eloquently puts it.

I’ve actually become better about that whole thing with the years, but this was back before I’d developed any coping mechanisms. But even now, talk of road trips–travel generally, in fact–or variations in planned itinerary, or TOO MUCH itinerary (you know, “While we’re across town, why don’t we stop at That Other Place, too?”)  makes me uneasy.

So, do you feel like you understand me now? Neither do I. Understand myself, I mean.



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