A McPlea for the McFun Muffler


carrots

The McFun Muffler painted carrots on the wall of my McDonald’s.

There’s a McJackass on the loose and they are taking all the McFun out of McDonald’s.

The McDonald’s in my town was just rebuilt from the ground up.

A well-deserved rebuild, considering this fast food joint earned social mecca status in 1978.

Somehow ordering a diet soda cancelled out the calories of the large order of french fries consumed on a Friday night while cruising around the parking lot in high school.

Those were the good old days.

Who hasn’t ordered a Big Mac after a night at the bars?

And, the luxury of scarfing down that “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun” mouthful of goodness in the privacy of one’s own vehicle can’t be beat.

To McDonald’s credit, prices really haven’t changed all that much over the years and the quality of the food has stayed the same.

Where else can you buy supper for under 5 dollars?

And the golden, salty goodness of the french fries?

McDonald’s has the cheapest soft-serve ice cream cone in town.

Sometimes everybody just needs a little McDonald’s.

So when I walked into the shiny, new Golden Arches, I was surprised and quite frankly, disappointed to see murals of vegetables all over the walls.

Really?

10 foot tall carrots gracing the walls of a fast food joint?

The only carrot-top I want to see is Ronald himself.

Who is the McFun Muffler and who are they kidding?

I don’t want drawings of carrots on the walls of McDonald’s.

I want to see a huge Big Mac, in all of it’s artery-hardening decadence.

I want to feel good about just ordering my dollar iced coffee and cheeseburger off the value menu.

If I’m especially cranky or hormonal, I want my salty fries, damn it and I don’t want to be judged for it.

If I wanted to eat a salad, I’d fix one a home.

McDonald’s knows we need a break from cooking.

big macHey McFun Muffler, where is the caramel sauce for the apple dippers?

A very McDipsh*t move.

And the very idea of banning Happy Meals is insane.

Did anyone ever stop to consider maybe it’s the parents who want the toys?

I could not beat it to McDonald’s fast enough to grab the collection of Little Mermaid accessories when I was my daughter was going through her princess phase.

I’m thinking about going through the 24 hour drive-thru at this very moment just to get the Batman collection!

You see, McFun Muffler, no one really wants to grow up.

We need our McDonald’s without guilt.

We need a break, today.

Please consider this McPlea for help.

Signed, a McFan.

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Blogger Idol – You Sucked Me In


bug eating photo four

The 52/52 Project creator, Sherry Stanfa-Stanley washing down a few bugs while living outside of her comfort zone.

I swore off blogger contests months ago.  The pinnacle of my shame was when I nominated myself for a Circle of Moms most humorous blogger award.  I could only muster up one shameless self-promotional Facebook status update begging my friends to vote me up the ladder to the status of top mommy jester.  Who the hell was I kidding?  Insert a bar from Carly Simon’s hit, “You’re So Vain.”

And then, it happened.  Blogger Idol.  Sponsored by Little Birdie Social Media, Blogger Idol is an online blogging contest based on the premise of the television show, “American Idol”, where blogging hacks like me compete against each other for prizes and stuff.  I follow last year’s winner Martini’s and Minivans on Facebook.  She would be the Carrie Underwood of Blogger Idol.  “Come on, it’s not too late.”  “I never thought I’d win.”  “Be in the Top 12.”  I was sucked in – again.

According to Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, it’s O.K. to do things out of your comfort zone.  She’s the brilliant mind behind the 52/52 Project.  Sherry is knocking off a list of 52 activities completely out of her comfort zone.  Stuff like getting caught up in a drug bust with the local SWAT team, taking voice lessons, trying out for the reality television show “Survivor”, going camping with the likes of Ted Bundy in the adjacent tent and eating chocolate-covered bugs!  So folks, I guess putting myself out there for a blogging contest isn’t all that bad.  Why not?

Quite frankly, I love to blog.  I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’ve been writing articles for my local newspaper.  I always thought the pinnacle of writing was getting a byline.  Lois Lane, Pulitzer-prize winning stuff.  However, a byline can’t replace the empowerment of blogging – the thrill of freestyle story telling and interacting with the world just by pressing the “Publish” button is just pure bliss.

So, go like Blogger Idol on Facebook and tell them you’d like to see The Laughing Mom make an ass out of herself – again.  It promises to be very entertaining.

Celebrating One Year Of Blogging


Great storytellers are hard to find. Taking the time to write words that simply make people smile is so underrated. We need more Funny Sister’s in the world.

funnysister

My blog and I are celebrating one year of Worpress-ed bliss. It is our “paper” anniversary, even though this has been a paperless  year for the two of us.

You might say our union was arranged… by a handful of people. A few friends encouraged me to get out there and…write. (Yah, right. No way.) 

My birthday sister and good friend Terri, over at The Laughing Mom had the perfect set-up for me. We’d double date and cruise the blogosphere together.

My Mother unknowingly did the final match-making. Last summer during a trip to my hometown, I enjoyed several visits with her. For the first time, I saw beauty amid the ugliness of her dementia.

It was the inspiration for Sweetie Pie, my first post, which wrote itself in my head. I hooked up with WordPress and hit the publish button.

Terri, The Laughing Mom, is a brilliant and funny writer with…

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Fifty, Fuzzy and Fabulous


peach“Really? I still feel 16.”

That’s what my brain said to my body the morning of my 50th birthday.

Most of the time, it’s hard to remember I’m half a century old.  It’s hell to have peach fuzz on my brain and above my upper lip.

Sure, a lot has changed over the years.

In 1963, a hamburger, fries and a coke from McDonald’s cost 45 cents.  A gallon of gas cost 26 cents and a pack of Lucky Strikes cigarettes cost 20 cents.  Jan and Dean were at the top of the charts with a squeaky-clean beach hit, “Surf City USA.”

Now, fast food and cigarettes are on the death list, a full tank of gas costs a week’s pay in 1963 and Robin Thick is at the top of the Billboard chart with a catchy misogynistic tune that requires censoring.

My, how times have changed.

When the young neighbor stops and smiles as he picks up his Sunday morning paper it’s more of a “She reminds me of my Great Aunt Ruth” glance instead of a “Hey, it’s that hot MILF from up the street” sighting.

Still, something happened when that 50 switch turned on.  It’s like a big power-surge of all the knowledge I’ve gained from living 50 years on earth.  A Phoenix rising from the ashes…the sun peering out of a dense, gray fog…

That’s right, my boobs dropped and my brain grew!

Yes!  I’m finally smart enough to have a pair of readers in every room.

Who knew despite a memory that may be getting slightly more fuzzy, orthopedic sensible shoes are now flanking a powerhouse of confidence, keen insight and great wisdom.

I’ve endured vegetable Jello molds from the 60’s, itchy polyester from the 70’s, bad perms from the 80’s, scrunchies from the 90’s and digital over-drive from the 2000’s.

I miraculously dropped my last egg, gave birth and mastered menopause in the same decade.

I am woman, hear me roar – and sweat and cry and roar some more!

According to my tween daughter, I’m now resourceful.

“Hey mom, we need to use your old-lady AARP card at the arcade so we can get a discount and play more games.”

To celebrate the big day, my sisters and my mom treated me to a fancy lunch and a facial. Though I think the facial was a ruse to discreetly have the peach fuzz waxed over my lip.

My sister-in-law sent me a lovely fruit basket with the numbers 2 and 1 carved out in pineapple.

Yet when it comes right down to it, I’d rather be 50 than 21.  That is, I’d rather have my mind at 50 with my ass at 21.

Damn It Lillie and the Play Group Intervention


Christmas cookies baked with loving hands and paws.

Christmas cookies baked with loving hands and paws.

We have a set of Irish Twins in our family.  Only, one has two legs and strawberry blonde hair and the other has strawberry blonde hair, four legs, a tail and is named Lillie.

“How come I only have a dog for a sister?” is the question asked on a regular basis by the two-legged child.

The two are nine-months apart in age.  Sure, we were living the American dream with a cute little golden retriever puppy and a baby on the way.  Only the cute little puppy ate her way through the house the way a gopher tunnels through a bountiful garden.

Despite the carnage, our four-legged child was a huge source of entertainment for the two-legged child.

“Let’s play eat the baby’s socks.”

“Now, let’s play take the baby’s shirt off while she giggles incessantly.”

“And, let’s play gnaw on a raw hide bone loudly every night in the nursery while we listen to mommy read, Guess How Much I Love You.”

Our two golden peas in a pod were the cat’s meow until the two-legged child squatted in the neighbor’s lawn during an evening stroll mirroring the four-legged child relieving herself as only canine’s do.

The two-legged child even learned how to table surf as she crawled onto the top of the counter to snatch a piece of pizza.

One of my biggest fears was that my toddler daughter would grow up thinking her name was “Damn it Lillie!”

In the best interest of socializing an only child and saving her from a life as Romulus and Remus, I succumbed to the play group for some two-legged child to two-legged child interaction.

It took me 35 years and hundreds of first and last dates to finally tie-the-knot, so the mere mention of the word, “date” sent shrills up my spine as I’m not exactly a social creature.

Play groups are an interesting phenomenon.

Long ago, in a land far away, when home-keeping ruled, children roamed the neighborhood in packs.  Dolls were played in the morning, lunch was in the backyard where the pack landed, bikes were ridden in the afternoon and kick-the-can or ghost in the graveyard was played until dark – or until mom and dad finished cocktail hour with the neighbors.

Times changed, women found a new independence in birth control pills, burned their bras and turned them in for brief cases and very tall corporate ladders.  The new, improved organized mother was born along with the play date.

Not unlike my many socially awkward “dates,”  it was like pulling teeth to get my two-legged child to interact with the other play group participants.

As she remained clamped to my leg, another bad habit gleaned from the four-legged child, I engaged in mompetion-type conversations  comparing walking, talking, toilet-training and toddler MENSA test scores as she observed how two-legged children behave.

A play date was considered a success if my two-legged child didn’t eat someone else’s socks, scoot her behind on the carpet or God forbid, bite someone.

Almost a decade later, the two are inseparable as ever.  The toddler has grown into a civilized tween who no longer table surfs and is responsible enough to walk, feed and nurture the four-legged child.

Damn it Lillie – you both grew up way too fast.

Fore The Love of Family


hero_mom_golf_ballThere is a new Superdad versus Supermom challenge in our house – teaching our tween daughter how to play golf.

Some may defer to the more experienced person with the most tournament tags and expensive fancy golf clubs – let’s call him dad.  While others may defer to the most patient person even though her time capsule-like golf bag, circa 1993 hasn’t seen the light of day since giving birth to a person of Earth  – we’ll call her mom.

Regardless, golf is a great sport that the entire family can participate in together regardless of age or athletic ability, which is a bonus when there is a 40-year age gap between participants.  It’s also a sport that can be played throughout a lifetime, unlike gymnastics and cheerleading.

The hardest part of playing golf is learning the course etiquette.  Quite frankly, it is very difficult to remember the correct traffic pattern for the cart, acceptable noise level, rules for playing through and even wardrobe restrictions, which thankfully are few on the small public course we play.

Despite all the fanfare and stuffiness, there’s nothing like being outside on a beautiful day and solving life’s problems during a round of golf with your buddies.

To me, it’s amazing that certain individuals have better manners on the golf course than at the dinner table – we’ll call them the family.

The usual act of throwing a crumpled napkin on a dinner plate while screaming, “I’m done” just as mom sits down to eat gives way to “no one leaves the green until we are all done.”

It’s an environment where it’s not just mom and dad calling the shots, but an opportunity for our daughter to offer her insight on form and ask questions like, “Why does daddy keep talking to himself after he hits the ball?”  Or, “mommy, you are hunched over like a sunflower – a sad, droopy sunflower.”

It’s also a learn as you go sport.  Who knew World War III would start when I accidentally hit my husband’s ball.  Titleist 3, 4, 5…does it really matter?

Road rage also gives way to kind gestures of letting faster players move ahead.  Flipping birds turn into gentle waves motioning players forward from a dad who is only too proud to boast about his young daughter hitting the green for the first time.

Only to have the dad hit a fantastic shot and absent-mindlessly scream, “Go you @#*$&,” and have to explain golf Tourette’s syndrome to his “sugar and spice and everything nice.”

Patience may have prevailed during this challenge, however, according to our daughter, her ruffled ankle socks brought all the luck to her game.

A Cougar with Benefits


aarpvillageIt’s been haunting me for almost 365 days.

Everytime I look at a blank wall, I see a gigantic shadowy “5-0” staring back at me.

Really, what’s the big deal about turning 50?  Clifford the Big Red Dog, Amelia Bedelia and Denny’s are all blowing out 50 big ones this year.

I was just getting used to the idea, and then I got a piece of official mail from Washington, D.C. that read, “DO NOT Bend.”

Nothing says, “Happy Birthday Blue Hair, welcome to the club!” more effectively than receiving an official AARP membership card in the mail.

Holy sh*t.  Is it really possible to suddenly transition from Baby Center Updates to AARP Bulletin Updates in the same decade?  It’s very surreal.

According to the letter from the AARP Director of Membership, for only $16 a year, I get a plethora of benefits including lots of discounts, a fancy magazine about old famous farts as well as representation in Washington and all 50 states fighting for my new best interests – a.k.a. old guys in red, white and blue suspenders who buy congress people a discounted steak, baked potato and a couple of rounds of bourbon to keep social security and medicare afloat.

And the best part, my spouse gets a free membership to all the fun!

Which would be totally awesome if he were an elderly like myself only he’s a self-professed “young buck” in his forties.

So I broke the news to him.

Hey honey, guess what – you are now an honorary member of AARP, just like me!

I don’t want to be an AARP member.  Isn’t that kind of like saying, “Congratulations, you’re now King of the Dip Sh*ts.  No one wants to be King of the Dip Sh*ts.”

O.K., so he’s not that excited now, but come time for that 49% discount on popcorn and soda at the movies, he’ll be purring praises for his cougar with benefits.

It’s not all pills and prunes.  If I buy three concert tickets, I get the fourth free!

And no, Lawrence Welk is not coming to town.

My daughter thinks the card is a pass to go into a retirement home.

No honey, it means we get discounts – at places like Disneyland!

I didn’t tell her it’s more like discounts for mobility devices, cat food and orthopedic shoes.

And the best part, I get a free travel case just for joining.

Only the travel case isn’t even big enough to hold a Depends or my rather large supply of anti-wrinkle creams.

Clifford should be happy, there is a discount for dog bones.

And for me, “the power to make it better” is a free donut from Dunkin Donuts with the purchase of a large cup of coffee.

A perfect prelude for my AARP freebie – fast acting Level Life glucose gel.