The Bum


Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

Okay, okay. I hear ya. The bum IS a body part. Also named butt, rear end, fanny, fat a**, etc. Oh, right. Fat is not part of the name, even though that’s the way mine is described much too frequently.

First of all, thank you, Lord, for placing mine on the back of my body so I don’t have to suffer with looking at it every time I’m in front of a mirror. It’s bad enough to have the belly blob front and center.

Why do we have this cushion built into the rear and tail (another intended pun) end of our skeleton? Oh, come on, you sports fans. Can you imagine sitting on those hard bleachers and plopping down on them after standing to cheer without a derrierre? Oh, yes, that’s the fancy- schmancy word for our backside. Sporting events tickets would go unsold and teams would fold. If you’ve wondered why more big butt people are the fans, that’s why. They’re built for the bleachers. The athletes are trim and have almost zero bums, so they have to play the sports. They could never survive a couple hours sitting on the hard bleachers. These same broad sports butts delight in being Harley riders. They can easily withstand the hard pounding from the pavement. Low–riding jeans provide a constant showing of this body part on the bikes. So much for soothing eye therapy for drivers following these dudes and dudettes.

A physiological puzzlement on the bum is why is the skin temp there so much colder than elsewhere on your body? Couldn’t find one article on that on the internet. Can you believe it? My educated (stop laughing) guess is that there is just too much skin and blubber there to provide enough 98.6 degree warmed blood to the surface.

Why do little one’s butts get smacked when they are naughty or about to run in the street or touch something hot? Who was the first one to choose that spot? And yet, that very same spot gets a small pinch to show affection or sexual harassment? What gives here, anyway?

This very same area contains the exhaust pipe for the solid waste and odorous emissions coming from the gas-producing factory located within the body.

Another question for the students. Why is there such a long crack on these bottoms? Why is that necessary? What good is it? Is it broken? Is it a new way for those droopy-drawers fellas to salute, say hi, or insult you? Or just a way to check if they’re wearing underwear? Or if it’s clean underwear?

Probably just so we can identify a plumber when we need one. What do you think?


Weight is Weight

Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

Weight is weight, folks, regardless of where it’s loaded or seated.

A recent flight had me scratching my head in wonderment. To check my bag, they charged me an extra twenty-five dollars($25).  The weight of my bag exceeded fifty (50) pounds, so I would be charged an extra twenty-five dollars ($25) for each leg of the trip.  I was offered the opportunity to remove the extra ten (10) pounds of weight from my bag and store it in my carry-on bag or purse.

Isn’t that extra weight still on this plane?

To avoid this extra charge of checking a bag, more people opt to use only a carry-on bag, a very large personal bag and large purse. All are acceptable and without extra fees. However, all must be stowed in the overhead compartments or under the seat in front of you.

Herein lies the new problem.

When the overhead compartments are crammed full and closed, extra carry-on pieces must be taken to the front of the plane to be tagged and stored below.  No extra charge for these “no-more-room” pieces of luggage.  Isn’t this weight still onboard?  How fair is it to the people who checked in their standard size bags and paid the twenty-five dollar fee?

There’s always a way to beat the system for awhile.  I feel certain the airlines will realize this soon and fix the problem by charging a fee for all carry-on luggage, also.

The way to avoid that problem is to wear all the clothes you planned to pack inside your luggage.  No bags to store onboard or be charged fees.  Voila!

Now for the seat inequities.

Each passenger pays for a seat on the plane.  Many receive only a partial seat to sit in and that’s not even comfortable.  If you’ve been unlucky enough to sit next to an overweight person on a flight, you’ll realize quickly that they enjoy a large portion of the seat you purchased.  If we both paid for one seat, why are they allowed half of mine?  Without a doubt, most of the multi-seat users will hurry to lift the seat arm dividing the spaces so they can literally settle and spread out over the larger area they need.

On a recent flight, I was occupying an aisle seat.  The gentleman in the center seat next to me was much too large to sit comfortably in the small space allotted.  He was so large that his arms stayed out from his sides at a thirty degree angle from his body.  This position kept his left arm and elbow firming planted between my cleavage the entire flight, effectively trapping me in the seat more efficiently than the seatbelt crossing my lap. Did I mention that part of his body sat on my hip and thigh the entire trip, also?

Do you see a problem here?

Why must I pay twenty-five dollars ($25) for the less than fifty (50) pound bag that I checked and these larger-than-life passengers pay the same rate for their seat as I do? And then they use part of my seat, too.  They’re getting all that extra weight loaded on board for free and I’m being punished. The airlines must run their organizations like our justice system, but that’s a different story for another time.

How about setting a maximum weight for each passenger? Everyone weighs in with their luggage and all carry-on bags and purses. The skinny people can haul along most of their closet’s contents and the chunks are pretty much stuck with a change of underwear and a toothbrush.

For the airlines to receive the same money they obviously want for the number of seats, I have a solution.  In a three-seat-across configuration on a plane, have only two wider seats.  Make the fatties sit there and pay for one and a half seat fares.  Those two seats would garner the same monies as three of the smaller, regular-size seats.

How should the airlines determine who has to purchase these extra-wide seats?  Place full partitions, instead of arms between the seats.  When the big boys and big girls can’t fit all their cheeks between the partitions and no seat belt extensions available, they’ll come looking for relief.  It’s time they were made to sacrifice a little.

I’m really very tired of arriving at my destination with a bruised, painful and numb hip and thigh that had a great deal of someone’s heavy fat resting on it for hours.

I won’t even go into the unpleasantness of their derrieres brushing against my face when they get up to go to the bathroom.

Maybe they should be required to fly on Jumbo Jets.

Interesting Life Lesson

Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

When someone has consistently treated you in a rude manner, beware when he/she makes the offer of a ‘clean slate’ for the relationship.

True, you won’t need an eraser. You performed no unkind act or word. Your behavior never even needed a slate.

But, the rude party is the winner. He/she gets a free pass for all past bad behavior without so much as an apology.

They Discovered What?

Gypsy hiking at the Grand Canyon
Gypsy hiking at the Grand Canyon

Christopher Columbus discovered the North American continent in 1492.


Was it lost?

Hasn’t it been there since the beginning of time?

The Indians always knew where it was. They’d lived here for centuries before Columbus, the Vikings, or any other wandering soul set one foot on it.

Columbus was the one who was lost before he finally found his way to this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Why does he get credit for its discovery just because he finally viewed it?

Balboa discovered the Pacific Ocean.

Wait a minute. Here we go again.

That ocean was there long before he ever saw it for the first time.

For some reason, most of these so-called discoveries issued licenses for the adventurer’s home country to steal the land from the existing inhabitants. They felt this was their new possession and began moving native dwellers to corrals like animals. These corrals were called reservations, ghettos, assimilation, or maybe just movement from their own areas to unfamiliar territories or cities.

Sometimes, they were even removed from their native lands and shipped far away to be used as slaves.

It was an unfeeling process of stealing a group’s land, culture and dignity.

Seeing something for the first time through your own eyes does not make it a new discovery or give you carte blanche to own it.

Many years ago, I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. Does it now belong to me? Did I discover it? Do I have the right to fence it in and restrict others from viewing it?

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

Think about it, though.

Isn’t that what happened when Kings, Queens, or rulers sent men forth to discover new lands? They were never meant to be discovery expeditions, but a ‘capture and conquer’ acquisition of new territories.

Gypsy, that's me!
Gypsy, that’s me!

Sue City Sue

Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

Five years and many days ago, I set off to meet a friend for coffee at a local fast food restaurant. Since I was early, I walked over to browse in a department store located in the strip mall behind McDonald’s. After wasting a little time, I crossed the parking lot and was nearing the restaurant when my shoe stuck on the pavement. The momentum propelled my body forward, knocking me to the ground. My bifocals’ frame split apart on impact and became a weapon. Raw metal ground into my eyebrow. I returned to my feet and hurried inside to wait for my friend. Bleeding profusely, but moving under my own power with a painfully twisted hip, I asked the manager for some extra napkins. He brought me some bandages to cover the wound and asked how he could assist. I informed him my friend was due momentarily and would drive me to the emergency room.

Now the fun begins, of course.

First, I must tell you I ONLY speak English and everyone in this story speaks English so the problem must be a lack of listening skills. In the emergency room, I was asked several questions about my accident.

“What happened?”

“My shoe stuck on the pavement and I fell forward.”

“Were you dizzy? Did that cause you to fall?”

“No, my shoe stuck on the pavement and I fell forward. When my glasses hit the pavement, they broke and cut my eyebrow. I, also, twisted my left hip.”

Did you hit your head when you fell?”

“No, like I said before, my shoe stuck on the pavement and I fell forward. When my glasses hit the pavement, they broke and cut my eyebrow. I, also, twisted my left hip.”

“Have you ever had a stroke?

“No, like I said before, my shoe stuck on the pavement and I fell forward. When my glasses hit the pavement, they broke and cut my eyebrow. I, also, twisted my left hip.”

It wasn’t until after the tests I saw the diagnosis on the order sheet for an x-ray and MRI.

“Diagnosis. Dizzy from possible stroke-fell and hit head on pavement.”

Not only was there no concern or testing for the injured hip, where did that description come from? Now before you think I’m picking on the medical community, let me assure you, I’m not. The victim in this saga is a retired intensive care nurse. The experience was a total lack of listening at the healthcare worker’s interview.

Stitches were inserted and the ER co-pay was paid with instructions to follow up with my personal physician. Please do note that there is still no concern for the messed up hip of an elderly patient. At this point, I had so little confidence in their concern or capability that I just wanted to leave.

They, evidently, submitted their bills to my insurance company ASAP, because in no time at all, I received a questionnaire regarding the incident. It is interesting that it now became an incident with the insurance company, instead of an accident.

One of the sample questions, after asking where the ‘incident’ occurred, follows.

“Was there trash in the McDonalds’ parking lot that needed to be removed by management, causing you to trip and fall?”

“No, my shoe just stuck on the pavement and I fell forward. It was an accident. It happened behind McDonald’s in the parking lot of the shopping center.”

“Were there old wads of gum on the McDonalds’ parking lot that should have been removed by management causing you to trip and fall?”

“No, my shoe just stuck on the pavement and I fell forward. It was an accident. It happened behind McDonald’s in the parking lot of the shopping center.”

I fully expected them to ask me the brand of chewing gum if I had answered ‘yes’ to that one.

Two weeks later and another questionnaire.

“Who owns the shopping center where the incident occurred? Were there cracks or flaws in the paving causing you to trip and fall?”

“No, my shoe just stuck on the pavement and I fell forward. It was an accident.”

“Who paved the parking lot?”

“I don’t know and it has nothing to do with the ‘accident.’

 I decided to go a bit further to show them how ridiculous their efforts were to try to manufacture a party to blame and sue for my medical bills. I added the following information.

The party who owned this land prior to the development of the shopping center can be located by researching the address with Pinellas County public records. Possibly, they didn’t have the ground graded properly prior to building and paving, causing me to trip and fall.

Prior to their ownership, the land was inhabited by the Seminole Indian tribe. They may have left traps on the property or applied voodoo-type spells on future visitors causing me to trip and fall.

Prior to the Seminoles, an early caveman may have left his stone hammer or axe lying on the ground, causing me to trip and fall.

I hope you can find the responsible party to ‘sue’ for my ‘trip-and-fall incident.’

Oh, and by the way, you’ve never asked the brand of shoe I was wearing. Sloppy detective work, don’t you think?

A Day’s Walk In My Size Eight’s

Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

I just challenged my writing partner to write about a day in our lives.  Below is a typical day in mine.

Some days I smell the coffee brewing. Some days it’s the weak bladder screaming, “get up or you’ll be layin’ in a puddle, lady.” Whatever signal wakes me and forces me to stagger out of bed, you can be sure it’s still dark out, my arthritis forces me to walk like a 100 year old woman, and I’ll be groggy as a drunk on a two day binge for another hour or two.

After the relief in the bathroom, my teeth get freshly scrubbed so the coffee won’t taste like the bottom of a dirty garbage can. Now, the first chore is ready to be tackled. Step on the scale and, more often than not, utter the first few curse words of the day. Whoever invented the scale hated his wife, hoarded evil in his soul, and surely had a death wish. If I ever meet up with him, I might just oblige.

Now I’m off to my hubby’s office on the far side of the house. This is always the start of the best parts of my day. As I enter through the doorway, he hears me and literally hops out of his computer chair to hug me close and tell me he loves me for the first of many times each day. He feels so warm and snuggly. If I couldn’t smell the coffee brewing that he got up early to have ready for me, I might stay here for another hour or two. However, that first ‘cuppa’ must have some voodoo in it cause I need it like a druggie needs that fix after a long, dry spell. Off I hustle to my cozy little office.

Plopped down on my loveseat recliner with feet up, laptop on my lap warming up both its internet and my lap, I await the rescue. Aha. Here comes the cavalry. My hubby arrives with my coffee laced with Italian Sweet Cream. Life just got a whole lot better. Between the coffee and another kiss, this queen is one happy and contented old fogie.

Checking into all my regular writing sites, email, and family Facebook pages is the norm for this mandatory morning routine. My knight rides in on his white horse once more to refill my coffee mug. Every queen’s subjects should be this attentive.

“Hey, honey, you ready to get in the hot tub?”

Is Santa Claus fat and wear a red suit? When wouldn’t I be ready? That warm water soaking and bubbling gets my bones and joints pretending to be younger than they are. Walking and moving become less torturous after thirty minutes or so.

“Be right there.”

“Where should we go today, sweetheart?”

This is the standard question from my hubby after hot tub duty and breakfast. I think I’ve neglected to mention I’m married to a go-go boy. A stay-at-home day to him is like a prison sentence. I’ve learned to sneak in laundry, cleaning, meal prep, etc., in between car trips. One of my wifely duties is to maintain a list of different and unusual places to go or do to entertain him. We know every city, county, state park intimately, as our cameras have recorded them on a regular basis. Now we are revisiting during different seasons. This is not an easy thing to do here in Florida when most everything appears the same year round.

Since I’ve located and provided the morning’s entertainment, I am treated to lunch out. Sounds quite fair to me. No cooking and no clean up.

The garage door closes and into the house we go. We both head for our individual office spaces and preview the photos obtained on the morning ‘shoot.’ Later, we watch each other’s contributions and continue to marvel at the fact that we take pictures of the same things but always come up with different shots. Don’t we see the same things? Obviously, not.

What’s next, you say? Of course, put the coffee on, right?

Coffee on our lanai in front of the fire pit. We’re in the middle of a cold spell right now, in the sixties. Sorry, northerners, I couldn’t resist that.

Wandering around our porch admiring our newly assembled cactus garden provides much pleasure.

Nap time arrives for the oldsters and then back to the porch for margarita time and happy hour.

Homemade soups or a fruit plate are almost always on the dinner menu as we try to eat light in the evening.

We enjoy watching a couple episodes of old TV series on Netflix accompanied with a snack of ice cream. Then we’re off to read in our bedroom recliners. My sweetie always gives up the ghost first and starts to nod off. Even if I’m still not sleepy, I join him. Those bed-time hugs are just too precious to miss.

Goodnight and thanks for tagging along with me today.

Yesterday’s Trash

Photo by Shirley Dilley
Photo by Shirley Dilley

Why are grandparents tossed aside like yesterday’s trash and treated like items of no worth by their grown grandchildren? Are our stories and life histories so uninteresting and without value as to make us invisible to the following generations?

Talking with many elderly on this subject finds common themes.

Most grandchildren rarely say thank you for anything. Any kindness or gift seems to be expected, accepted, and never enough.

Emails are not answered, text messages only occasionally answered with one short sentence or phrase.

When a rare thank-you is offered, it is an impersonal message posted to a Facebook page or tweeted on Twitter.

A contact rarely generates a return message so you eventually give up. You make it easier on them to ignore you. Sadly, they don’t even notice.

There seems to be no interest or concern if you are well, happy, busy, or even alive. At least, the wealthy people still hear from their grandchildren from time to time on the off chance they might be in the will. That should be a joke, but it’s not funny if you’re a grandparent.

No time spent with the old people seems to be their common theme song.

These same grandchildren travel locally, they travel out of town, they vacation. Even though, in the past, the grandparents have traveled frequently and often to visit them and participate in some of their activities, the grown grandchildren never plan a visit to an aging grandparent.

Why would I want to see my grandparents? How much fun could that be? How long do I have to stay?

The underlying theme here is what? It’s all about THEM. There is not a thought about how happy it would make a grandparent to be noticed. Not cherished, but just noticed.

It seems the road to a relationship is a one-way highway.

Many of we oldsters have lived different work lives, traveled to unusual places, manage several different hobbies and learned many a lesson the hard way. We may forget and repeat some of those stories occasionally, but we still have much to offer the younger generations in wisdom, support, and unconditional affection. We would love to be their cheerleaders when life is treating them well and the soft shoulders and ears to listen when they need comforting or advice.

But they’ve decided we’re unimportant and expendable. We won’t even be missed when we’re gone.