Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bumper Crop

I drive an 11-year-old VW Cabrio.  I love my car.  It is black and has a black canvas convertible top.  (This is its second top since its first top was vinyl and mildewed and rotted after just a couple years.  I held it together with duct tape for awhile - attractive! - then finally invested in the new top.)  I have no car payments and no plans to ever sell or trade in my Cabrio.  This year became the pivotal year when I decided that it wasn't worth paying for comprehensive insurance due to the Kelly Blue Book value and probable insurance payout in case of a severe accident.  All these factors led to a momentous decision.

I added bumper stickers to my car.

I love bumper stickers - especially sarcastic, funny, cynical, outrageous bumper stickers.  I started conservatively:  a round sticker advertising my favorite beachside restaurant:  FA Cafe.  Then I added an oval sticker advertising the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum.  Last summer I added a black and white bumper sticker for my favorite local band.  The bumper sticker just lists their web site and says:
MID-LIFECRISIS.NET.  Most people who see it don't think it's for a band.  giggle.

Next was SAVE THE TATAS.  The pink breast cancer ribbon on the sticker has mostly faded in our bright sun, so many don't get the reference.  I've had more than one person (including my sister!) ask, "What's a tata?"  It has special meaning for me - not because I've had breast cancer, though I had a tiny scare a couple years ago, phew! - but because my granddaughter uses that term for breasts.  She once lifted her tee shirt and shouted "TATAS!" while on a scenic boat cruise with her parents.  For no reason other than she wanted to - she was 2.

I bought a round LIFE IS GOOD bumper sticker with the brand's little terrier dog holding a marshmallow over a campfire.  A nod to my FLB*.

I was on a roll now.  Local shop Notions 'n' Potions carries a nice selection of fun bumper stickers.  And I was ready to make a statement.  So my two favorite bumper stickers now ride proudly on my car's rear:
One reads:  DON'T PISS ME OFF.  I'M RUNNING OUT OF PLACED TO HIDE THE BODIES.  I think it meshes nicely with the Life is Good message.  My #1 fave though is:


Short and sweet.  True.  I LOVE IT.  I was nervous at first, certain some gunrack-totin', tobacco-chewin', FoxNewsGlennBeckRushFanatic would trash my car or shout at me in traffic.  Nothing happened.  People at work noticed the stickers and teased me about them.  Then one Friday it happened.  A pick-em-up truck pulled up behind me at a red light, then pulled around to the lane on my left.  The passenger lowered his window and yelled, "Hey!"  I looked at him.  "Love your bumper sticker!  Eve WAS framed.  By a bunch of lying men!"  I stared at him for a couple of seconds, then laughed and gave him a thumbs up.  WOW!  What a surprise.

Since then several women have mentioned to me - in parking lots usually - that they love that bumper sticker.      Then it happened again.  I was driving over the 312 Bridge - my sister riding shotgun and my granddaughter Kinsey strapped safely in her car seat in the back - when a sporty car pulled up behind me then pulled around.  When we slowed for the traffic light after the bridge two good-looking surfer guys hollered, "Love your bumper sticker - Eve WAS framed!"  More thumbs up all around and they sped on by.  

My newest is a gift from a friend at work (Carolee):  WILL WORK BECAUSE I HAVE TO.  I thought of putting it on the FRONT of my car so the young and healthy panhandlers flashing their cardboard signs at me in the afternoons could read it.  

This afternoon I was cruising home from work with all the windows down listening to jazz on Flager College Radio.  I heard someone yelling and turned off my radio.  Two women were riding beside me and we were slowing for a traffic light.  One yelled, "What does the rest of your bumper sticker say?  The one about DON'T PISS ME OFF?"  I laughed and yelled, "I'M RUNNING OUT OF PLACES TO HIDE THE BODIES!"  She laughed, then repeated what I said to her companion and they both cackled.  The light changed, I flashed her an ironic peace sign, and drove off.

Life IS Good.
*Freakin' Little Bastard

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One of the pleasures of my job (I work at a B&B.) is meeting new and interesting people.  Today a nice-looking man was brewing hot tea in our lobby when I was walking through.  Our eyes met and I commented on drinking hot tea when it was in the 80's outside.  (It was NOT a wisecrack; it was a friendly observation.)  This led to a long discussion where I learned so many fascinating things about him:
  •  He grew up in Viet Nam in Saigon.  It was tradition to keep a hot pot of tea going all day.  All guests were always offered a cup of tea.  They also believed that drinking hot beverages helped them to feel cool in the tropical heat of (South) Viet Nam.  
  • His grandfather was a physician who was well-known in Saigon and who believed in treating the whole person and had a lot of ideas about eating and taking care of yourself that are becoming more popular today.  Joey (he introduced himself as Joey and I'm not sure if this is the correct spelling or not - he's very Americanized so it may be...) didn't speak until he was 5 and his family believed he might be "stupid" (his word), so no one paid much attention to what they said around him.  He spent all his time with his grandfather at his practice and said he knew all about menopause, having babies, and many other things by the time he was 5!  
  • His grandfather came to America with the rest of the family, and died at the age of 88 when he was hit by a car.  This happened in Pensacola, FL.  An autopsy was performed because the Highway Patrol wanted to blame the accident on an "old drunk or drugged man" (meaning a foreigner) and the autopsy showed him to be not only alcohol and drug-fee, but he had the body of a 68-yr old.  This happened back in 1987.  The driver was never charged.  
  • Joey is in the Air National Guard.  He is 50 yrs old and looks 40.  (And I only guessed 40 because he has some gray hair.)  He says at his physical training for the Guard he outruns much-younger men all the time and loves it!
What a delight he is - and what stories he must have!  I wish I could have spent much more time with him, but I WAS working.  I filled my coffee thermos with hot green tea and drank that this afternoon.  It was weird and I didn't feel cooler, but I'm going to keep at it.  He also drinks room temperature water as needed.

I'm glad to be back on my blog.  I deviated from my "no tv for one year" project by getting into hulu too much.  And while my family was visiting for spring break they hooked the TV back up and I've had several wasted evenings back in my old habits.  I heard on the radio today that hulu will start charging for their service in May or June so that will put an end to that.  Bummer.  It's kind of cool to pick and choose what to watch and when.  For free.  I'm not PAYING for it.  So I'm baaaccckkk.  I've got some stories - after all, I spent 4 days/3 nights in VEGAS BABY recently, and the wildlife is stirring here in NE Florida. 

PS Harley is alive and well.  He hacked up a 4" hairball yesterday.