Saturday, October 24, 2009

Calm Down!

A couple of years ago Shane and I were working at Fruth one evening before Halloween. I like to demo costumes and I decided to do a little Halloween make-up. I did my face to look like I was in a fight or carwreck or something. It was very realistic and my customers were freaking out about it.

As the evening evolved so did our story. We were telling people that we had an arguement and Shane beat me up. One of my regular customers came in and when he saw me he asked me, "Who did that to you!?"

I was in full joking mode and told him that Shane did it. Then I saw the storm clouds gathering on the guys face. He was furious. He said, "He was going to take care of %$%^^%##&&%%^##!!!!" He added, "he doesn't know what I do for a living! I WILL take care of this."

When I saw how mad he was I started to deny the story and I could see he didn't believe me. He thought I was a typical female covering for her man or something. The more I denied it the more he got worked up. Finally I had the presence of mind to smear the make-up to prove that I was not hurt. I did thank the man for his concern though and it was nice that one of my customers actually cared enough to come to my defense.

I guess I should become a Hollywood Make-up Artist or something. Shane had no idea how close he came to getting his hiner kicked that night. I did not tell anybody else that story either.

My Favorite Halloween

I have had a lot of good Halloweens. My last really good one was my dad's last Halloween. I picked him up at the nursing home and took him to dinner at the Waffle House. He loved it because he got to eat biscuits and gravy and other food that he wasn't supposed to have. Then I took him to the house.

He sat on the porch all evening giving candy out to trick or treaters. They would get 2 or 3 pieces and he would get one. He was a diabetic but he knew that I wouldn't say anything because of the holiday. He loved giving candy to the kids. He had his yorkie,Katie, with him. She was dressed up in her devil costume which said "Killer" on the shirt. Katie and Nikita (our other dog) would absolutely go nuts every time a trick or treater came on the porch. Daddy loved hollering at her not to bite anybody and having to keep her under control. He knew that she was prone to sneaking up behind people and biting them on the back of their ankles.

We laughed alot that night, both at the dogs and the kids. I took him back to the nursing home at the end of the night. He had just as good a time as I did.

He died 4 days later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Are You Supposed To Be Anyway?

When I was at Ohio State our dorm was having a Halloween Party. It was a typical college party full of fun and drunken debauchery and such. We were all in our costumes cruising from room to room and floor to floor just having a good time in general. I was a ghost. I took the sheet off of my bed and cut a hole in it for my head and then I took my pillow case and cut out two eyeholes and circled them with black magic marker. (If I would have been smarter I would have cut out a mouth hole to make my drinking easier!)

A friend and I went into a suite of some friends of ours. They weren't there so we decided to visit some guys in a room we didn't know. (party, you know) We walked into their room and it was a room full of black guys. We started to laugh and talk with them but they weren't friendly at all. It was really starting to hurt my drunken feelings. Finally one of them said to me, "What in the hell are you supposed to be anyway?!" Of course I replied in my very West Virginia twang that I was a ghost. They all looked at each other as if to say, "yeah right". It was obviously not a friendly atmosphere so my friend and I left.

Once we were out of the room my friend pointed out to me that they thought I was dressed as a KKK klansmen. My southern accent only made things worse. This had not even dawned on me as a costume possibility, but after looking in the mirror I could see where they would think that. I felt really bad about it and I wanted to go back to talk to them to tell them that I most definitely not a KKK person. My friend convinced me that it would be best not to make a big deal out of it though. It just goes to show that appearances are deceiving and you should never assume anything about someone.

Real Life is Scary - Even When You're Having Fun

When I was in junior high school we were in the Smokey Mountains for a family vacation. We were at a go-cart track in Pigeon Forge which is a tourist town at the base of the hills. My Brother, Billy, and my sister, Rhonda, and I were having a ball driving around the go-cart track at full speed like we did everything when we were kids. We didn't know what slow meant on anything!

I had used up my time and was sitting in the van with my mom and dad watching Billy and Rhonda go around the track when my sister wrecked. I remember seeing the whole thing and sitting there frozen in place even though I wanted to help her. One second she was flying around the track and the next she was spinning in circles (not rolling thank God!). and she was lying on her back on the go-cart. When it finished spinning she did not get up. My parents raced out of the van to her and I sat there frozen - just watching people keep driving around the track and thinking someone was going to hit her.

The employees at the track finally got everybody to stop while people rushed to help my sister. She still did not get up - she couldn't. Her waist length, long brown hair had tangled around the driveshaft of the engine. Her hair had been blowing in the wind (this was in the 70's and nobody wore helmets) and had got caught in the engine. It had wrapped completely around the driveshaft up to her scalp and she was wedged against the hot engine and it was burning her scalp. It took less than a second for this to happen. One second full speed, next second stopped.

People were hollering for scissors to cut her hair to free her but nobody had scissors. To free her a mechanic had to take the whole engine apart to get to the driveshaft to untangle her hair. It seemed to take forever.The whole time Rhonda was laying there screaming for them not to cut her hair. They offered to call an ambulance but my dad rushed her to the hospital. For some reason when he was carrying her into the emergency room (she was 12 years old) I remember thinking, "He really does love her afterall."

Rhonda had whiplash from the wreck (something my parents said didn't exist), she had headaches and neckaches for years after that. The force of her hair pulling into the engine had caused her scalp to rip in several places. She had to have stitches. Worse of all for her they had to cut a big patch of hair out of the back of her head. (We both had long hair all of our lives and niether of us could imagine having short hair) For months she wore a scarf or bandana to cover the bald spot. The hats made it appear that she had hair to her butt like she always did.

When we got back home she was the first girl drafted into Little League in our county. (Probably the whole state for all I know) I remember sitting in the bleachers hearing people at her first game asking if that was a girl out there - like they couldn't tell with her waistlength hair. Even with her baseball cap she still had to wear that bandana to cover the bald spot. My parents didn't even think about not letting her play because she was light years better than any girl around - and most of the boys for that matter.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


When I was 12 years old I got a yellow Panasonic tape recorder for my birthday. One day I was being silly and I was walking around the house interviewing household appliances. I would interview the commode and flush it for an answer or the door and slam it at the appropriate time. I did this all over the house.

At the end of my interview I asked the question, "Is there anybody else in this house that wants to be interviewed?" Of course there was no answer and I turned off the tape. However when I replayed the tape and I asked the question, just as I asked it, I did get an answer. I heard a cat meow.

My cat had been missing for about 10 days. We had no other cats. I never did see my cat again. I wonder...

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Fruth Ghost

Blog Entry Oct 12, '08 3:35 AM
for everyone

We all have had our little run-ins with the Fruth ghost. He is usually a ghost which moves things around and makes noises - not one that you see. Although there are a couple of people who claim to have seen "him". According to my friend Kim, his name is Oscar and he is a butcher. (Our store used to be a Kroger's grocery store before it was a Fruth). It was a cemetery before that.

Sometimes after we close you will hear somebody talking in the back and no one will be there or you will hear a noise that makes you wonder "how did that happen?" More than anything though things mysteriously move for no reason. I have had several "encounters" with what I consider to be the ghost and I have heard the noises and the voices after closing.

I was walking down an aisle once when I first started working at Fruth. There was a whole pile of comic books in the floor. I picked them up and put them in their place and I started to walk off. After taking a few steps all the comic books fell in the floor again. I silently cussed myself for not putting them back properly and I went back and put them firmly back on the shelf in their proper place. I walked off again. When I was about halfway down the aisle I heard one of the comic books fall again. "Well Crap!" I thought to myself as I turned to go back to the comic books. As I turned another one fell in the floor, then another and then another. They were falling one at a time as if someone was thumbing through them one by one and making them fall. This happened until they were all in the floor again. I decided that I would just leave them alone and I walked off. If somebody wanted them in the floor, who was I to argue about it!

Another time Anita and I were closing. There were 2 men talking beside the door and one of them left. The other man went over to the magazines and started looking at one. I could see the corner of his head and the pages of the magazine turning. Anita had gone to the back. The alarm went off and I locked the doors and I went to my register to wait on the man to leave. I couldn't see him anymore but I knew he did not go out because he would have had to go right past me.

A few minutes later Anita called the front of the store and wanted to know why I wasn't back in the office yet. I told her I was waiting on the man to leave. She said it was ridiculous that he was still there and she came up front. She did not see him on the way and she asked me where he was. I told her that the last time I had seen him he was reading the magazines. She made an announcement that the store was closed and for all shoppers to come to the front to pay for their purchases. Nobody came.

She knew who I was talking about when I described him because she had seen him before she went back to the office. She walked the perimeter of the store and she didn't see anybody. We decided to call the police because it is a pharmacy afterall and there had been a rash of oxycontin thefts in the area. The policeman came immediately. He searched the entire store including the stock area. He did not find anyone.

He told me to pull my drawer and he kindly waited until we were ready to leave before he left. The only other way out was the back door in the stock area and the man would have had to pass Anita to go out that way. She reviewed the security tapes the next day. She saw no sign that the man had ever been in the store.

It's Halloweeeen! It's Halloweeeen!

Blog Entry Oct 12, '08 5:25 PM
for everyone

When I lived in Huntington I lived in a house with a wheelchair ramp for my dad. One Halloween a little boy comes tromping up the ramp in his cowboy boots with his little cowboy hat askew and yelling, "Halloweeeen! Halloweeeen!" He was saying "Halloweeeen," instead of yelling, "trick or treat!" He was absolutely adorable.

He fell in love with the ramp. His mom and I talked for a couple of minutes while he marched back and forth along the ramp having a grand old time. It came time for them to leave and his mother said, " Come on, Walter, it's time to go." Well Walter would have none of it. He laid down on his back and started to kick and scream and through a class A temper tantrum. Of course his mom was apologizing the whole time trying to reason with him to get up and go.

Finally I looked at Walter and said, "Walter you are welcome to play on my ramp all night long if you want to, but while you are here all these other kids are going to these other houses and getting ALL the candy!" Little Walter immediately bounced back up and raced down the street squealing, "HALLOWEEEEN! HALLOWEEEEN!" He was the cutest trick or treater ever!

Later that night on his way home Walter made sure to swing by my house and march across the ramp a couple of more times.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Friend Joe

My friend, Joe, had a stroke today. Some of you know him as Joe, the blind pirate. We have been computer room buddies ever since I moved in here. He has been sick lately. He probably had a light stroke a couple of weeks ago but he refused to go to the hospital. His family has been checking on him frequently. His niece gave me her number a couple weeks ago in case I thought I needed to call them.

Today there was a church dinner downstairs. Joe didn't make it down, so I fixed him a plate and took it to his apartment. I knocked on the door and he yelled. So I waited. He didn't come to the door. So, I knocked again and he yelled again, but it was muffled. I really couldn't hear what he was saying. I waited some more. Finally I knocked again and he said, "What day is this?"

"Sunday!" I yelled back and he said, "he would see me tomorrow." I thought this was strange but I left. The more I thought about it the more I knew something just wasn't right. (Joe always lets me in) I called his niece. She rushed over. She called an ambulance. He is at the hospital now. She thanked me profusely for calling.

I told her I was worried that I may have called for nothing. She assurred me that she would not have been mad and not to ever hesitate to call even if I think it's nothing. At this point I don't know if he will be back or if he will end up in a nursing home or worse...

Flying Hugs

There was one life changing, lasting consequence to the "scare that backfired on me" (see next blog). Up until that point my nephew, Arnie, used to give me flying hugs. From the time he could walk to when he was 7 years old, anytime he saw me, he would take a run and go and fly into my arms and I would spin him around and around. It did not matter where we were, that flying hug was our special greeting.

The first time he saw me after I was hurt by the mob (he was in that mob). He ran to give me a flying hug and we both ended up in the floor. It took months and his feelings were tremendously hurt before he realized I was hurt and I could not give him our special hug anymore.

He also did not know how I got hurt because I expressly forbade Billy and Lisa to tell him that I got hurt Halloween night when he and the other kids attacked me. They were all too small to understand what had actually transpired that night and Arnie has always had a heart of gold. I knew he would not be able to bear the thought that he had something to do with my injury.

By the time I was well again, he was much too old for flying hugs.

I still miss them. Sometimes he still asks me if I remember them too.

This Scare Seriously Backfired on Me!

I was a ghost at a friends Halloween party for her daughter. There were at least 50 kids there who were aged from infant to 12 years old. I spent the night running around the outside of the house appearing at windows and doorways and hiding before the kids could find me. (I was a very effective ghost!)

At the end of the evening I decided to go upstairs and run through the crowd and scare the living daylights out of them before I went home. I sneaked in the front door and up the stairs and burst into the room screaming and running through those lovely children. The next thing I knew this mob of screaming, clawing, biting, hitting, kicking children started whaling on me unmercifully!!! There were no adults up there to help me or take control of the situation.

If I had not had years of experience breaking up greyhound fights without hurting them, I would have been forced to hurt those little darlings just to break free! When I finally extricated myself from the mob I took off running. The only part of my costume that was left on me was a piece around my neck and a piece around my waist. Just when I got to the top of the stairs one of the little s clotheslined me! I was dangling down the stairs and the only thing holding me up was a piece of material around my neck that was strangling me!

I managed to twist my neck so that I broke free and promptly went thumping down the stairs to land at Sis' feet who was running to see what all the commotion was. At this point I thought the whole thing was hilarious and recounted the story of the kids trying to kill the ghost. We all had a good laugh. However I wasn't laughing the next morning.

I went to get out of bed and I couldn't. I mean to say I was physically unable to raise up and what little bit I did move put me in excruciating, backstabbing pain. It took me about 20 minutes to roll out of bed. (and I mean roll and plop soundly on the floor) I had to crawl to a phone to call for help. When I told my boss I couldn't walk, he thought I had a sprained ankle or something. I had to explain to him that my legs were paralyzed and I had dragged myself in pain to the phone. He said he would be right over.

I managed to stand by pulling myself up by the side of the couch and I staggered, holding anything that was available, to the car before he got there. I drove myself to the hospital. When I went to get out of the car I couldn't stand up again. I pulled myself up by sheer strength of will by my arms only and was supporting myself between the door and the roof of the car when a man found me. He was kind enough to go into the hospital and get me a wheelchair and wheel me in.

Anyway it took 6 months of therapy and 2 years to get myself right again. The moral is "DON'T SCARE THE OUT OF LITTLE KIDS WITHOUT PROTECTION!!!"