Tag Archives: silliness

tale of the pink hippopotamus

Long ago (last weekend) in a strange and foreign land (the mall) there lived a pink hippopotamus. Actually ‘lived’ isn’t quite right….

Long ago in a strange and foreign land, a pink hippopotamus was being held hostage in a glass prison by an evil claw. Many brave villagers attempted to free the poor hippo from the prison where the evil claw held her captive along with many other exotic animals. Alas, none was able to vanquish the evil claw in battle, and the pink hippo sufferred in silence until, one magical day (last Saturday) a brave warrior and his family came to the strange land in search of sturdy footwear (running shoes) for the brave warrior.

The search was long and fruitless, so the entire family stopped at the local tavern (the food court) in search of food, drink and a respite from the throngs of other villagers also searching for trinkets and tasty bits. Upon aquiring grog and meat pies (Sonic and some Japanese stuff) the weary troupe settled down for a brief repast. As they enjoyed their meal (yeah, right….mall food) and observed the antics of some of the younger villagers, the matriarch of the family (that would be, um, me) was taken aback at the sight of the imprisoned pink hippopotamus.

It should be noted here that the family matriarch holds a special affinity in her heart for the noble hippopotamus, having been summarily equated to the beast many years ago by her young suitor, now her soulmate and patriarch of the family. It should also be noted that the comparison between beast and maiden was made in jest and endearment, whereas now the similarities are a bit more, um, veritable.

In a brave attempt to free the pink hippo from its glass prison, the brave warrior offerred to challenge the evil claw to a duel. (Actually, I dared the Wubby to try and get the hippo from the claw game and gave him 4 quarters.) The battle ensued. Both sides fought heartily, and although the young warrior was indeed brave in his quest against the evil claw, he was defeated. He returned to the family to regain his strength (finish eating the Japanese stuff) and possibly prepare for one final bout with the enemy (if anyone had any more quarters.)

After fashioning one more weapon to use against the evil claw (yep, I had 2 more quarters mixed in with the Dominican pesos in my wallet) the young warrior went back into battle, his sister the princess attending to him as he fought. The elders could not bear to face the carnage, so they looked away and prayed for the safety of the warrior, princess and humble hippo.

Moments passed. Tension mounted. Would the warrior vanquish the claw and free the hippo? Or would the evil claw again best the warrior and take his weapons?? (Would we ever get out of the mall????)

An eerie silence settled over the tavern, until, suddenly a cry of victory arose from the warrior as he snatched the hippo from the jaws of death and delivered it to his matriarch.

(Actually, after grabbing the hippo with the claw, dropping it into the drawer-thingy and pulling it out of the whatever-you-call-it, he tossed it across the food court to me and, as I reached out to catch it, I managed to hit hubby in the head with it.)

Having rescued the pink hippo, the family continued the quest for appropriate footwear and also aquired some recent broadsheets for perusal at a later date. As matriarch and princess wandered from one merchant stall to another, villagers looked on in amazement at the happy hippo. The princess, though, was somewhat subdued by the presence of the hippo among the clan. (You know it’s embarrassing for a 14-year-old girl to be seen walking in the mall, with her mom who is carrying a stuffed animal.)

Gathering their parcels, everyone left for home, where the pink hippopotamus now lives in freedom from the claw and has been befriended by the large family feline who, upon seeing the lovely fluffiness of the hippo’s pink coat, became immediately enchanted by it and now likes to cuddle up with it as he settles in for a long after-dinner nap.

And so, patriarch, matriarch, warrior, princess, feline and hippo now live in harmony in the ancestral cottage.

Until sometime soon, when we pack up all our stuff and move down the road.

Poor hippopotamus might wish she was back in the mall before it’s all over.


the yard

Back when I was working I used to love to mow the grass, for several reasons. The parameters were well-defined, and never sufferred from scope creep. The process had a definite beginning, progress was obvious, and completion was attainable. I could be creative in the process: mow the front yard first, or the back, or the side; mow in circles, or rows, or both. And I never had to stop in the middle of the process and do something over, or do something for someone else, or switch to another project…unless I wanted to.

I still love to mow the grass, but now the thought processes have changed focus. I look at the maple tree in the front yard, and remember when Wubby was little and we decorated the tree with plastic eggs for Easter. If I picked him up he could reach the top of the tree. Not anymore. Now I mow around the tree and, every time, my mind picks up on an old Bobby Goldsboro song, “Honey”. If you know it, then you know it’s a sappy, tear-jerker of a song. The first line: “See the tree, how big it’s grown.” And it has. “Honey” was a favorite of my Dad’s, and now that he’s gone the song has lost its sappy-ness and gained poignancy.

Here are some pictures Little Girl took around the yard. I’m not sure what the proper name is for the big yellow flower. We call them Wedding Bells, and they grow on that large bushy plant in the next picture. The veggies are a few of the spoils from our baby garden. And the sunflowers are just pretty. Oh, the zuchini plant….good grief.

I’ve never been much of a horticulturist, but I’m learning. It’s never too late, I suppose.

Post Script: Here’s the third verse of the worst country song lyrics, ever:

Well, Bob put out the fire but

Brenda’s engine block was toast

So she jumped up on his Harley

And they headed for the coast

Made a pit stop the next morning

At the Waffle House in York  

Brenda had some coffee and

Bob, he got his pork



flames of loooooooooooooooooooooove

watch ‘em buuuuuuuuuuuuuurn

That early breakfast

Wasn’t worth a durn

flames of loooooooooooooooooooooove

well it hurts so baaaaaaaaaaaaad

Didn’t tip the waitress

And dang but she was mad

an experiment

I bugged out of a writer’s workshop yesterday. Just had a feeling about it, and I overslept…and there were more important things to do and more important people to hang out with.

For a while now, hubby and I have been joking around about writing “The WORST Country Music Lyrics, Ever.” Years ago hubby’s dad wrote a country song entitled “Blood Under My Fingernails.” It should have been published and recorded. He tried, without success. It’s a shame too, because Hank Williams could have done something marvelous with it.

So, this evening we started writing the WORST country music lyrics, ever. We have two verses and a chorus.

The Worst Country Song Lyrics Ever


2:00 AM in Texas

3:15 in Alabam’

He was drivin’ on the freeway

lookin’ for some country ham

Saw her on the shoulder

as she watched the flames arise

From the engine of her pickup

and his heart woke up his eyes.


Her hair was long and curly

Miss Clairol, number eight

Her legs were long and luscious

Oh, he could hardly wait

He pulled over, grabbed his Amerex

Model fourteen, color: black

Then he raced up to her engine

And he pulled that trigger back.



flames of loooooooooooooooooooooove

watch ‘em buuuuuuuuuuuuuurn

Bob and Brenda

When will they ever learn

flames of loooooooooooooooooooooove

well it hurts so baaaaaaaaaaaaad

when the fire’s extinguished

it was the best they’d ever had.


Now it’s someone else’s turn. Next verse please.


sunburn on my shoulders (and other things that hurt)

So, we just got home from a day at the regional amusement park with five, count them, FIVE teenagers. Son, son’s girlfriend, daughter and her two best friends, both of whom might as well live here. One of them practically does live here. As the basketcase in The Breakfast Club (Ally Sheedy) said, her homelife is “unsatisfying.” The other friend met our little girl when they both entered third grade at a new charter school. She lives on a horse farm, so it was preordained for the two of them to become fast friends. But, since she lives in town and we don’t—yes, the horse farm is in the city—they don’t get to see each other as often.

What happens when you spend the day at an amusement park, walking a little and spending the rest of the time next to the wave pool, under an umbrella, without SPF 50 sunscreen? I wouldn’t want to find out, because I had the SPF 50 and I still have sunburned shoulders, and a sunburned face. Yes, I look as old as my old friends this evening. And my feet hurt…..I wore Merrel sandals all day, and my feet hurt. This is not supposed to happen, it says so right on the Merrel box. Ouch.

My son splurged and purchased an iPod for me. A used iPod, which is fine except for the lack of information on how to work the darned thing. What did we do before the internet???? I ask myself this question a hundred times a day. Some niggling thing starts rummaging around in my brain, like when I see a rerun of Star Trek:TNG and recognize a quest star as someone from a movie I’ve seen recently, only I can’t remember which move it was. What to do, kiddies? My brain will not let me rest until I remember what movie, so I hit imdb.com, find the episode of ST:TNG I’m watching, figure out the actress’ name, then search on her movies and ta-da! Instant answer. (Her name is Fionnula Flanagan, she was in the movie The Others with Nicole Kidman, she played a ghost, and she also played Lt. Cmdr. Data’s “mother”, an android.)

Where was I? Oh, internet, iPod, and things that hurt. The iPod decided to put itself in disk mode. I had absolutely nothing to do with it, like randomly pushing buttons trying to get the thing to turn on or off since I didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t have documentation because if I had I would have known not to randomly push bottons to turn it on and there’s really no such thing as turning it off. So, I had to reset and reload. Ouch.

It’s time to start considering what to pack for Arizona. I like going on trips; I hate to pack. Ouch.

Little girl and I are going on a trail ride while we’re out west. I had not been on a horse since before my knee surgery last October, so I decided I’d better give it a try before we leave. Tuesday evening we went to the barn, chased down a green quarter horse named Henri who reminds me of my quarter horse we sold last year, saddled him up and I rode. Henri hates being made to stay on the rail, like my horse did. We argued a bit about where he was supposed to be until he finally gave in and stayed on the rail. He did try once to push me into the rail. He did not succeed. But, having not ridden in seven months, I awoke yesterday morning sore all over, and remembered reading that horseback riding is second only to swimming as the best overall body exercise. Ouch.

Things that make me say “Hmmmmmmmmmmmm…”:

My list of activities that have caused ouchies this week are things that are fun. Well, maybe not the reset and reload. But, playing with kids, or just spending time with hubby in the shade under the umbrella next to the wave pool at the amusement park, riding a horse, taking the trip after the painful packing is done. There’s something profound in there somewhere, I know it. Sort of ‘no pain, no gain’, only I can’t find words for ‘fun’ and ‘ouch’ that rhyme, because I just scratched my head.

I think my scalp is sunburned.



Writer’s Block

At night the words come out to play

Skipping along through my head, as I lay

On the pillow, awake, reviewing the day.

The price I will pay for these words in the light

Of tomorrow—frustration, fatigue, and the fight

Between words and myself that started last night.

In daylight, the words scamper and hide

In my brain, inaccessible, taunting my pride

In occasionally catching them, stemming the tide

Of the thoughts that tease me, dare me to chase

Them, hunting them down all over the place

To write them on paper, thus winning the race.

To those scurrilous words I say, “Taunt me no more!

I’m sleeping tonight; I’ve settled the score

Between you and me.”

I hope I don’t snore.