Santa Claus and Transvestites

January 7, 2010

More random stuff

Bernadette was out running errands with Penelope yesterday and stopped at a bagel store for lunch. Since Penelope can pack away the food, we have to eat at the cheapest places we can find.

So, the two of them are sharing lunch when a man with long white hair and a bushy white beard sits near them. He waves to Penelope and strikes up a conversation with Bern. Within five minutes he starts detailing his long list of medical problems: liver trouble, heart disease, food poisoning and chronic fatigue syndrome.

As he starts discussing his bout with lyme disease, Penelope points at him and exclaims, “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

Yes, Penelope, while there is a Santa Claus, he most assuredly doesn’t eat at the bagel shop and talk about food poisoning.

Bern is talented at attracting bat-shit crazy folk. Two Januarys ago, while vacationing in Chicago (yes it was cold; it was 15 below zero in Chi-town when the plane landed), we had a strange experience at a piano bar. I wandered off for a few moments to determine whether the person wearing a dress and sitting at the piano was a man or a woman. When I returned to our table, a couple was chatting with Bern. After a few minutes of talking, they offered to buy us drinks. We passed. But then we strongly suspect they propositioned us for a couples’ swap because the man looked at his girlfriend and said “Ready?” and she responded affirmatively. Then they both simultaneously crossed their wrists.

Bern said, “What the hell is that?” and the pair quickly scampered away, leaving their drinks behind. Most peculiar. A friend later convinced us that they were suggesting a mate swap. Anyway, the lesson I learned from this experience was never to wander off to spy on a transvestite in bar.

The New Year

OK, having survived as a parent for a few months in 2009, I’ve decided to set some ambitious — well, not quite — goals for twenty-ten. I’m blogging them here with the belief that if they’re in writing, I might actually achieve them. (Yes, I know it’s a lame theory, but kindly work with me here!)

1. I will learn how to change a diaper in a public bathroom while Penelope is standing.

2. I will figure out the purpose of the goofy plastic blue bath toy Penelope has. I have no idea where it came from or what it does, and the one time I tried to hide it in a closet, Penelope dug it out.

3. I’ll learn how to get tights on a squirming wiggle worm.

4. I will stop raiding Penelope’s animal crackers after I put her to bed. Did you know Animal Crackers contain no trans fats and there’s only 100 calories in 13 of them? However, I’m not sure if that claim is truly accurate since I didn’t check the fine print to see if some animals have a higher caloric content than others.

5. Since we brought Penelope home last August, I’ve only finished four books. So, I’ve compiled a list of 20 books to read or re-read this year. They include:

— Pride and Prejudice. Every time I start this book, Bern gets all worked up because she believes she has yet another excuse to watch the PBS 427-hour miniseries with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. I immediately place the book back on the shelf.

— Tom Jones. I thought it was a biography about the singer until someone told me otherwise. (You’ve been a great crowd, good night. I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.)

— War and Peace. Yes, the book is 1200 pages long and the print is microscopic, but it weighs about 17 pounds and the additional upper-body conditioning would do me some good.

— Don Quixote de la Mancha. Yes, I need a reminder about attacking windmills. Actually, I want to re-read this because I had a conversation about this book recently and am not so sure about my interpretation of the ending.

— Remembrance of Things Past. Because I’m thinking of titling my autobiography “Remembrance of Things Pabst.” OK, that’s an old joke but I still enjoy it.

Footnote: Yesterday, a friend from work gave me a box of Maltesers that her boyfriend brought from Scotland. Maltesers are similar to malt balls, but lighter. And while I was hoping they’d have scotch in them (they don’t), they were real tasty. So much for that New Year’s diet!

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