Monday, 1 February 2016

Easy Cinnamon Chocolate Cake Not So Easy After All

Friday night had company for supper and baked Easy Chocolate Cinnamon cake, double recipe, in XL pyrex.

Company did not finish cake.

OMG Is that your complaint? I agree. I hate being stuck with leftover cake. Who wants to have cake lying around. Especially chocolate. That's the worst.

Saturday morning I wake up and thugs my teenagers and their friends have eaten the entire middle of the cake leaving only a narrow strip of crusty cake pieces on either side.

OH Man. No wonder you are complaining. I feel your pain. Crusty chocolate is just not worthy. Need more gooey chocolate.

Later that same day am making conversation with Almost Complete Stranger who mentions that she has two older teenage boys still living at home plus a daughter who is a serious athlete.

It must be IMPOSSIBLE to keep them fed, I say sympathetically thinking about my chocolate cake crust. My kids and their friends eat every piece of chicken that isn't nailed down. (Not that we nail chicken down, it's an expression.)

Well, says Almost Complete Stranger. I used to have four boys. One died during open heart surgery when he was 17 almost 18.


And the other was murdered. Shot and killed in an alley. Wrong place at the wrong time.


So I guess keeping the other ones fed is the least of your problems then? I actually said. And we both laughed.

Sunday morning I wake up and XL pyrex is in fridge, covered in tin foil, but completely empty. All the cake was gone.

Never felt so lucky in my life.

Morals of the Story (Choose One)

1. Yes, complaining is fun, but never forget how lucky you have it.

2. Even when faced with the dark tragedy of a complete stranger, a joke may be appropriate.

3. Just because Complete Stranger gets shot in gun fight doesn't mean you can't put finished cake pan in the sink.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Move Over Madoff, New Game In Town

Treat self to upscale manicure in nicer than usual neighbourhood.

Back into parking space with enough room to land a Boeing 747 Dreamliner.

Lady sitting in passenger seat of ScreamingYellow car behind me.

Gets out of car and says You hit my son's car and my son is not going to be happy.

Didn't hear or feel anything but then again am not the best driver so let's investigate further.

Oh I'm really sorry, I say. Let's see the damage.

She points to a dent at the bottom of her son's bumper.

I look at my bumper. There is no Screaming Yellow on it. Also, my bumper is miles higher than hers because I drive an SUV and her car is very close to the ground. If I backed into her son's car, the dent would be on the hood of the car.

She asks me for a pen so that we can exchange information.

Sure. Let me hand you a pen so that you can take my license and registration for a car accident that I wasn't even in.

I don't think so, lady.

Get back into my car and find parking space far away from Screaming Yellow.

Walk past same spot and see Screaming Yellow accusing next person backing in of denting her son's car.

OH MY G-D Screaming is pulling a scam.

Sits and waits in car and accuses women of denting her car until someone probably pulls some cash out of their Gucci wallet just to make the problem go away.

Complaint Tie-Ins

1. Con artists should carry their own pens or at least put info in an iPhone like everyone else.

2. True your car won't end up on a set of cement bricks, but parking in nice neighbourhood could still carry with it own set of dangers so please stay on your game.

3. No such thing as free lunch when it comes to mani/pedis. More expensive manicure was actually much nicer and lasted longer than cheaper walk-in counterparts.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Happy Ending

Friend's Husband orders case of Hand cream.

Never arrives.

Husband calls Customer Service.

They say they sent it.

Husband calls back.

Customer Service says they have proof Husband signed for it.

Husband's hands still shockingly dry.

Hand cream Customer Service produces two signed receipts from small towns they have never been to - and would not purposefully go to -  unless possibly starring in an episode of the Amazing Race.

Husband says to Wife: Am Desperate for Hand Cream. You Figure This Out. And passes her the baton, along with his grocery list, dry cleaning receipt and dirty socks.

Wife calls Customer Service almost enough to warrant a restraining order with an alarming frequency until finally speaks to Hand cream Customer Service Agent and explains urgency of situation.

Would you like a refund?

No. I would like my Husband's Hand cream.

Can I interest you in some of our newer products?

No. I would like my Husband's Hand cream.

Hand cream Customer Service Agent confirms that package has been traced and that it will be a few weeks before the order can be shipped because there are some internal procedures that need to be re-engineered.

Friend says she has no doubt that there are processes to be re-engineered. For example, you need to send the product to the person who orders it, not some mysterious address thousands of kilometres away.

However, your internal processes are not my concern, she says.

My husband's lack of Hand cream is, she also says.

So please. Please. Let me know How he can have the hand cream by tomorrow.

Hand cream Customer Service Agent says OK. You win. I will write the label by hand myself. I will drive the hand cream to the closest courier service. Tomorrow at this time, your Husband's hands will be downright silky.

Complaint Lessons Learned

1. Hand cream is not to be taken internally therefore internal processes none of our business.

2. You need to ask for what you want as resolution to your complaint (Hand cream by tomorrow).

3. If you are clear on what you will and won't accept sometimes you can get the Customer Service Agent to pull a pen out of her pocket and fill the label out herself.

3. The key to a happy marriage will sometimes surprise you.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Overheard At A Shiva

I pick her up, she jumps in the car and is like MOM! The movie we saw in after-school today was sooooo inappropriate. So, I'm like, what movie? I mean like I normally let my kids watch like, I don't know, like Two and A Half Men or whatever. So for her to freak out like that, I'm like Shit this must be really bad.

K, go on.

So she says to me, It wasn't just the Grade Threes MOM. There were Grade Twos there and I think the Grade One class. Oh no wait. The Grade One class was in the gym. Maybe that was the kindergarteners. Anyway Ms. Fairchild's class was there, and Mme. Lamontagne's class and MOM I really think you would NOT have liked the movie.

What movie?? I can't imagine where this story is going.

K, hold on. So she says to me: They let us watch Bridesmaids.

BRIDESMAIDS? ARE YOU SERIOUS? OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL COULD THEY POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN OH MY GOD so whadja do? Didja call the school? I would've, oh jeez. I don't know what I would've done.

So I call the school and I speak to the Principal and I'm like, Listen. We usually love the after-school program blah blah blah and the counsellors are usually so blah blah and I'm so sorry I have to call you about this.

OH MY GOD you SO did the right thing. So was she like Oh my god or was she just like whatever?

Well she asked me like So what movie was it? And I told her Bridesmaids and she was like Are you sure? That's really strange. That really doesn't sound like something they would do.

So I go back to Fake Kids' Name and I say Are you sure the movie was called Bridesmaids? And she goes to me - are you ready for this -

I'm dying. 

She goes to me - it was something with a bride. Oh yeah, now I remember. The movie was called Princess Bride.

Complaint Lessons Learned

1. Collect all the appropriate data before you lodge a complaint
2. Start with after-school. Work your way up to the Principal only if necessary
3. If your star witness is an eight year old you may have a problem
4. Even at the most tragic of shivas, if you listen hard enough you will hear a funny story

Monday, 28 December 2015

Key Chain of Events

1. Knitting Weekend
Amy you can't leave your house keys clipped to your car keys.
You are Asking For Trouble.
This is a Huge Security Risk.
Now that we have that straightened out, let's put away our lobby knitting, take out our free drink coupons and get this party started.

2. Found
Here is a bag of my mother-may-she rest-in-peace's old jewellery. And oh look a keychain that looks kind of sleek.
Totally perfect.
Unclip housekeys and put on old/new keychain.

3. Downtown
Going out for Korean food at swanky downtown location with Professor BFF and can't be late because time is ticking when you are leading a robotics lab and researching computer vision.
Plan to take Metro (Montreal for subway) so pack very small purse.

4. Post Office
First drive daughter to school and stop at Post Office to mail hand-knit hat to my Literary Agent. Decline insurance or tracking on package because What Could Possibly Go Wrong.

5. Home
Stop at home to pee and drop off car.
No house keys.
Empty bag.
Still no house keys.
Call Post Office.
No but have you tried our Lost and Found.
Not at Lost and Found or any other morning errand locations.
Give up and drive downtown.
(Peed at Tim Horton's thank you for caring.)

6. Office
Go to Husband's office to pick up his house keys so I can get back into house.

7. Oh No
Have absolutely no explanation for where keys could have gone except for one very glaring possibility.
When squishing hand knit hat into small purse, keychain with house keys must have gotten caught in hat.
Oh, the humiliation.

8. Humiliation
Dear Agent (that I am trying to impress),
It has come to my attention that perhaps my house keys were entangled in the hat I sent you. So please accept my house as your Christmas gift.
Can you please, please, PLEASE let me know if the keys do indeed show up?
With respect, admiration and gratitude,
I remain,
Yours sincerely,

9. Found
Found house keys in the back of my car. Clipped them back to car keys.

Possible Literary Themes
  1. Every thing comes full circle
  2. All is well that ends well
  3. Computer vision researchers know great lunch places (And dinner too - click here to read what happened last time we went out to eat.)
  4. Don't believe everything you hear on knitting weekend
  5. If you have the right Agent she will rejoice in all your crazy capers along with you and your characters

Monday, 21 December 2015

Gift Exchange Complaints 2015

1. Am I really supposed to read Portrait of Dorian Gray? I'm only 10 years old.

2. Why does my brother/sister/cousin/golden retriever always get the Oreos and I'm stuck with candy cane flavoured Tootsie Roll lollipops?

3. Uh, sure, hand-knitted gifts are, um, fine.

4. Why am I stuck with the Oreos when my brother/sister/cousin/irish setter always gets the cool stuff like candy cane flavoured Tootsie Roll lollipops?

5. Chocolate marshmallow Santas? For Hannukah? Next thing you know we'll be drinking coffee out of red cups.

6. Oh. Sorry. I could've sworn you said under $10.