MY LOUSY WORLD: How I spent my Labor Day vacation


Every now and then, unexpressed sentiments build up and I need a non-specific-subject column to clear the blockage. Like a good suppository, it relieves and frees me up to digest more timely information.

Labor Day — at least the years it falls in September — signifies the official end of summer, and I think I speak for all roofers when I say: “Not a heat stroke too soon.” And what better, more traditional way to celebrate Labor Day than to camp out on the couch watching a Simpsons marathon on FX, as I did.

I’m always struck by yet another profound thought from Homer Simpson. In one episode, he drunkenly strikes a gator with a rented boat while vacationing with his family in the Everglades. Since it was a local mascot of sorts, a corrupt southern sheriff attempts to jail the entire family and Homer is forced to flee.

As a speeding train is bearing down on them, with gritted teeth he attempts to beat it to the tracks. Marge shrieks, “No Homer! You’ll kill us all!” An undeterred Homer, growls, “Or die trying!”

In another episode titled “The Doomsday Episode,” Homer roams the house ringing a bell with a “The end is near” sign around his neck. Marge said with concern, “I’m glad you’re getting exercise; I just wish it wasn’t crazy exercise.” Homer said without blinking, “Marge, in a world gone mad, only a lunatic is truly insane.” When you think about it, it’s so true.

• I don’t consider myself a sucker, but I must try that “My Pillow” from the late-night infomercial. The ones I buy at Wal-Mart start out nestling my sleepy head, but within weeks, stuffing is repositioning like sand in an hourglass. I might as well be resting my head on a sack of Nerf balls. I so want to believe Michael Lindell that My Pillow will “change my life.” And as he patriotically states, his pillow is made in America. I think my pillow (meaning my grossly misshapen one) was made in Yemen!

• I have a network of “Seinfeld” junkies who instantly know what I mean when I say something like, “No soup for YOU!” or “I think it moved.” And we all loved the brouhaha caused when crusty retiree Jack Klompus gave Jerry — then reneged on giving — a prized item when Jerry visited his folks in Boca Raton. What I want to know is: Why hasn’t this pen that writes upside down been invented yet in real life?

Klompus said astronauts used it in space. I’d love to be able to lie on my back and do crossword puzzles while resting on my new My Pillow.

• I don’t know just who I think I am! Intellectually, I know better, yet when I leave the house late, I absolutely feel no one else has a right to be on the road in my vicinity. If I pull into the Burger King Drive-thru at 3 p.m. and there are two cars ahead of me, I’m silently screaming, “What, you have nothing better to do in the middle of the afternoon? Who eats smack-dab in the middle of lunch and supper? Get a job, for God’s sake!”

Every car that causes me to hit a red light because they crept along and slowed on yellow, or pulled out in front of me half a block back, gets a severe cursing under my breath.

In my defense though, each time I angrily call my cable company — about every other day, between my DVR, internet and landline woes — I feel obligated to “hang on for a brief survey.” Even though the annoying, automated troubleshooter only increases my ire before a live agent even speaks a word, and I have nothing to gain from a survey, I feel duty-bound to hang on, giving scarcely-deserved “5” ratings. At least I’ve finally mustered the assertiveness to hang up when they begin asking the exact same questions a second time (right after the time-consuming, “Please estimate in seconds how long it took for your call to be answered. For instance, if it took ...”).

Also, on the extremely rare instances I tell someone off who’s really done me wrong, I still can’t bring myself to actually hang up on them. I might not say a sweet “goodbye,” but at the very least will grunt out a “See ya!” Make no mistake though: I’m gonna growl those words.

So I guess I’m really not such a monster when it’s all said and done. But God help you if I’m running late and you’re in the bank drive-thru line in front of me. I mean, it’s not like you couldn’t have done that earlier!