Dear US MINT
I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that you can ease up on the pennies. I’ve got way too many of them. I’ve got enough to last me for the rest of my life, to be honest. Plus, they are only worth a penny each, so it works out that I spent more on the bank that holds them than the face value of the contents. That doesn’t really seem fair. I have heard of charities who do penny drives, and I will certainly keep my eyes open for one near me, but in the meantime, I have pennies everywhere. Every surface is a great place to put a penny. I’ve got them in my wallet, in the console of my car, on my bureau, and in my change jar. They are on top of my CPU at work, as well as in the pencil tray. Gosh, I wish there was a penny candy store around the corner so I could unload these puppies and get something really cool in return. Like orange-flavored Tootsie Roll Midgees. Or Sixlets. You know, the best candy you can buy for little or no money.
My biggest problem for the past two years was keeping them away from my son because there have been reports that of all pocket change, pennies can cause some sort of poisoning if ingested. Of course, this would make for an interesting episode of “Diagnosis: Murder,” don’t you think? Kill someone by making them eat a handful of change!
So all I’m asking is that you declare another penny shortage so that I’ll feel really good about all the hoarding I’ve done the past couple of years, and the bank won’t look at me sideways when I bring in my jar.
Dear Martha Stewart,
I hope I’m not interrupting anything particularly urgent. I assume you’re taking a short break now that the holidays are over. You do seem to have a lot going on at the holidays. Does anyone ever invite YOU over?
Anyhoo, I know that there are a lot of people taking up your time these days, so I’ll keep this brief. I was reading my “The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said” Page A Day calendar (I know, I know, I should make my own) and on Jan 5, 1999 they had a quote from you. Do you remember saying
“I catnap now and then…but I think while I nap, so it’s not a waste of time.”
I haven’t been very successful at doing anything during my naps. Well, other than getting pillow marks on my face. What kinds of things do you think of? The other night I “thought” about my house suddenly being part of a retirement village and everyone was pounding on our door because they wanted to borrow our wet-vac. Is that what you mean by thinking?
I’d sure love to clear this up. Feel free to drop me a line.
Okay, let’s cut with the attitude, shall we? We started the season as friends. You were green and growing, and we watered and mowed you and said things like “Wow, it looks like a golf course, doesn’t it?” just to make you feel good about yourself.
Then due to your primary caregiver’s horrendous travel schedule, you didn’t get the Scott’s Phase One when you were supposed to. By the time I went to buy it, the guy at Home Depot wouldn’t sell it to me. Hey, Phase One means phase one, and if you pass through the International Phase Two Dateline, don’t expect to find a single bag lying around of One. But I digress.
I bought the two, and some other things I thought you might like, including a new spool of trimmer line, and brought them home. We fertilized you, because we wanted you to be happy.
But that wasn’t good enough for you, was it? Now we had dead patches everywhere, and not the “burned from fertilizer” brown patches. These were odd. Grubs? Some sort of ice burn from the late snow? Who knows.
So now it’s July. And you kind of look green again, which is nice, don’t get me wrong. But you’re green because every square inch of you is covered with crab grass. Not a blade of Kentucky Blue or Bermuda. Crab grass. And if we kill the crab grass, we’ll look more like a parking lot than a putting green. So cut the crap. Or I’m going to invest in some cement and just pave you right over. THEN who will be having the last laugh? Well, the neighbors again, but you know what I mean.
Dear Ice Cream Man,
Imagine that you are an alcoholic. Okay, now imagine that every day at about 7:30pm a truck full of nips and frozen drinks heads down your street. Imagine that it plays “100 Barrels of Beer on the Wall” very loudly, to let you know that it is coming. Imagine that you sit in a panic, thinking “I want a Mudslide. Or a small bottle of lemon vodka. Just one bottle.”
Now how frightening is this thought? And yet you are making a career of throwing me into this kind of panic attack every evening as you slow to a crawl in front of my house. The Entertainer crackles in the air as you wind up to cruise my neighborhood. We’re the first house you hit once you leave the too-busy cross street, so you sort of park about 100 feet from my house and crank up the music. You pause for effect, in case the people who live in my house are scrambling to find change under the sofa cushions.
In reality, my son is either in bed or watching a little Teletubbies before turning in. He doesn’t know what the music means. Yet. I am standing frozen (no pun intended) with 100 different thoughts running through my head. “I have a couple of dollars in my pocket. I could just go out there. If I went out right now I could stop him. I don’t need the calories. I have some low fat ice cream in the freezer, if I really want ice cream. It’s too expensive. I can’t leave Mookie in the house while I run outside to make my selection. I’ll go outside and it will be too late, and I’m not going to chase the ice cream truck down the road. I would really really like to buy something today.”
I pray that you will fly by before I give in to the temptation and find my wallet or raid the change jar. Just one Drumstick, right? One Strawberry Shortcake can’t be that bad, can it.
You are evil. You are evil in a white truck playing a very loud, very old song on a crappy speaker. You are not doing me any favors. If you were an “alcohol man” you would be outlawed. Well I’m a snack addict and there isn’t a rehab to be found. Think about this Mr. Cone, next time you are firing up the beast to ease past my house at 2 miles an hour and I don’t come outside. Because every day that I don’t buy something from you, I win. I WIN!
See you tomorrow, man in white.