Tag Archives: humor

A Knight in Shining…erm….Perfectly Pressed Khakis

A Knight in Shining…erm….Perfectly Pressed Khakis
A Knight in Shining…erm….Perfectly Pressed Khakis



Last Sunday, I wheeled my little psychedelic flower patterned carry on luggage into my “home away from home” hotel in Houston a little after 9 pm, anxious to get my room keys and get settled in.
“HEY! Terese!” A big smile from the man behind the counter, and not just because I’m a Platinum Elite member. The last time I heard him say my name, it was not with the jovial brightness that was now standing in front of me.
7:15ish on a Thursday morning, and my hotel room phone rang. I was running late (of course), and it took a second for me to comprehend what the sound was. The hotel room phone? When was the last time anyone had called me on a hotel room phone? Even the hotel now sends text messages to me after check in to let me know they’re glad I’m here.


“Terese.” A solemn statement, not a question, short and hard.


“It’s John, downstairs. Just say yes or no. Do you need help?”

“Ummmm, no. I don’t think so?”

“Are you alright?”

“Ummmm, sure?”

Audible release of breath. “OhthankGod! OK, I have your keys down here. Just stop at the desk and I’ll explain.”
My keys? Thoroughly confused, and with a half of my hair straightened (which makes me look kind of like this)







i headed downstairs.

That’s when I found out I’m an idiot.

I was greeted by a very pale, nervously laughing Laura (desk agent), and a semi-wild eyed John (manager).

“Hey…where’d you find the keys? I didn’t even know they weren’t in my purse.”

“They were in your car.  Which was running.”

Running?  I’d gotten out of that car 12 hours ago.

Laura had come in for her overnight shift, and after a bit noticed that there was a car in the parking lot with the headlights on.  After an hour or so, she determined someone must have just left them on.  Since they only have one person at the desk overnight, it was policy not to leave the office area, so she didn’t go out to turn the lights off.

When John came in, she told him that the lights had been on all night, and she was really surprised that the battery wasn’t dead.  When she pointed out the car, he recognized it as the one I was driving that week.  (I am, after all, an Elite Platinum member.)  He went out to see if the car was unlocked so he could turn off the lights.

“I got about 5 feet away, and realized it was running….and that’s when I went cold.  The car was unlocked, so I opened the door, and saw your security badge laying in the passenger seat.  I turned off the car, and tried to think of the most likely scenarios.  The most logical one was that someone had taken you.”

I let that sink in for a second.  These poor people thought I had been abducted.  No wonder Laura was the color of a fish belly.

I thought back to the night before.  I was at the office late, then stopped to pick up some chicken wings.  I had called my daughter to catch up with how her week was.  I heard myself tell her I was going to jump off because I had just gotten back to the hotel, but then remembered ‘one more thing’ I needed to tell her.

“No purse, so maybe it was a robbery, but that still didn’t explain where you were.  I realized I needed to check the trunk, although it wouldn’t be likely that someone would have parked you here and then shoved you in the trunk.  Anyway, as you know, you weren’t in there.  So, I was back to abduction.  I went back in to call the police, and another scenario hit me:  What if someone had taken you out of the car and into your room?  It was possible that you were being held against your will.  I decided to call your room first, just to make sure.”

“How far down the list of scenarios was the one where the stupid woman got out of her car, gathering her briefcase, purse, and carryout dinner while yacking on the phone with her daughter and just forgot to turn it off?”

“Didn’t make the list.  We actually have training classes on guest safety, and abduction scenarios are covered.  I never thought I would need that training.”  I realized his hands were shaking.  I had terrified these poor people.

I don’t know how much I tried to simultaneously thank them and apologize, but it was a lot.  I couldn’t believe I had done something so careless.  I gathered my keys, ran back to my room to finish my de-frizzing activities, and headed to work.  All day, I was bothered by the thought of how much I’d upset Laura and John, and incredulous that I’d left a car running all night without it being stolen….AND only sucking up 1/4 tank of gas!

There’s no way to sufficiently thank people for caring about you, or apologize for scaring the holy hell out of them.  My poor attempt was a box of fine chocolates for Laura, and a giant coffee mug adorned with pictures of superheroes for John.


Tonight, I grabbed a couple of diet Pepsi’s from the refrigerator in the Pantry section, and asked him to put them on my room.

“What are you doing here on a Sunday night?”

“Someone called in sick, so I had to step in.  Saw your name on the list, and figured it wouldn’t be a dull evening at least.  Got your keys?”  Big smile.

“Eh, maybe.”

He handed over the keys to a room on the second floor, and upstairs I went.  Except, somehow, the security latch was deployed on the door.  To an empty room.  Which is kind of impossible.  I hauled my little suitcase back downstairs.

“Oh, no.  Now what?”  I explained.

“How did that happen?  Nevermind, I’m switching your room.  I’m putting you downstairs next to the office.  It’ll be easier to keep an eye on you.”

Thanks, John.  Elite Platinum has its rewards.

Pumpkin Problems

Pumpkin Problems
Pumpkin Problems

I love this time of year.  It’s still warm, but the promise of cool Fall nights is right around the corner.  I start thinking about crock pot meals and bonfires and baseball playoffs. Our family has a buttload of birthdays from September until the end of the year, which means lots of clan time too, always a plus.

And, I love to decorate for Fall.  The challenge is getting the decor done in time to enjoy it before Christmas shoves all my pumpkins and acorns into storage for another year.  Since it’s also a busy time at work, I sometimes get behind the 8 ball.  More than sometimes.  Pretty much always.  Actually, this describes it perfectly:

Welcome to my pathetic life

Welcome to my pathetic life

Not this year!  This year, I am determined to be bathed in Autumn Splendor by October 1.  I am planning ahead.  I am scheduling.  I am ON IT!

Sometime in July, I became obsessed with this display for Autumn.

How Adorable Is This?

Is that cute, or what?

The best part is that I already have the base bucket!  So, in other words, it was pre-ordained that I was to make this display.  This whole thing is only going to set me back about $15.  I’m a happy camper!

All I needed was a length of rebar, which my MacGyver husband already had, 5 little plastic pumpkin buckets, and some adorable mums.  Easy peasy!

It’s too early to buy mums, but long weekends like this one are meant for projects like this, so I planned on getting my display ready.  Base planter, check.  Rebar, check.  Potting soil, check.  Off to get some pumpkin buckets from the dollar store!

What is going on in America?

This is the standard for a trick or treat bucket. This. Right here.

This is the standard for a trick or treat bucket. This. Right here.

The $1 Shop, Dollar General, nor Family Dollar have these pumpkins.  They have mini (two inch) pumpkins, and orange pails with pumpkin faces on them, but not the required pumpkin shaped and textured treat buckets.  Fail.

Amazon has them for $4.99 ea. plus shipping.  Not eligible for Prime.  Amazon is smoking the ganja.

I checked K-Mart online, and found them for $1.46 each, available in my local store, so off I went.

K-Mart online lied to me.  They have the pumpkin buckets, but only in hot pink, purple, or black.  I’m sorry, when did the signature pumpkin orange go out of style?

What is this? An Easter Pumpkin bucket?

What is this? An Easter Pumpkin bucket?

I happened to spy Marge, a helpful, cheery employee in the Halloween aisle at K-Mart.  I asked her if they had any orange pumpkin buckets.

“We must have….somewhere.”

“I couldn’t find them, only these pink and purple ones.  Oh, and the black.”

“Why wouldn’t we have orange?”

“I, uh, I don’t know.  That’s why I’m asking you.  You must have orange, yes?”

“Well, it’s flippin’ K-Mart, so who knows.”

Thank you, Marge at K-Mart, for confirming that even helpful, cheery employees are baffled by K-Mart’s choice of inventory.

I look at Steve, and know what he’s thinking.  The Big W.

“Do you want to try Target?”

“They’re almost $4 a piece at Target online.  I’m not paying $4 for pumpkins that should be $1.  I was compromising at $1.46.”


“Michael’s doesn’t have the round ones.  They have the pails.  Their actual pumpkins are $12 each.  Let’s not get crazy.”

“OK, then hear me out.  Let’s just go to Wal-Mart.”

“No.  No Wal-Mart. I don’t want the planter that badly.”

“Wait, so you would rather abandon the entire project than buy the pumpkins from Wal-Mart?”

I grudgingly head to Wal-Mart.  Where there are no pumpkin buckets.  There are costumes, and candy, and decorative items, and orange gift bags with jack-o-lantern faces, but there are no pumpkin buckets. I subjected myself to Wal-Mart on a FRIDAY NIGHT, and came away empty handed.


Ebay.  Ebay’s gotta have pumpkins, right?

This is where I learned that the world has gone insane.  Used plastic pumpkin buckets are being hailed as “vintage”, and are listed for $15.00 and up.  Not just one seller, mind you…..dozens.  I *did* find what I wanted, at the price I wanted…. $0.75 each!  Plus shipping.  From China.  That may arrive by Christmas.

I’m not giving up.  There will be decor up by October 1st so that I can bask in the beauty of Fall.  That fabulous towering pumpkin planter may be adorning my front stairs in a few weeks.  Or, I may scale it back a little.

Nothing says "At least I tried" like a badly carved jack-o-lantern"

Nothing says “At least I tried” like a badly carved jack-o-lantern”