Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Storm Damage

Earline: Mama, I am getting really tired of raking. How much longer-
Mama: Earline- Stop whining. These people have lost so much from Hurricane Irene. The least we can do is help out with some clean up.
Earline: I know, ma’am, but my arms are tired.
Mama: And this house has a hole in the roof from a fallen tree. Suck it up Earline.
Earline: Yes, ma’am. I guess we should be thankful we were a distance away. What can other people do to help?
Mama: Contribute to the Red Cross. They have a site for Hurricane Irene relief. Also, many animal advocacy organizations and local shelters are in need of supplies and volunteer help.
Earline: Mama- why are hurricanes named for women? It seems prejudicial and unfair.
Mama:  Lots of people think that hurricanes were always named after women - because of our volatile nature, no doubt - and that only recently did they start alternating between male and female names because of feminist outcry. Not true.
Earline: Interesting…
Mama: Prior to 1950 storms weren't officially named at all. From 1950 to 1952 they were named simply Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George...not very imaginative, but it sufficed. From 1953 to 1978 someone (my guess a man going through a nasty divorce) decided to use only female names. Finally, in 1979, they started alternating between male and female names.
Earline: There should be a hurricane named Muscles. He can pack a punch.
Mama: Hurricanes are named alphabetically, years in advance and starting the alphabet over each year. If you get a Hurricane Wilma, you know you have had a busy storm season! The Atlantic and the Pacific have separate naming lists. I suppose we could suggest it.
Earline: How about Hurricane Mama?
Mama: Some names have been retired. When there is a particularly bad storm that has had a severe impact on the population they retire the name. Really, Earline…
Earline (hiding a smile): Well, you do seem to have a severe impact on a lot of people.
Mama: As well I should. The most difficult part sometimes is prioritizing where to get started.
Earline: So what is the priority this time?
Mama: I may go with housing. We have the people from the Olympic housing project all here, so I’ll put Muscles on the details right away.
Earline: Who was that big guy with the black stripey tattoos helping out? He carried an entire dishwasher by himself up two flights of stairs.
Mama; Oh- that was Zebrudus. He is Herr Hunk’s nephew. His nickname is Zebra. He is a weightlifter.
Earline: He could carry me away any day.
Mama: Earline- Don’t be a twit. He could bench press you with one arm.
Earline: Could he stop a hurricane?
Mama: No, of course not, but he could protect … Hmmmm… Now that’s an idea.
Earline: What? Who’s in danger?
Mama: Earline-  Go back to raking, Don’t stir up my gale force .

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mama's First Annual Household Reinvention Competition

Dear Candidates:
On behalf of Mama, Inc. I would like to thank you for submitting your inventions to Mama’s First Annual Household Reinvention Competition. Over 1,000 ideas were received, more than 98% submitted by women.
Without conscious effort, most submissions, as Mama, Inc. had hoped, were aimed at improving the ease of women’s lives in areas traditionally dominated by men or which frequently irritate women.
Our First Runner Up winner is Talia Vishion for her repurposing the entertainment equipment remote control device to become more female oriented. Her innovative incorporation of dedicated voice recognition software is brilliant.
The Dominant Female of the household programs the remote to activate any command only with her final approval. If any male attempts to utilize any button on the command remote or engage any equipment without first asking politely for permission, he will receive a mild electric shock. With each subsequent misstep, the shock strength increases. The strength of the increased shock is adjustable depending on the current desire of the Dominant Female. PMS days can become a real bitch.
Also commendable is the redesign of the device to ergonomically fit a female hand. Buttons have been arranged to a sensible setup and color coded to a logical pattern and size. Useless guy options such a “picture in a picture” have been eliminated. Voice programming of most frequently used commands is an optional feature.
The unit is compatible with gaming equipment for one integrated control  device. Cover choices are available in a variety of patterns and colors. The lightweight design is an additional plus.

The First Place Winner is the redesigned One Shelf Refrigerator, submitted by Kendra Moore. Moore’s inspiration was the observation that males only acknowledge or notice food items in the middle of the top fridge shelf, so she designed a linear one shelf fridge model. Easily mounted around any kitchen beneath the upper cabinets, the unit is controlled the same as a traditional vertical refrigerator.
Size of cooling space is flexible with individually designed sub units connecting with a simple snap together assembly.  Units are sized to fit all traditional cabinet widths. Custom units are also available. Units can be added or removed as needed. Replacement of any broken unit is simple and much less costly than purchasing a new traditional cooling unit.
Counter space remains open for flexible use and extra space is gained in place of the bulky traditional refrigerator. A separate small freezer unit will fit right into the place where the bulky fridge once stood. Additional counter space is yours.
The units come in traditional wood grain to match cabinets, stainless, clear glass or black. For non-glass doors static cling silhouettes of common food items can be placed on the outside so the males in the house can match the location of the desired food or beverage items to their location. Print additives are also available for men who choose to initiate reading skills.
Additional advantages include arranging food items above or beneath related cookware or table ware. Beverages can be placed below the cabinet storing glassware, meat and vegetables directly above pots and pans, near the stovetop. Doors can be installed to lift up, tilt down or roll sideways.
Mama, Inc. congratulates the winners. First Runner Up will receive a Porsche Cayenne, contract for production of the invention and a large cash prize.
The First Place Winner will receive a larger cash prize, contract for production of the invention, and a month with Herr Hunk on his uncharted island in the tropics.

Mama says, “Enjoy, Ladies- you earned it, and 3 cheers from all women.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

Handcuffs, Feathers and a Pole

Mama: (on phone) Yes, Chancellor, it should be an enlightening evening. I will arrive early with Handcuffs and Feathers so you can have some private time…
Earline: (from doorway) Ahem…
Mama: Binky, you know the Trustees always leave with smiles on their faces.. Ah- I must go now. Business awaits. See you tonight. Smooches back. (Disconnects)
Earline: Mama- what are you talking about- Handcuffs and Feathers? Are you studying law enforcement?
Mama: No, Earline.
Earline: I was wondering. The handcuffs would work but I couldn’t quite understand the feathers. (Sits down across desk from Mama)
Mama: Those are just nicknames for Drs. Handcraft and Fenders, the psychiatrist friends of mine. We have known each other for many years.  
Earline: What are they doing here?
Mama: The University is considering expanding its courses in the Women’s Studies genre to include more psychology and psychiatry related offerings. The hope is to soon offer a psychiatry degree program targeting women as students. Studies show that women who have experienced a traumatic event prefer women counselors, considering the nature of many crimes against women.
Earline: Mama, that is a great idea. I wish my family had that help a few years ago. Maybe I would know who they are now.
Mama: Well, you received appropriate care once you came to me, and we all worked hard to get you to where we are now.
Earline: Yes, I am happy here. Will the doctors help set up the program?
Mama: That is the plan. They are presenting an overview to the University Board and certain donors. They will be relocating here for several months off and on to keep the flow going.
Earline: How did they become Handcuffs and Feathers?
Mama: A long time ago, in an entertainment town far, far away, three young college students became good friends as part of a “dance”  troupe. That was back in the days of…Well, those details aren’t important. Just remember that balancing a 3 foot high feather headpiece while dancing in spike heels can be challenging.
Earline: I imagine so…
Mama: Studying and working full time became quite stressful, so the three friends decided to start our, er …their own small business. Thus Handcuffs and Feathers. They became very popular; we, er …they were quite skilled. They could work part time and still attend classes.
Earline: Did you, er… they meet famous people?
Mama: Of course, especially in that town. Tom was really into Handcuffs and Wayne and Feathers became quite an item.
Earline: But what about you, er… the 3rd friend?
Mama: Oh I, er… she was the Pole. Handcuffs, Feathers and the Pole. (Smiles) Those were some interesting times.
Earline: Then what happened?
Mama: Suddenly things picked up and graduate education expenses weren’t a problem. The act folded but the nicknames stayed. Handcuffs and Feathers have become two of the leading female teaching and treating psychiatrists in the country.  They are pioneering many aggressive strategies that can be easily applied worldwide to help with gender equality.
Earline: Mama- what ever became of  the 3rd person in the act: The Pole?
Mama: I still have it in the bedr..*cough* . Um, er…
Mr. Muscles: (slipping into the office): Earline- how about if you take a break and go swim a few laps.
Earline: Ok- I need a break from all this thinking. Bye. (Exits)
Mr. Muscles: (Runs a finger down Mama’s jaw) Now, what was that you were saying? Feathers- that was Tuesday.
Mama: (beneath Mr. Muscles lips): Mrff…
Mr. Muscles: Handcuffs- (Rubs wrists) There is still the issue of a missing key…
Mama (slips necklace holding small key out of pocket and into desk drawer as Mr. Muscles heads out the door): I have no idea where it could be.  None whatsoever…
Mr. Muscles: Then you will have to search for the pole.
Mama:  (Close behind) Work, work, work…

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mama Cleans Out the Closet- Part 3

Mama: Well, Earline- we finally finished cleaning out all those closets.
Earline: Yes, Mama, it was a LOT of work sorting and deciding what to keep, sell or repurpose. But the auctions went very well, didn’t they?
Mama: Yes, dear, the profits will go a long way in helping pay for the restoration of this building.  It really has beautiful bones and once finished, it will be reborn into another life.
Earline: It sure needed it.
Mama: Yes, and now we are on our way to helping athletes prepare for the games next summer. Let’s go finish up the attic.
Earline: My iPad is all ready to do the invention again
Mama: That’s inventory, dear- one takes inventory.
Earline: OK-  The spider collection, T Rex bones  and the Phyllis Diller wigs were enough. I just hope we don’t find more of those boots here. Who keeps 700 pairs of shoes?
Mama:  Imelda was quite something in that regard.  And these were the Intimate Collection; hence the high heels, backless pumps with feathers, peep toes, chain mail, and lights. Now that Paris person is doing almost the same. She converted her exercise room into a shoe closet.
Earline: (Turns on attic lights) Mama: what are all these round boxes stacked up all over?
Mama: Hat boxes, Earline. Hats were an important part of fashion throughout history. They lent glamour and beauty and a distinguishing touch to a lovely outfit.
Earline: But they would mess up my hair.
Mama: Stop whining, Earline. It’s not about you. Your name is not Me Me.
Earline: No, it’s Earline- you know tha… Oh- I get it, haha.
Mama: (opens first box) Hm.. I see the initials MP are inside.
Earline: Why does that straw hat have the price tag still on it? It doesn’t look new.
Mama: MP- Minnie Pearl- a Nashville legend at the Grand Old Opry. There must be 20 of her hats here.
Earline: Opera? I had to listen to that as part of the culture courses you made me take. Those people didn’teven write songs in English. And the tunes aren’t at all catchy. I can’t sing them in the car.
Mama: Let’s move on, dear- just write it down.
Earline: Here’s a pile with ER II on the outside. They sure look fancy- gold ribbon, leather handles, a castle drawing.
Mama: I suspected as much. Liz was always forgetting something on her trips. I’ll have to give her a call later, but I am sure she won’t want them now. One can recycle hats only so many times.
Earline: Mama- what is this door back in the corner?
Mama : Stand back, dear.
*CREAK* Door opens slowly to reveal a male figure huddled in the corner of a makeshift room.
Mama: (peering in): Who is…? Chuck- is that you again? Come out here right now!
Charles MW: (whining) Mama- - please, I am not myself.
Mama: You certainly are not- especially considering ... Er-Just because Camilla is helping Kate redecorate, it doesn’t mean you can hide out and play dress up with your mum’s old clothes. Now take off that hat and man up.
CMW: Yes, ma’am. Please don’t tell her…
Mama: You are a 60 year old man. Act your age- well maybe you are, but it is unbecoming to your station. And you know I have your mum on speed dial.
CMW: What do you want, Mama?
Mama: Well- a donation to Eddie the Eagle Suite renovation would be quite appropriate.
Earline: *Cough, cough*
Mama: And, is Harry busy this weekend?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mama Cleans Out the Closet- Part 2

Mama: Earline- Make sure you file Wayne’s letter in the correct tax deduction folder. With a project this size, every write off we can squeeze out helps.
Earline: OK, Mama. Are you feeling better today? I was a little scared yesterday. I am glad Muscles was right downstairs when you started shaking like that in those boots. I am glad he was here to administer mouth to mouth.
Mama: *Giggles* I am fine, dear. I just needed a couple hours to relax. This is a huge endeavor, renovating the entire 300 room hotel for Olympic athlete housing.
Earline (glancing at letter): Mama, who is Wayne?  What collection is he talking about? What other junk was in that closet?
Mama: Wayne is a dear “friend” from the past. He is one of the Las Vegas Legends from the 60’s and 70’s- way before your time. When the gambling industry started to take a hit he almost single handedly brought Las Vegas back to be the new, improved entertainment spot. He and Tom, of course.
Earline: How could he do this alone?
Mama: Well, let’s just say he had some persuasive advice and support from an interested party. He and Tom, both. It’s not unusual…(hums)
Earline: What is this collection he mentions? I know about those ugly boots, but sequin suits, 4 wigs, 6 bolts of fringe? Platform shoes? A case of Maribou feathers? A barrel of Brylcreme? What are pasties?
Mama (grabs letter): Let me see that. Hm… He must be mistaken. I never wore… Oh- never mind.
Earline: Who would collect  and keep all this useless stuff and why would selling it at a closed auction net over five million dollars?
Mama: Earline, dear, some people will pay an awful lot so information and items stay closed and sealed. DNA testing is a powerful tool.
Earline: So you and Wayne were friends? He said he remembers one weekend in October 19…
Mama: Earline- get back to your filing.
Earline: Yes, ma’am.
Mama: Too bad he can’t smile the way he used to. Botox does have a downside.
Earline: I bet he was once almost as handsome as Muscles is.
Mama: Well, nobody is quite like Muscles in many ways. There are a few who came close in their day- Sean, Roger, Pierce. Those 007 men.. Well, hm… that was acting, although it was fun.
Earline: I better get this done, Mama.  Don’t you have a meeting with the contractor in a few minutes?
Mama: Yes, I do. So many details. (Smiles) And the devil is in the details.
Mama turns and exits the office singing softly: All I needed was a slight distraction for an hour or two…

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mama Cleans Out the Closet- Part 1

Mama: Step lively, Earline, we have a LOT to get done today. The work crews are coming on Monday and we still have several closets to clean out.
Earline: But you said we would set a timer and only work for 30 minutes and then stop.
Mama: Earline- stop whining. You know this is a huge job and volunteering your time will benefit many deserving athletes with affordable housing while they move into intense prep for next summer’s Olympic Games. They have enough to do with athletic training schedules.  And not worry about making ends meet in this way.
Earline: yes, ma’am. I realize this. I am truly grateful for the job and all the other support…
Mama: Then let’s go. Ah- here we are- Bedroom 1 in the American Wing- the Retton Suite. I see the bins are already here for sorting. Discard (we may need a bigger one), Sell, Repurpose, Other. Now, 30 minutes and then a break. I hope the electricity is functioning…
Earline: I got my iPad all ready to write up stuff. The battery is all charged just like you said.
Mama: It is called taking inventory. We have no idea what we may find that could be valuable to someone. And we don’t “got” anything.
Earline: Yes ma’am. I have…
Mama: Very well then. I will bring out the first box- Good Lord- white faux leather Go Go boots.
Earline: Go Go- why say it twice? Where would you Go Go in those awful things?
Mama: (slips them on her feet): Oh- a perfect fit. This brings back mem… (Clears throat) Well, dear, young women such as yourself would earn money dancing in entertainment establishments in cages poised above the customers. And one kept one's clothes on, too. This was the Disco Age. You do know about Disco, don’t you? Gloria Gaynor sang such lively tunes. She and I…Well, never mind.
Earline: Yup, er Yes, ma’am. I have seen those big silver sparkly balls in videos.
Mama: Yes, it was a whole culture. We, er, dancers wore short dresses, Go Go boots, big hair, white pearl lipstick…
Earline: Like the Kardashians?
Mama: *cough* Well, not exactly.
Earline: (typing) One pair ugly white boots
Mama: (moving feet and humming) I love the nightlife, I want to boogie…
Earline: Mama- what are you doing???
Mama: Come on Earline- You can do this- (spins, gyrates in slick 60’s moves, sings).
Earline: (Into phone) Hello? Muscles? You better come up here fast- I think Mama is having a seizure.
Mama: See that girl, watch that scene- I’M the Dancing Queen.
 Ah, ah, ah, ah Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive!!!
Muscles: (Runs into room and stops short) Er- Ok, Earline- Why don’t you go down and help Tom Tricep demo the kitchen. I am sure he needs you. I’ve got this covered here. (Pushes Earline out and locks door.)
Mama: Well, you can tell by the way I move…
Muscles: (envelops mama in his arms) (whispering): Yes, I surely can.
Mama: *Giggle*