Archive for March, 2013

Leaf blower jerk

Dear Jackass with a Leaf Blower:

I’m sure you thought you were being efficient by clearing the way for Easter sunrise service attendees.

Sunrise means dawn, though. And the beach is a popular vacation spot. People on vacation like to sleep. Often, they choose the beach so that they can be lulled by the gentle sound of the ocean.
Leaf blowers are not a gentle sound. At 5:19 a.m., they are not a welcome addition to a beach vacation.

What were you blowing, anyway? Tybee isn’t exactly New England in the fall, sporting a lush carpet of leaves.

Were you blowing sand? Why? People coming to a sunrise service at the pier have to accept a little sand. It is the beach, for crying out loud.

If I see you again, I’m going to use your leaf blower for another purpose. (Let me give you a hint: Your next colonoscopy will be easy breezy.)

I want you and your obnoxious friends — you know, the car alarm, barking dog and loud, drunk girl — to get off the island.

Thank you.


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Panic on the 10th floor


Dear WebMD:

Thank you for making me feel better last night — eventually. First you scared the crap out of me.

Some background: On the plane ride to New York, I had read an article about a woman with ALS who is working through her bucket list as she prepares for the eventuality of the disease. The article described the symptoms, of course.

Fast forward to last night. Suddenly my left arm started to hurt. And then I felt numbness and tingling in my fingers. Thinking about the article, I started to panic.

Note: My husband sometimes paints me as a hypochondriac. I’m not. I don’t always think there is something wrong with me. On the rare occasions when there IS something wrong with me, I just assume the worst (i.e., a headache is an aneurysm). Anything but that is better, right? So I’m always relieved.

You helped me check out my symptoms. As it turns out, my symptoms fit the ones for a heart attack also. Insert panic.

Am I having a heart attack in this hotel room? Will I die and be found tomorrow by Verna, the housekeeper assigned to my room? Should I call Eddie?

The answer to that last question is always “no.” I did that to him once when I was in France. I had a severe headache (the worst of my life), so of course I assumed I had viral meningitis. I told him that via text and promptly went to sleep. I woke up much later and felt GREAT! He was feeling not-so-great, if the 22 worried text messages, missed calls and emails were any indication.

Back to Panic Central. I did not have shortness of breath or a tightness in my chest, so I kept searching. Another entry noted that joint pain can result from a fall when the person has tried to brace herself.

Oh. Riiiiight. That.

The day before, I fell rather spectacularly on 47th Street. I broke my fall with my hands. Aha.

Satisfied that my arm pain was innocuous, I went to sleep. My arm feels fine today.

So thank you, WebMD. You’re still one of my best friends.

See you soon, I’m sure!

P.S. Here’s a funny video imagining social media sites as people at a party. You are my favorite.

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Dear Apostrophe:

You really need a vacation. You clearly are overworked. I’ve lost track of all the times you’ve had to show up unnecessarily on a sign.

Here’s an example of what I mean:


I guess the sign’s writer thought the S would be lonely without you. You and I both know that the letter can get by on its own. No need to call you in.

I wish you could assert yourself. Just say “no” to incorrect possessives. I wish I could do something to help beyond calling attention to your situation with this blog.

Take some of your friends — the quotation marks for example — and run away for a while to rest up. They need a vacation too:

There's more wrong here than just quotation mark overuse. (Photo courtesy of Karla Knudsen)

There’s more wrong here than just quotation mark overuse. (Photo courtesy of Karla Knudsen)

I hear the Maici River in Brazil is lovely this time of year. You’d get a welcome respite among the Pirahã.

Just know I’ll only request you in an emergency. You know, one of the following situations: showing possession (“Is that Gideon’s dirty sock?”),  making contractions (“No, it’s Dominic’s dirty sock.”), and indicating when a letter is deliberately left out (“Did Eddie just call me a dirty ol’ ‘ho’?”). And you never have to worry that I’ll mistake you for your doppelgänger, the single quotation mark.

Wishing you a happy vacation,

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Brownstone Boston

Dear Sean, patron of the Boston bar Brownstone:

I admire your confidence as a single man out on the town. However, I’d like to give you a couple of tips:

1. It is almost always a waste of time to approach two women who are clearly engaged in a serious discussion.

Julia and I hadn’t seen each other in a year. We had to catch up. We saw you staring at us across the counter two feet away, but we did not make eye contact with you for a reason.

2. You are asking for trouble if you try to insert yourself anyway.

I admit that it was an ingenious move to leave your drink on the other side of the counter, then reach through us to retrieve it. Yes, we had to pay attention to you. It was not the kind of attention you wanted, though.

3. Don’t put your coat on top of the coat on the chair of one of the women you want to pick up.

Julia didn’t know you. She didn’t want your nasty coat on top of hers.

4. Come up with better compliments than “I like your glasses” and “I like your curls.”

That’s it? That’s all you had?

5. Dipping is gross.

And if you ARE going to dip, don’t take the wad out of your mouth and stuff it in your pocket when one of the women makes fun of you for dipping. That’s even more disgusting.

6. If women tell you they are gay, that is a clear sign they are not into you.

They may be gay, or they may be heterosexual women claiming to be gay to get you to leave. Either way, they are clearly not an option for you.

Brownstone Boston

See that counter between the pillars? That’s the scene of the crime.

The moment you went to get another drink, we seized our opportunity to escape. I hope you appreciate these tips (and the fact that I brought you your coat before we left).

Better luck next time!

P.S. If you bear a strong resemblance to Joran van der Sloot, so much the worse for you.

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