Ghetto Garage Sale

My mom, who is also a nearby neighbor, told me today that she would consider having a yard sale except she wouldn’t want to deal with the characters she would have to deal with in this ‘exciting’ part of town where we live. I nodded my head in total agreement and told her about the last time I had a garage sale in this part of town.

It was the day before Hurricane Bonnie blew in. That’s been over 20 years ago. Two friends and I had the sale together at one of the friend’s house. We had been open for a while when this man came walking up the driveway. When I looked at him the first thing I thought was, “That man is a pimp.” Then I thought to myself that I’d been watching too much Hill Street Blues.

“But look at him,” I thought. “He’s wearing slacks, a long sleeved dress shirt on a hot summer day, and a vest, and a pimp hat.” He also had a pager and nobody back then had a pager. As I argued with myself about this man’s occupation, I watched him browsing our tables. That’s when I noticed a gap in his vest and a shoulder holster underneath. “Oh, yeah. He’s a pimp alright!” I thought. Then I started to have a little argument with myself about him maybe being a cop but it just didn’t seem possible.

One of my friends had a sleeper sofa for sale and he asked her about it. He said he was interested and he would be back. When he came back, he was not alone. He brought a lady. You know. A ‘lady’. This is when it got really bizarre. The friend who had the sleeper sofa for sale, the pimp, the ‘lady’ and I all sat down for a little chat. It was just chit chat and all I remember is him asking if the sleeper part of the sofa was comfortable and my friend smiling a big ‘ol gonna’-get-myself-some-money-for-this-couch smile and telling him, “Yes, it’s very comfortable.”

The ‘lady’ and I looked at each other several times during this conversation and besides her looking miserable and bored, she also looked at me like she wondered what planet she was on. This was all not exactly in a day’s work for her and she and I both knew my friend had NO CLUE what was going on. This pimp didn’t just want a couch; he was recruiting in a fishing sort of way. He ended up paying for the sofa and said he would be back when we closed to get it.

Silly me panicked a bit. He was coming back at closing time – when all the money would be there that was going to be – AND he had a gun! I told my friend to hide her money so she put it in her underwear drawer. Now how many of us think a pimp is going to rob a garage sale and say, “Look lady. Hand over the money. I know you put it in your underwear drawer.”?

At closing time he came back and my husband was there to help load the couch. After he left my husband said, “That man is a pimp.”

I said, “How do YOU know?!”

He told me that his helper at work liked to eat lunch at a certain, uh, interesting restaurant here in town. They saw that man at the restaurant and his helper told him he was a pimp. How did the helper know? He, uh, did business with the pimp.

My mom is not going to have a yard sale in this ‘exciting’ neighborhood.

Did You Notice?

I heard the IRS was sending out notices to let us know we were supposed to be getting a payment that is part of what they are calling an “Economic Stimulus”. I didn’t know we would get a notice telling us that we would get notice telling us that we would get a check. Did you get yours today? I did.

This one basically tells who will receive a payment and who won’t. If a person isn’t getting a payment, why do they need a notice? It also says if a person is getting a payment they will receive a notice. How much does all noticing cost, I wonder? And how come I am supposed to keep this thing? It says in red “Do Not Throw Away!” Is someone going to ask for this in a year or two? Will I be fined if I am asked and I tell them I tossed the stupid thing? And did you know the IRS will spend the next three years checking to see if everyone who got the check was eligible to get it? What will that cost? Will the check be worth the paper it’s printed on by the time it gets here or will we be burning the stupid things in the streets?

Another question: Why on earth does anyone think something like the world economy can be controlled? They can’t even control the US economy. Of course none exists in a vacuum so we are taking the whole dead gum world down with us.

One more thing. Last week Bush said our economy is on a solid foundation. I think we may actually feel that foundation under our feet as we sink down to it. And I suspect it may be solid elephant dung.

Has Joel Osteen’s Message Exhausted You?

Are you tired of trying to live “Your Best Life Now” and all that? Are those Seven Steps elusive to you? Have you gazed at your navel until your eyes are crossed trying to find a champion in there?

I know this kind of stuff is exhausting because I was there a few years back when it was Kenneth Copeland and Oral Roberts. Well, that was more than a few years, but I’ve been there and I did feel like my eyes were crossed from the naval gazing and I was exhausted from trying to please God. These guys teach law but call it grace. Joel Osteen is pretty slick.

I listened to a broadcast of White Horse Inn today that analyzed Joel Osteen’s uh, message, I think is what he calls it. White Horse Inn is a discussion program with Michael Horton, Kim Riddlebarger, Ken Jones and Rod Rosenbladt. You can go online and listen any time at This particular program is in the archives. The name of the broadcast is “Joel Osteen: A Case Study in American Religion,” dated January 20, 2008.

There is a better way to live life. It won’t be about you and if you are sick of ‘you’ this may be what you are ready to hear.

I Want My Nine-Year Old Body Back

I want my nine-year old body back. My nine-year old body woke up every day with lots of energy. It could run faster than all my friends, jump really high and could climb anything. When I leaned forward for more than 10 seconds, my face didn’t feel like it was hanging loosely from my bones. Everything was in the same place everyday when I got out of bed, too.

My nine-year old body didn’t suffer from hormone tsunamis and it contained a brain that didn’t have senior moments that last a week.

It is my understanding–because I read this in a health magazine so it has to true, huh?–that before too much longer, I’ll have that body back. I will have a consistent energy level and clarity of thought. The inconsistency of those two things–energy and brain power–bother me much more than the new locations of various features and the loose face.

When I have mentioned this expectation to some of my friends who are older than I, they look at me like I’ve been lied to but they don’t want to be the one to tell me.