Friday, August 7, 2009


I couldn’t believe it. The kid was at least 12 and he just marched right into the women’s changing room with his mom and sister. Talking on his cell phone. He sat on a bench like he belonged there. Now, this particular recreation center has 3 changing rooms: men, women and family. Not only had this particular group selected “women” instead of “family”, but the Mom hadn’t even done any recon! No checking to see if there were naked old ladies like me, or blushing young girls like my 10 year old. Understandably, I was furious. Instead of taking matters into my own hands, though, I tattled to the woman at the front desk. She immediately got up to address the situation. And I went home and told all my friends and my husband and would have ranted to strangers in the grocery store if I had actually gone to the grocery store.
Today, when we walked through the front door of the rec center, the front desk lady stopped me. Laughing. Motioning for me to lean closer, she said, “It was a girl.”
“Yup. I walked in there and saw ‘him’ on ‘his’ cell phone and I turned to the mother and said, “He’s a bit old to be in here.” And his mother said to me, “She’s a girl.””
Now, in our defense (front desk lady thought it was a boy, too), her hair was almost shaved, she had on those long baggy basketball shorts and a long baggy t-shirt and tennis shoes with no socks. Now, I know that not every girl wants to wear sparkles and pink. All I’m sayin’ is that if you dress like a boy, wear your hair like a boy, and you have a deep voice (she was on her cell phone, remember), you shouldn’t be surprised when Angry Mom tells Front Desk Lady to get you out of the women’s locker room.
And, gee, I’m glad we’re done with swimming lessons for the year.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

On The Road Again

There’s a porta-potty sitting on our street. It comes in an attractive beige and the Road Gods have left it on a small trailer, for convenience, I assume. If you’re interested in acquiring one, it shouldn’t be too hard to move. You can just hook it up to the hitch on your truck or mini-van and ya esta, you’ve got yourself a lovely addition to any back yard party.
It’s sitting on our street because the road leading up to our neighborhood is being resurfaced. All the streets in our area have been resurfaced this year, much to my olfactory joy. Here’s how to resurface a road (now that you’ve got the porta potty, you may as well go whole-hog and start your own business). First, you put up lots of orange cones and narrow the street down to one lane. The less obvious the route, the better. For instance, our road was narrowed down to one lane in the center of the road, where people are only allowed to drive if they are turning either left or right. This means that, in order to obey the cones (if you can figure out what the cones mean), you’ve got to disobey every other traffic rule, including not crossing double yellow lines, etc. And believe me, once your kids know about the double yellow line rule, breaking it is no easy task. So, after you’ve put the cones out, you need to disappear for about a week. Leave the cones. That way, the people frequenting the road will have many opportunities to drive over them or, if they’re teenagers, just plain rearrange the cones. That makes life fun for all of us.
Once you’ve given the cones time to “settle”, come back and scrape up the road. I don’t know why you have to do this, but it seems to be a very important stage. It’s more effective if you can get the road a good 5 inches lower than any of the side roads so that women driving large mini-vans scrape their trailer hitches over the road every time they turn onto their street. Not to mention the good it does for tires. As with the cones, once you’ve got the road scraped, you need to let it air out for a week or so. I think this gives it time to enjoy the summer sun, which makes it a happier road and thus more pleasant to traffic.
Then, on the hottest day of the year, when toxic fumes can combine with ozone, pull out all the big machines, randomly move them across the road, and lay down the most vile smelling swill you can concoct. It’s a known fact that if you want good potholes by the end of winter, you’ve got to start by laying a road that smells so bad it kills most of the wildlife in the area. If you can make people wait for long periods of time when they’re in a hurry, even better. You’ll know they’re in a hurry because their kids will be screaming (10 minutes late to swim practice already) and the mother will repeatedly look down the road, wondering why you’re holding the STOP toward her when there is nothing going on that she can see. But this can also be dangerous: you’d better flip your sign to SLOW before she guns the gas because you do not want to mess too much with a Mom on her way to Swimming.
Now, after you’ve repaved the road, leave the porta potty on the side street for at least another week. Give everything inside a chance to stew a bit. You’ll know it’s ripe when the mother in the minivan hooks the trailer up and moves it, free of charge, to your next repaving assignment.