By Lynn Rebuck –
I like Christmas music, but starting in early November it’s omnipresent: it’s in every store, in every elevator, and on every station, including talk radio (I fully expected Glenn to release a “Beck the Halls” Christmas CD).
As I searched the mall for an omnipresent (that’s the one gift that I could purchase in bulk for everyone) recently, I heard blaring from the speaker systems of three different stores an unintended medley of clashing carols: “Silent Rudolph the Red-Nosed Manger.” It was more than my fried-by-“Feliz Navidad” brain could handle.
I sought sanctuary in a nearby synagogue to escape the cacophony of carols. I hummed “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” to soothe and center myself. I don’t mind the holiday music, but it is so pervasive that it is affecting my every thought and intruding into all of my family’s conversations.
The other night I could have sworn that my daughter approached me and told me of her plans to go out with her adolescent friends by saying the phrase “We three teens of orient are….” Maybe I’m just hearing things.
“Do you hear what I hear?” inquired one of my children the night before Christmas.
“Is it the little drummer boy?” I asked.
“No,” he said.
“You know,” I said, “I heard the bells on Christmas Day.”
“That’s nice, Mom.”
“Their old familiar carols play,” I continued, making conversation.
“Mom, you’d better lay off the eggnog.”
“Can I have a friend over?” my son continued, standing next to a kid I hadn’t noticed before.
“What child is this?”
“Which one is he? The Drummer’s little boy?”
“Funny, Mom. He’s the Taylor’s kid.”
“Joy to the world,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.
“Is that a yes?”
“What’s that smell?” interrupted another child.
“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” I mumbled. “Or it could be dinner.”
“Mom, can I go on a date with Paul?” asked my eldest.
“The little drummer boy?”
“He’s a percussionist in a rock band, Mom. And so what if he’s short, I just won’t wear heels.”
“When will you be back?”
“I’ll be home for Christmas,” she said.
I nodded and reached for more nog.
As she walked out the door, she called over her shoulder “You can count on me.”
“Did the box from Amazon arrive?” asked my son.
“Yes, it came upon a midnight clear.”
“I didn’t know UPS delivered that late.”
“’Tis the season, you know.”
You know, the three wise men were the first midnight madness shoppers, and they didn’t have any criss-crossing carols to contend with.
I am now in a 12 Steps of Christmas Recovery Program. Fa-la-la-la-la, la- la-la-Joy!
© 2011 Lynn Rebuck
By Lynn Rebuck –
Last week I had a wisdom tooth extracted. I am aware that there are many of you out there who have had four wisdom teeth removed at once, or two taken out together, and so you may scoff at my surrender of only a solitary tooth. Let me explain the wisdom of this choice.
The oral surgeon wanted to take out both of my lower wisdom teeth. In dental circles they are known as teeth numbers 17 and 32. As I sat in the chair awaiting the procedure, he entered the room and in a rather cavalier way announced he wanted “number 17 and number 32.” Apparently he thought that he was playing the lottery. He had confused my mouth with the “Pick 6.”
I declined the dual extraction, and my final offer was for him to remove tooth number 17, which had recently broken. Up until that time 17 was my lucky number. Not anymore. Tooth number 17 stubbornly refused to come out. You know a medical procedure is not going well when they call in additional personnel to help (I was wondering how four people would all fit their hands in my mouth). I think he started calling in people from the waiting room. “You, put the magazine down and get in here.”
At one point I heard him say (since I was fully awake and partially numb for the procedure), “Come in here. Take this arm off,” which scared me since I thought he was referring to my arm. I know dental work can cost an arm and a leg, but I thought they’d at least wait until the procedure was over. Luckily he was referring to the arm of the chair. I think he put his foot up on it for leverage when he pulled.
What should have been a quick procedure turned into an extended tugfest. Worse yet, with a mouth full of hands and dental tools, I couldn’t express my opinion about what was going on. And believe me, it was a strong opinion.
When he finally got the tooth out, I was relieved. That was until he said he wasn’t sure if he got all of it. An x-ray showed that he did. After he was done, he announced his decision to not remove tooth number 32. You know it was bad if a guy who removes teeth for a living doesn’t want to remove any more of yours.
After it was over, I was angry and I felt like he owed me something. It was a barbaric procedure, second only to bikini waxing. As I wrote out the check, I eyed the promotional pen I was holding. “I’m taking this pen,” I silently decided. “He took my tooth. In fact, I want the whole container of pens,” I silently reasoned. “I want every pen from the supply closet. I want a fair exchange for what he took from me.” Suddenly the “tooth for a tooth” scripture made a whole lot more sense to me. According to Mosaic law, I think the oral surgeon owes me a tooth. Number 17, to be exact.
Almost a week after the procedure I am left with a giant hole in my mouth where the tooth used to be. It feels like it goes all the way down to my shoulder. The hole is so deep that when I talk there’s an echo. I’m thinking of turning it into a tourist attraction. Who knows, maybe it’ll be one of the seven dental wonders of the world along with the Panama Root Canal, the Hoover Dental Dam and the Golden Gate Dental Bridge.
© 2011 Lynn Rebuck
By Lynn Rebuck –
It’s that time of the summer when I don’t know what to do with all of the zucchini growing in my garden. We cannot eat it as fast as it grows. It seems like the innocent plants I bought at a local greenhouse and planted in my yard went from zero to zucchini overnight. And it’s not only that these plants are prolific.
If you turn away for a second, the normal-sized zucchini that was on the plant a moment earlier grows to gargantuan size. Now what am I to do with it? I’ve given zucchini to the mailman, the dentist, and every person that walks past my house. The other day I chased down a jogger just to provide one that he could use to ward off stray dogs.
My family has endured every culinary variation of zucchini. I have made zucchini mousse, zucchini gelatin, and zucchini cupcakes. Those didn’t go over well with the 6-year olds at the birthday party. I invented the zucchini split, complete with three scoops of zucchini ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry tomato on top. I do make one recipe that my family likes. I bake a combination of banana bread and zucchini bread. I call it “Bikini Bread.” The recipe is on my website, www.LynnRebuck.com.
I’ve even tried paying my debts with zucchini. The other day I handed the clerk a large zucchini to pay for my groceries. She handed me some patty pan squash as change.
If you’re also overwhelmed by the abundance of zucchini in your garden, here are some suggestions for what to do with all of it:
Throw a zucchini skin care party, complete with squash facials and a slice of zucchini over each eye to remove puffiness (zucchini is the new cucumber).
Forget about T-ball and sign your kid up for the latest zucchini-inspired little league craze, Z-ball. One child hit a three-run homer with a homegrown 23-inch zucchini.
Weave some strings through a couple of the broader ones, get a small ball, and play squash.
To deter automobile theft, place a large zucchini across your steering wheel. Tell your friends it is the new green version of the “The Club,” then give them one for their car.
Make new friends who don’t have a garden. Give them a zucchini gift basket.
If all else fails, you can do with your zucchini harvest what someone did a few years back with their garbage during a New York City garbage collection strike. Unable to get rid of it, they wrapped it as a gift and left it in their unlocked car overnight. Someone stole it.
Remember my new motto: “Speak softly, and carry a big zucchini.”
© 2011 Lynn Rebuck
By Lynn Rebuck –
I like to dress in patriotic colors on the Fourth of July, but I may have overdone it a bit this year with my red, white, and blue attire. I had no idea how flaglike I appeared until I nearly got run up a flagpole, was saluted several times, and when I bent over to pick up a Frisbee at the park someone nearby asked a fellow picnicker, “Did a previous president pass away?”
My heart is in the right place. I am a deeply patriotic American, proudly patriotic Pennsylvanian (what’s not to love about the cradle of liberty, birthplace of independence, and home of the cheese steak), and I wear my country’s colors with pride. They just happen to be bright colors. If the Founding Fathers had gone with beige or mauve, I wouldn’t look quite so garish each year.
Thanks to the high heat on the holiday, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if some of the main characters in our nation’s history were making their bold moves on behalf of our freedom with the benefit of the technology of today.
Betsy Ross, who was making flags in competition with other revolutionary seamstresses, would probably take out ads on Facebook asking fans to vote for their favorite flag design.
Thomas Jefferson would likely have Twittered from inside Independence Hall: “Long day. These guys can’t agree on anything. More rewrites.”
No doubt Benjamin Franklin would sell stoves on Craigslist, peddle bifocals on eBay, and post daily to his “Poor Richard’s Blog.” Ben Franklin would be the darling of Twitter, with his pithy, wise, and humorous tweets of 140 characters or less.
Lititz, Pennsylvania, has its own history within the history of the holiday. The Independence Day celebration in Lititz is apparently the longest-running continuous Fourth of July celebration in the country. I believe it was started in 1775, before Jefferson even jotted down his outline for the Declaration of Independence on the back of the Constitution in ink only visible to Nicolas Cage.
I love celebrating the Fourth of July in Lititz, but I was taken by surprise when three Boy Scouts swept me off my feet and attempted to fold me up into a triangle at the end of the day. Next year I think I’ll wear khaki.
© 2011 Lynn Rebuck
By Lynn Rebuck –
I have long admired the Amish. Recently, I learned yet one more reason to respect them: some pay no mind to daylight savings time.
A friend who used to drive for the Amish (a car, not a team of mules) told me that when arranging pickup times, the Amish would inquire whether the pickup time she stated was “fast time” or “slow time.”
Fast time is how the Amish refer to our odd practice of changing the time arbitrarily based on the calendar and someone’s bright (no pun intended) idea.
Clearly, Fast Times at Amish High has a whole different meaning than at Ridgemont High.
It seems that the cows belonging to the Amish pay no regard to the man-made ritual of time change and prefer to give their milk as previously scheduled.
This year I was reminded that the great state of Arizona also shows udder disregard (okay, pun intended that time) for the switch to daylight savings.
So why is Arizona so rebellious? Do they just like to make it difficult for airline travelers who panic about making it to their Phoenix connecting flights in time?
To complicate things even further, the Navajo Nation, which is located within the boundaries of Arizona, follows daylight saving. However, the Hopi Nation, which is surrounded by the Navajo Nation, does not.
So, if you are hoping to pick up a Hopi friend in Arizona soon after the switch to daylight savings, you’d better take extra care in coordinating schedules. It is possible that preceding predicament may wind up as a word question in a math textbook.
Hawaii doesn’t change the clock either. They are still “hanging ten” while the rest of us are hanging eleven or twelve.
So what gives these states the freedom to regulate their own time? Well, states have the right to opt out of daylight savings under the federal Uniform Time Act of 1966. They need only pass a state law to do so, as Arizona and Hawaii have done.
In 1987, an extension to daylight savings time was enacted as part of another federal bill. What was the driving force behind that change?
Yes, you read that right. French fries.
What’s the connection? To find out, email me at Lynn@LynnRebuck.com.
Well, it’s time for me to go change the clocks. I think I’ll set them back another hour instead of springing forward. I could use the extra sleep.
Lynn Rebuck is an award-winning Christian humor columnist, speaker, and comedian. She was once asked to be the keynote speaker at a silent retreat. Her column/blog appears weekly in print, online, and on Amazon Kindle. For more of her humor, visit www.LynnRebuck.com, email her at Lynn@LynnRebuck.com, fan her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter. © 2011 Lynn Rebuck