Archive | September 11, 2013

Writing stream of consciousness on muscle relaxants can be dangerous

My Thoracic spine is really cranky again and sleep was at a premium and I didn’t have the premium to pay. You know you’re in trouble when the 800mg of ibuprofen and the robaxin are doing doodly squat. I just want to go make mimis, for those not in So Cal that’s Spanglish for going to sleep usually used with young children. If you grow up a native in So Cal you end up with a lot of Spanglish in your vocabulary even if you don’t become fluent in Spanish. Always fun to freak out a Spanish speaker when they think you don’t speak any. I’ll slip and say mija or mijo, chones or mimi and watch the person recalculate any Spanish they may have spoken in front of me and they will usually ask how fluent I am if they have said something they shouldn’t. Always a fun moment, especially since I understand a lot more than I’m willing to speak out loud, and yes I know what pendejo means and other choice words.

You’d end up with some just by knowing the streets and cities of Los Angeles. You can always tell a native by how they say San Pedro or Sepulveda because natives use a bad Spanish pronunciation and even sometimes a bad pronunciation of Los Angeles. Why? Because that’s how natives do it.

I remember when I was first in college and my community college had the most Iranian students of any college in the US before the Shah was deposed and it was big time fun to stand near them in a food line and listen to them order burritos, tortillas or enchiladas or any other Mexican food dish. Not particularly nice but it was revenge for the women since the men had a bad habit of being rude or just plain sexually inappropriate. I had one male person that forced me into a bush while I was on a photography assignment insisting I have sex with him right them because all American girls were whores. At first I couldn’t believe my ears and asked him to repeat what he said and he did and wouldn’t take no for an answer. He did after I injured a key body part to the activity he wanted to do. Don’t know if I changed his mind about American women but he left in a hurry.

They also cheated on tests but my Biology teacher fixed that every semester. He used to give the same test all through the class every semester until it was too late to drop the class. Those of us who didn’t cheat got really mad and went to him and he told us to be patient it would work out. The cheaters were blatant. They came in with copies of the ibm forms already filled in to copy. He did warn them not to do it at the beginning of the semester. Anyway, when it was too late to drop he failed them and reported them for cheating. Violating the honour code like that bounced you out of school for at least a semester. Oops! I never cheated and I got an A from him. He was a great professor. I learned so much from him and he had a great sense of humour and it was well worth the hard work we had to do to get a good grade. Maybe I also enjoyed it because my sense of humour has a tendency toward seeing justice done and helping make it happen.

I have to say I have done worse practical jokes/hand of justice when needed. At the first camp I worked at they hired a girl who for having a father who was a pastor had no ethics at all. Esther arrived at camp with no pants or jeans because her father didn’t allow girls to wear pants so the camp director ended up taking her to a store to buy jeans. That should have told us right there that camp was not the place for her. Esther was enormous and was constantly eating and the food she was eating was stolen from her fellow camp staff. She would disappear from wherever she was assigned to work and go to the staff house and eat other staff’s marked food and then lie that she had done it. At first we had no idea how the food was disappeating but some staff caught her and she said she’d stop but she didn’t. Food kept disappearing out of the staff cupboard and the staff fridge.

She kept begging to go on a horseback ride and the horse director kept telling her “no” until we had an idea. We had a Big Palomino that had won horse races. She had just won one at 26 years of age (she was 27) and was the most gentle horse we had. Kids could pull her tail or groom her harder than they should and she would just stand there. She had the sweetest disposition of all the horses we had. She was the one horse in camp that could have safely taken Esther for a ride because she was also really big. But all the horses in camp had one quirk and we knew it and Esther didn’t.

We decided to have a staff horse ride one afternoon for those of us who were working most of the time when the horses were being ridden. So the Pool Director, The Arts & Crafts Director (that would be me), and some of the kitchen staff volunteered with the Horse people to take Esther for her first ride. Justice was about to come swiftly. We set out and used the usual trails around camp and it was a beautiful afternoon until we got to the canyon. Esther wanted to ride in front and that was her undoing as she played right into it. The last part of this trail was a stream and a canyon. The stream was shallow and most of the horses insisted on jumping it and the horses knew that when they got to the canyon they were allowed to run all the way back to the corrals. We normally warned anyone of this. We didn’t warn Esther. The Horse Director had been riding right behind or next to Esther insuring she was doing everything right and safely and that her helmet was being worn correctly until we hit the stream when she reached out and whacked Butterscotch on the butt. Butterscotch’s signal for the start of a race. Butterscotch took off as fast as she could go. I’m afraid we started yelling, “Ride ‘em cowboy! Esther!” And not doing anything to stop it mostly because we were laughing too damn hard. Poor Butterscotch! Because Esther was bouncing like a ball in the saddle. We finally recovered enough to follow her and she went straight in the boss’s office and quit.

At the time I was 19, now at the great age of 59 I know we could have killed her doing that, but at the time it was the meeting out of well deserved justice and I’m still not really sorry we did it because she had had plenty of warnings about her behaviour and she didn’t stop. There was no excuse for it because we had a fantastic cook and you could go in there and ask for anything, at any time, just not junk food which was what she wanted. We didn’t make much money and we only got paid once a month as a stipend so food theft was a huge issue to us. Don’t mess with my jars of Skippy peanut butter or jars of dry-roasted nuts!

I love practical jokes and almost never do one that’s mean but every once in awhile…