Dinner for Two? I Think Not

I have been a little preoccupied chasing trash trucks (literally) in my pajayjays with no support (mind you) on the icy sidewalks of Hades, with a bag of smelly Christmas trash in hand and perhaps a monetary tip for the driver (you lose, dude!); hence, this story previously published on my blog last summer will keep things going until I rip a new one about my snowy, slippery bouncing episode avoiding cranial abrasions and black eyes from running full force with the “girls” doing the mambo in my jammie top. Happy New Year and (spoiler alert) I might have killed Santa in our yard.

Shield your eyes kids. Santa is looking bad!

Shield your eyes kids. Santa is looking bad!

previously published in The Kansas City Star – July 8, 2012
Stacey Hatton Commentary

Recently I received the most peculiar invitation in the mail. This gem contained complimentary admission tickets “good for two” persons for FREE FOOD! Now with the hunger crisis widespread throughout our country, why on earth were they trying to give ME and my date a free meal?

At first I was keyed up by the prospect of someone wanting to award me something, especially if that “something” might include perhaps ice cream; but then I remembered a prophet telling me, “No one gives out ice cream for free, unless they want something in return.”

So I called my mother, who is the oldest person I talk to on a regular basis, so that puts her closest to prophet status. I asked her, “Do you think this free meal is some kind of a scheme?” Being that she is a savvy retired elementary school educator, she asked, “Who sent these tickets to you, my child?”

I turned back to the not-so-fine print (actually it was in bold, italicized and about a 32-point font). A first warning I may need to slow down a bit in life, or else bump up to the next level on my classy CVS reader glasses.

This is when I should have hung up the phone or claimed I had the wrong number; but I had already announced to my mother who I was, called her by name, and discussed who was coming to a family get-together. So I’m pretty sure she recognized my voice.

I tried to cough, sneeze and mumble at the same time, “A funeral home.”

Although, since she is my mother and can understand every word of mine even if I had all my teeth knocked out and my lips sewn shut, she blurted, “How did you get on THEIR list?”

“Weight Watchers, I can only assume,” I sighed as if receiving an unsatisfactory mark on my report card.

Then to add salt & vinegar potato chips to my wounds, she laughed, “I haven’t even had a funeral home send me invitations yet!” Nice. Coming from a woman who happens to be substantially older than me.

Our conversation morphed into what we thought should be on the menu for such an event to discuss “final-arrangement planning.” Whole grapes? Big chunks of hotdogs? Or would they go the cholesterol-laden route … triple cheeseburgers and a side’s bar of anything fried? We both assumed a fruit and veggie tray wasn’t going to be part of this artery clogging affair.

Since we were on the subject of dying, I thought it an appropriate transition to inform her I had accidentally killed the Cecropia caterpillars she had given my children. The science project for the summer was over after one week. Fuzzy and Wuzzy wuz no more.Caterpillar on a bush.

Too bad the funeral homes don’t take caterpillars. My daughters would have loved a nice service for their beloved 7-day inch-long friends. However, I do have these two complimentary tickets from experts who “want to ease my family’s emotional burden.” Maybe I’ll give them a call…

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