Thursday, August 27, 2015

Head Shakers (Thursday13)

1. Clothesline is now being packaged and sold
in kit form, with a few clothespins, a small
length of clothesline, and (swallowing bravely)
instructions. I believe it also touts the benefits
of hanging your clothes out in the fresh air
but says nothing about 'restrictions in some areas
may apply".

2. In our now defunct old style hardware store they
were selling lamp oil in various 'weights', some in
designer packages with pretty colors and scents
to mask but not really hide the scent of kerosene...
I watched as a very nicely dressed lady debated
the benefits of each, and then chose the micro-
processed variety which clearly stated that it should
not be used in ceramic lamps, as it could bleed
through the pottery.  "It's safer", she said, firmly,
"than kerosene.  Less flammable."

3. City street detours that must have been  designed by
werewolves and malcontents--I was in one of these
 Moebius strip detours a few weeks ago,  and realized
the Detour sign was at the far end of a one way street
and the street itself was closed to traffic...

4. Two older people were in the dairy section of
the supermarket, debating the wisdom of buying yogurt
that was on the last "sell by' day.  "We'll never be
able to eat all that yogurt by tomorrow" the wife said,
the husband agreed, and they put it back on the shelf.

5. People in other,  more geographically organized states
who give bizarre directions to lost drivers: 'well you go
north for ten blocks and thenturn east at the first light
after that, and then south. You can't miss it."   Watch me.
First question, 'which way is north?"

6. You ask directions to a particular highway/street/etc. and
the clerk says, "see where that red truck is turning up there?
You turn there and you'll be all set."  yep.

7. On back roads with not a lot of wiggle room, you expect
the road crews to start (and most of them do) around 8 or 9
in the morning, after the school buses and commuters
have had their turn.  Now and then an over eager roadcrew
already has their gear firmly planted in the center of the
road by 7 AM, and its obvious they have been there since
dawn.  Why?

8. If you buy a loaf of fresh bread in the supermarket
and eat only half the loaf on that day, do you finish off
the loaf the next day, or do you toss it and buy another?
Isn't it now day-old bread?

9. One-a-Day multivitamins now come in Men's and Women's
bottles, the women's vitamins in pink and the men's in a
manly blue.  I thought there might be a difference in what's
in 'em, but the labels are identical.

10. People who think nothing about driving past parked cars
on a crowded city street,  but a car parked well off the highway,
clearly unoccupied,  causes people to shy like nervous horses,
pulling way out to drive around the vehicle, often  scaring
the bejebus out of oncoming traffic...

11. I can never decide if  "Road Work 1 Mile" means one mile ahead
or one miles' worth of it.

12. "Closed to through traffic" seems plain enough,  but don't you
wonder how many people pretend they're really just going down the
street, because this is where I LIVE, mister... and sneak out the
other end.

13. You are hopelessly lost. You aren't even sure what town you're in
at this stage, so  you stop at a convenience store.  "What town am I in?"
you ask, opening your map so you can backtrack....  There's a pause.
The girl behind the counter says,  "I don't know." She calls over to another
clerk and says, "What town are we in?" and neither of them has the
faintest idea.

Thursday Thirteen


  1. A-yup. Country livin'.
    Re #5: I remember hearing--when I first moved here, ages ago--the old farmer giving directions like "Well you stay on this here road for about 3 miles--no wait--I'd say it's a good 3 miles, then turn right just past the Johnson's big sugarbush." Yuh.

    Re #13: it's a legit confusion, if you're splitting semantic hairs, I suppose. Girl behind the counter at Jimmy's (in Orleans) wasn't sure how to answer because the asker was a flatlander who might not understand that Orleans is a village in the town of Barton. Towns up here being as small as they are, it's sometimes hard to tell the difference. I live just outside Barton village in the town of Barton. Orleans village has twice the population, and therefore often conflates itself to town status, but... well, you get the idea, right?

  2. I do indeed. I was trying to find Hanover (its really kind of hard to lose, when you think about it) and figured if someone is working in a store they might actually need to know what town they were in...

    I had occasion to fall into the Bennington Trap some years back, and when you get to the historic section there are no street signs to direct you elsewhere. All roads lead to the Bennington Monument, so that you can admire it six or seven times before you accidentally find a real store with a real person in it and carefully worded directions (including "see that blue car? Go that way where's he's turning...").

  3. well Ill take that as a good thing. Some of them are just mildly annoying (unless you are already late and low on gas) some are silly, and some are things we do without thinking why. Mostly they end with "yes but Mom always said..."

    Nice to see you here, i beati. thanks for positng. And feel free to add some of your own, too.

  4. Number 7... They chip-sealed my street last month, starting at 7 in the freaking morning. I was NOT amused. Meanwhile, the construction on the nearby highway starts about 7 pm with nightly lane closures and goes until dawn. My T13

    1. chip sealed sounds like something the dentist does to that pesky left molar...
      it also sounds loud. very loud.

  5. I can't live without a clothesline and have never owned a dryer. I'd throw the bread in the freezer. Good one on #11. The direction ones have left my head spinning.

    1. I have a clothesline outside in the summer and a wood stove and drying racks in the winter. If Im desperate there is always the laundromat downtown.

      when you live in New England saying North is meaningless for directions, unless thats the name of the street: When I come down our main road I see the mountain we live on at the far end of it. That's north. By the time I get to the driveway the road has curved so deeply to get there that "north" is now a right turn on a road that is still serenely heading west.
      Dont ask. I dont understand it either.

      If someone cant say "turn left" or 'turn right" i give up and get out the map.

  6. #13 is rather scary. Directions are interesting. We used to have an old oak tree in the middle of the road, so you said, "turn left or right" at the tree in the road. Now sometimes I still say, "turn left or right where the tree used to be" forgetting that I am one of the few who remember.

  7. It's scary when you realize these girls were working in that store and had no clue what town they were in. It's like finding out that your college bound nephew can't make change from a dollar without a calculator.

  8. If the girls were in NJ, however, they could be forgiven, since here you might be geographically in one town, postally in another, and popularly known as in a third! Quite a relief for me to move to a town where town and township have the same name. Saves a lot of grief.

    And I plead guilty to giving directions by what used to be there! as in: turn where the old Acme was before it burned down and now it's a parking comes from living in a place a long time. And alas, I seem to look like a person who knows what she's doing, because I'm often asked for directions when I'm out walking. If they only knew, they'd keep going.

  9. we lived that way, with three different towns in the mix, and after the third address change in three years they began to look at me suspiciously at the bank. I think they were wondering what car we were living in...