Archive for the ‘Jer’ Category

The paging story

September 23, 2013

This is a story I could not tell you in person, because the memory of it sends me into fits of laughter. I’m sure it will not come across as as funny as it was to me at the time, so I’ve put off including it.

It’s time.

One night my husband had gone to the supermarket for something or other. We mostly didn’t shop at the supermarket. We went to the groovy bulk organic hippie store on the corner. But now and then we needed something like Tylenol or Oreos, and it was off to King Soopers.

So my husband was gone to get a thing and Jer and I were at home talking about how it’s been 20 years since we had Tang.

Suddenly we had to have some Tang.

This was before cell phones, and we were thinking it was tragic we didn’t have this thought 10 minutes earlier.

Then we thought, hey, they have phones at King Soopers. Let’s call him there. They can page him.

This struck us as both brilliant and hilarious. We imagined his face when we told him we paged him because we wanted Tang.

While we waited for him to respond to the page, it occurred to us that it would be even funnier if we said we just called to say hi.

So we scrapped the Tang request and went with our new plan.

He didn’t even laugh a little.

The phone cord story

March 1, 2013

I can’t go having an I-am-an-idiot category without telling this story.

Like most babies, my son used to like to play with the phone. Maybe today’s babies play with cell phones; their mamas can’t tell this kind of story.

To prevent calls, I would slip the cord out of it.

One night he was doing this on the couch with Uncle Jer and me.

The baby abandoned the buttons and reached down to the cord, which was still plugged into the wall. He put the end in his mouth.

Then he gaped, ready to wail. It was one of those wails you know is going to be bad, because the sound follows the expression about five seconds later. Usually the delay of sound was proportional to the loudness of the wail.

I was puzzled by his reaction. I knew phones worked when the power was off. Surely there was no electricity.

I closed my mouth around the end of the cord. It hurt.

I pulled it out and went, “AAAAHHHHHH.”

“Really?” asked Jer, who picked it up and put it in his mouth.

Idiocy loves company.

The habanero story

February 4, 2013

Tonight’s story is my husband’s choice.

When we lived in Boulder, there was a gaggle of college boys  — who were old enough to be called men but not mature enough — who were our friends. They all lived in our house on and off, and were like uncles to our babies.

One afternoon we were having a barbecue and Matt brought out a bag of habanero peppers. These are the hottest peppers in the world.

These stupid boys ate those peppers.

Once one of them ate one, they each in turn tried to look more macho.

The barbecue ended fairly early, and it was an ugly night for most.

Our buddy Tug had had his preschool-age son that weekend. The morning after, he was delivering the boy to his mother when the boy was trying to form the story in his mind to report back home.

“Dad, what were those things you were eating last night?”

“Not now, honey.”

Repeat as necessary.

Finally Tug tried to answer. He got “Haba-” out before he puked on the steering wheel.

Tug was the most macho.

Jaws

November 23, 2012

Beatle George has an 8-year-old son. They were over for Monday Night Football tonight.

My son discovered with an outburst that the child has never seen Jaws.

How does this happen? I’ve insisted George bring the boy to me Wednesday so I can fix him.

To my mind, 4 is the right age for Jaws watchin’.

This decision came by happenstance. Uncle Jer and I were upstairs in the Boulder house, flipping through the channels on a Saturday afternoon, when we saw that the movie was about to start.

We looked at each other with excitement. “Pop some corn!”

Then my son wandered in.

Badda bing badda boom. Four was the right age.

We initiated him carefully. We told him what to expect. “Hear the music? That means you’ll see some red spots in the water. Here’s a scary part.”

Then I couldn’t wait for The Baby to turn 4. I stood by the set with the unpopped corn counting down the days from her third birthday.

We had left Uncle Jer behind in Colorado, but acquired the flick on VHS. My son and I popped corn and brought her into the club.

Now it’s Bennett’s turn. 

My kids know the routine by now. We’ll pop the corn, give the warnings, and as one, we’ll shout, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!”

I’m thinkin’ since the kid’s 8, we’ll have to watch it twice.

How I met Jer

September 30, 2012

My husband’s dinner news last night was that They Might Be Giants has made a science teaching DVD. Just now he put it in my hand.

I have a connection to this band. They’re how I met one of the best friends of my life so far, Jer.

Immediately after I moved to Boulder My Boyfriend and I were getting hippie groceries at the hippie grocery store, and a hippie friend of My Boyfriend was out front wanting a ride. He had two non-hippie friends with him.

In the back seat, the blond friend picked up my collection of cassettes. “Hey! They Might Be Giants! I met them today.”

Jer is a cyclist. At the time, he worked at The Spoke, repairing and selling bicycles.

He was in Boulder Central Park doing a thing to his bike, when the band went by on rented cycles. The members were in town for a concert at The Boulder Theater.

Right in front of Jer, the frontman’s chain fell off. That’s serendipity if I ever knew of it. My advice to anyone in general: if you’re gonna drop a bike chain, do it in front of Jer.

He rescued them and was given two free tickets to that night’s show.

That’s even serendipitouser. Readers, if you’re ever going to pick up a stranger at a hippie grocery, pick up someone who just got two free tickets to a They Might Be Giants concert.

My Boyfriend sent me off with his blessing. He sent Jer off warning him not to touch my butt.

I put on a tie-dye sundress and lace-up-to-the-knee boots, and Jer picked me up at 7 p.m.

I was suspicious early on that the band was lip syncing. Toward the end of the concert they gave up the ruse and stopped strumming for a moment. The music went uninterrupted. Who could complain? My tickets were free and I had met a lifelong friend.

To this day he has never touched my butt.

Hail talk

September 14, 2012

We used to get hail in Boulder.

The day after a storm was the best day to go car shopping. The inventory was all dented and discounted.

On the news, they always say the same thing. “There were golf-ball size hailstones.”

Jer used to say he was going to open a sports store that sold hail-size golfballs.

The chocolate milk story

August 3, 2012

When my son was 3, Uncle Jer took him into the kitchen and announced, “It’s time you learn how to make chocolate milk.”

I stood there doing dishes, thinking how great Uncle Jer was.

“First you get a glass, milk and chocolate syrup. You put them out on the counter.

“Then you fill the glass half with milk and half with syrup.”

“Half?” I made my shocked face. “You must really like milk.”

Uncle Jer turned to my son, “You’re mom is great.”

The cookie contest story

July 25, 2012

My daughter got a kitten for her birthday. The kitten wants to be carried around all the time.

“I have to do everything one-handed,” my daughter said.

“I did everything one-handed for three years,” I told her. “And babies are heavier than kittens, and complain more when you try to set them down.”

When my daughter was a baby I had made some comment to the guys who lived with us about having to do everything one-handed — probably I was bragging about how good I gotten at it. This ended with Uncle Jer and me having a cookie-making contest.

I had to hold the baby and he had to hold a large sack of flour, no setting it down. The Uncles took seats at the kitchen table and gave us an “on your mark, get set, go.”

While I was practiced at things like pouring vanilla into a measuring spoon, Jer just dumped some in the dough willy nilly. And my cookies had the advantage of being eggshell-free.

In the end, I won for skill; Jer won for comedy; and the Uncles won two batches of chocolate-chip cookies.

click here for photo

Uncle Jer’s perspective

July 12, 2012

Jer and I were the only ones in the house who didn’t go to bed early, back when we had a houseful.

We would stay up on the couch and channel surf until Beavis and Butthead came on.

Whenever we caught a news item about someone, bandaged and bruised, who survived a crash or heinous injury, an anchor or neighbor always said, “You were really lucky.”

This turned Jer red. He would shout at the TV, “He wasn’t lucky! He was in a major accident. Luck is when the other car misses you.”

Uncle Jer sees things much more clearly than the rest of us.

Driver license

July 6, 2012

My son is getting his driver license today.

When he started driver ed a year ago, we each gave him our biggest piece of advice.

Here’s the collection:

  • Uncle Jer says, “My dad always said ‘At a yellow light, if you can stop, do.’
  • I say, “Be predictable. Expect everyone else to be unpredictable.”
  • My husband says, “Be aware of your surroundings.”
  • My dad says, “Don’t be the fastest car on the freeway.”
  • My Oldest Friend’s husband says, “Always use your indicator.” After some investigating, I learned this is a turn signal.
  • I say, “Don’t drive like Uncle Mike.”
  • What I wish I could say is “Never go anywhere. Stay home with your mama.”

The leg waxing

May 12, 2012

Many of the guys in Boulder were cyclists, including my close friend Jer.

They had to keep their legs free of hair or it would get caught in the gears. I have this wrong. Please see the comments for a correction.

My roommate was from San Clemente, and we used to joke that the only way to tell the guys from the chicks in that hippie town was that the guys shaved their legs.

One year a girlfriend of mine got her esthetician’s license and was preparing to hang her shingle in a spa. She invited Jer and me to get a free facial or something so she could practice.

I’m not the facial type, and neither was Jer, so we asked to get our legs waxed instead.

I should have taken the facial.

Even after Jer hollered like a little girl, she told me I was the biggest baby she ever heard.

The lemon-drop story

April 12, 2012

When I realized I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband was preparing for an exam, the final step in getting his master’s degree.

He had had a vasectomy six weeks before, but hadn’t gotten the go ahead from the doctor. That’ll teach him.

At best, I predicted, he would be too distracted to study. At best was bad. He had even sent me and our son to California during spring break so he could concentrate.

I didn’t want to think about at worst.

Uncle Jer, one of our friends who lived with us, knew. He caught me throwing up.

Uncle Tug lived with us too. One night he said, “I think I’m coming down with you’ve got. My stomach is a little upset.” I kept a straight face.

I was waiting until after my husband’s test to break the news. That meant keeping the secret for a month.

On Easter night we sat around the dining table playing M&M poker. Uncle Jer was making lemon drops.

He passed shots of vodka to whoever won a hand.

I was concerned. I had a full house.

Jer waited until my husband looked away. He gave me a trust-me smile as he pulled a different Absolut Citron bottle from under his seat.

I did shots of water and chased them with sugared lemon wedges.

And in my sobriety, I won all the M&Ms.

Sick day

March 30, 2012

I have a nasty lung thing going on. Mostly I’m staying in bed.

The last time I felt this icky I had strep throat. The kids were 4 and 6, and daddy was on full-time kid duty, because I was mostly staying in bed.

One afternoon he had to go to a place, and the kids climbed on the bed with me to be supervised.

There’s only so much we could do to pass the time. By early evening I was teaching them how to make prank phone calls.

We were calling The Uncles in Boulder, and giving them the classics. Yes, their refrigerators were running.

Our last call was to Uncle Jer. Could he name three cars that start with P? If so, according to my son’s little 6-year-old voice, he would win a million dollars from KWZY fm.

Jer listed Pinto, Plymouth and Pontiac.

All together now: I’m sorry, those cars all start with gas.

Jer started to cry. “I miss you guys.”

Aw. He wasn’t even mad about the million dollars.