A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

08 February 2008

A Play, With Words, In Three Parts

For your 'entertainment' I present...a "blogumn" in three parts (all basically read in the present tense):


Here I go to sit in yet another doctor's office - frantically showering, dressing and guzzling a glass of water before I proceed in my attempt to break the sound barrier in order to make it from my house to my destination in less time than is humanly possible without the intervention, or invention, of a time machine...unless I hit absolutely no lights, which I am sure the likes of Stephen Hawking NEVER add into their equations when formulating new theories.

Calculations aside, only being assisted by a wormhole, alien abducted or...perhaps...could it just be that nothing says "drive and determination" like driving WITH determination?

Past Present:

Suffice it to say - I made it there on time...and even managed to jump out of the elevator before my riding occupant, i.e., another lady, did. Yes, I am, in such cases, psychic...I just knew she'd go into the same office as me...and she did.

So, I filled out my form, same form as always - info never changes. Why they make you fill it out each time is anyone's guess; they just must like having something to shred at the end of the day. The shear bulk of my pre-shredded slips of paper over the years alone would undoubtedly have amounted to one "less than full-sun-given" scrub pine by now.

Enter my former elevator companion. "I'm sorry, but we ARE running late today...so it may be a while" the receptionist, outwardly begrudgingly...yet inwardly relishing, alerts her. Now those are fourteen words no patient wants to hear. Why...oh why can't they CALL you to let you know that you can indeed use the brake pedal en-route to your appointment? You know, they can put a man on the moon (or at least fake it well) but they can't call you on your cell phone to tell you they know full well it's going to be a LONG wait??? It's not like we are still in the days of Gilligan's Island...no Professor and a coconut phone. Wake up and smell the Venti Latte Decaf Two-Percent Sans Sugar...technology HAS progressed a bit, correct? Would a call kill these people? They could even write it down and shred it at the end of the day just to add to the pile of stuff from my life which gets tossed without so much as a sideways glance. Aren't I worth it? I mean, they still do take my checks and not just the number...so my paper heap must be worth at least a [parking] token...which, by the way, they don't dole out anymore so I have to park in Lower Slobovia when I park, thank you, Baptist South - Morrow Tower people.

Now, with notebook (I am presently writing in) in hand, I sauntered back up to the receptionist station..."Can I 'borrow' a pen?" I ask (all innocently). She looks up ever so slightly from her "look who is going to be inconvenienced today by sitting unnecessarily long at the doctor's office" appointment book, and proceeds to tell me that I can use either the purple or blue one. I go for the purple. (My daughter likes purple.) Ordinarily this would be a massive clue for the more astute "Agatha-Christie-types"...only someone with prior intent to abscond with a nifty "drug company freebie pen" would give a flying fig about the exterior colour it was...but no red flags were raised and I am now writing with my "newfound" pen. The tiny things in life keep me going...and this was by far one of the tiniest. Lo and behold, I am called in to see my doctor...MY doctor was on time...THIS time. Time to put away my notebook which is supposed to scream "Johnny Depp playing J.M. Barrie in 'Finding Neverland'"...yes, take note everyone sitting in this waiting room, for *I* have a notebook...I fancy myself on the writer's playing field of the guy who penned "Peter Pan". Sigh...I am such a dreamer. Wait...isn't that what that film was about??? Hmmm...ironic?


I gave my daughter a pen today. It was purple. I wouldn't say it was the cheapest present I've ever given her as it cost me $165.66 with back payments duly tendered. And, speaking of irony...I even had the audacity to write my check out with their...uh...strike that...MY daughter's pen!


  1. I have a whole collection of stolen drug company pens from doctors offices. I felt guilty about it and once even managed to sneak a pen back into its jar. If I remember right I pointed over the receptionist's shoulder and said "Look! Puppies!" This was sufficient to distract her and then make her look back at me like I was a total asshole. You can take that act of stupidity with a grain of salt, but I did manage to sneak the pen back into the jar unnoticed.

    Why all the doctor's office visits, you might ask? Herpes is nothing to laugh at my friends. But that's something for another blog.


  2. I'll be honest...this is the first time I "stole" a pen. I always ask if I can have it. I do. What are they gonna say "No...we only have 4500 more in the closet"?

    Well, it does help to have your daughter oooh and aaah about it when you can.

    I also have THE biggest pen that any drug company has ever put out I think...can't find it now, but I think it was for some sleep medicine. I have a few really nice Viagra ones that are pretty and metal that I was contemplating giving away as prizes on my website...but I thought better of it. I mean they are no "pear ripening bag" or anything, ya know?

  3. Well, I may have move from your smoker's room. Interesting, you talked about the free pens without the usual ribald humor. (i.e., the Viagra pen was hard to write with since it was a little stiff, etc.) Believe it or not, I also absconded with a free pen (or two) and one was from Viagra. Of course, the male ego swells with pride when you accidently draw that baby out to write something in front of a throng of women. Oh well, there went the macho image. Another one that was acquired had to do with bowel movements and I gave that to one of my, at the time, younger children since they did not know the subject matter.
    I did not know you wrote such good fiction. Imagine anyone speaking of a doctor being on time for his own appointment. I laughed out loud at your satirical whit. The only thing I missed was the observations of other patients in the waiting room. What do you say to them and do you try to analyze or ridicule them in your mind?
    Some conversation starters sure to get you run off:
    Hey, what are you here for?
    You don’t look sick!
    What is your sign?
    Do you always let your child go up to strangers and infect them with their ability to make projectiles of their various diseases by coughing, sneezing and/or rubbing mucous on them?
    They say I am virulent, but don’t worry, the worse part is over… I think.
    I cannot believe you go into the waiting room and write. I use that time in a constructive manner by catching up on all my 2004-5 reading material. This would be in magazines that, I believe, are only bought by the doctors, dentist, vets, and beauty shops of the world.
    The Fresh Market was not the same today without your presence. I kept going to the coffee (free of course) and watching others carelessly putting cream in their coffee with no concern for shrimp.. I mean rotting dairy products in hermetically sealed containers. Maybe I will run into you again someday. Keep up the observations. I cannot believe I actual turn a computer on after work.

  4. I am going to refer to you as "Adios" or "Anonymous" as I don't know what your name is...yes, you have my blog, my comedy site, my name, and my email address...and I have "anonymous"...so that's what I will call you. Hopefully it will shame you into actually sending me an email, privately at least, to give me a name...or your name again as I'm sure you introduced yourself at Fresh Market.

    Nah...usually I drag my daughter to my own doctor's appointments and she isn't virulent, coughing and putting airborne nasties all over everything so they just kinda lean back, push it away from them with their pencil and go "uh...yeah kid...I'M not gonna touch it now, YOU have it". But odds are, if you ask for a pen at a doctor's office...they will let you have it. Everyone knows they have hundreds more, seven clocks, 83 mousepads, and countless squeezie toys all emblazoned with lovingly hand-picked, test-marketed and $2,000,000 imaged logos and drug names. I have a really nifty Lexapro mousepad given me (or my daughter) by a physician because my daughter just thought it was great that those little "Lexapro" people float around in the water filled mousepad and scurry away when you poke them. I am sure the doctor had a stack more in the back and was happy to make my daughter happy...hey, it was Lexapro...aren't they ABOUT making people happy?

    And as far as running into me again at Fresh Market - pretty much every weekday from 3:30-4-ish I am there, much to my daughter's dismay. Yes, I have an unspoken returning engagement there, also unpaid like everything else I do. I've joked with them that they should hire me as I am their best PR agent. I'm always getting people to buy meat and fish based on my recommendations. Not that the fact that until they do, I keep talking - has anything to do with it.

    But I will take your advice: the next time I get called in when everyone else is still waiting for their appointments, I'll make a point to flamboyantly point it out to them and then swish my coat and swing my purse, saying things under my breath (very loudly) like "A whole FIVE minutes...how DARE they...do they have ANY idea WHO I am???" That way, not only will they think that I think I've been put out for waiting an astounding "five" minutes...but they will just spend the rest of the day wondering just who the heck I was. So, it will be like taunting two birds with one stone...or at the very least...annoying.

  5. I don't know if I would get too chummy with stalker boy, a.k.a. anonymous. If I knew someone was watching me and not introducing themselves and then writing about it to me in my blog, I think I would be a little creeped out. But then I suppose these are the risks you take when you announce yourself to the public.

    Do me a favor. The next time you go into the Fresh Market just check to be sure the produce guy isn't wearing a hockey mask, okay?

    Funny comment about "THE biggest pen". They really announce themselves don't they. Pretty soon they'll be too big to actually write with.

    That first comment I wrote? Not my best effort. I blame tiredness and the lack of Neccos. Sorry about the expletive. I'll watch my language. Well, let's just say I'll be more conscientious.

    Peace man...

  6. Well, I finally realized why I do not like the “free” forum that occurs in the realm of e-mails, blogs, etc. There is no responsibility for the comments you make or the accusations, even though they are so completely off base as to be out of the ball park, said to “plant the seeds” of doubt in people and make them question the real truths of life. I lecture people (kids, fellow workers, etc) not to believe items are true just because they are in the paper, blog, radio, and other forms of communications (or lies). Get the facts!! With this stated, now I THANK YOU TPANNER FOR CALLING ME A STALKER BOY!! When you cannot compete on one level, it is typical, in today’s society, just to throw out accusations so the other person is on the defense trying to deny the slur. I will retire from this site for you.
    To you, M Simms, I humbly apologize if you, in any way, have been distressed, fearful, or uncertain of my actions and/or words. As I recall, an initial comfort zone was established where you offer me your card and kind invitation to look at your site. We spoke of a variety of subjects, starting with the theft of a small child’s lactose drink, which culminated in your request to look at your writings and my first (“Blush, Blush) blog(umn). If you want an e-mail address, try nedderenol at hotmail dot com. To keep psychopathic stalkers (and other people I have no interest in communicating with) from contacting me, please relate what a parent did with poison ivy to confirm who you are. My initial contact was so meaningful that my name, Jim, must have been deeply ingrained into your memory banks to have on your lips, like Rosebud, only to be spoken with your last breath. LOL (You probably forgot it in the first 1.3 seconds I said it!) Other items discussed, would also have made it easy to ascertain my identity through a mutual school our daughters attended, etc.
    .that said..
    After the shock of the accusation, I read back through many of your blogumns and realize the TPANNER was many times your initial and/or only reader/blog responder. I see now he (she it) is very protective and so full of…. Advice for you, that I need to cease all correspondence as not to infringe on this meaningful relationship.
    If needed, drop a blog and I will forgo shopping at the Market if your safety and peace of mind is intimidated by my anticipated presence. Forgiveness is again requested for interfering in this mutual admiration society that I so callously invaded. I am sure a counter is incorporated into your blog, so, with your permission of course, I hope you do not mind me occasionally reading some of your postings. I will no longer interfere with your relations w the TPANNER, although many of his (hers its) comments are not that creative and seem to be reactionary, versus creative, to your initial forays into an observation. To the TPANNER, please realize the trite, 1970’s Age of Aquarius, “Peace” signoff brings back old memories of hippies trying to appear intelligent. Usually, the one flashing the V sign, in reality, had only half the sign, along with a different spelling of the word, in mind.
    M S, I hope you will put more of yourself into your creations instead of being a third person, almost an observer, in the writings. Your piece on how you would handle the doctor being on time for your appointment was classically funny and thoughtful. You actually transferred me to the waiting room, in awe, wondering who the heck that pretty lady was, and why she so important for the doctor to be on time.
    Like a long ago friend once said, “It’s easy to describe slam dancing, but, until you got into the nosh pit, you were always an impersonal observer who never had the bruises or scars as badges of honor for stepping out and participating. Boy, did I get beat up and have fun (oxymoron). On the flip side, the paterfamilia of our clan always said I was the stupidest Mensa idiot he ever met. Of course I resembled that statement, except the Mensa part ( I ain’t no foreigner).
    As my last statement, thanks for the Adios and/or anonymous, it gave meaning and purpose to my routine life. If you want, let me know if you do want me to correspond again, otherwise…
    ADIOS… oops pardon me… I mean Peace Out Forever.

  7. Let me take this in a couple parts. First off...the "Adios" name that I gave you was only because you had signed your post before mine as "Adios". Yes, I know you didn't "sign" it as a name - but that was your last word...and I thought it was kinda "Dear Abbyish" of me to refer to you as that. Honestly, I meant nothing more cryptic behind it than that...I thought I was just being "clever".

    As for tpanner, I told him privately, in an email, that you were not a stalker and that we had met prior to your posting anything here in the store...and that you had also introduced yourself...but I am horribly terrible at remembering names, especially when I figure I will never see that person again in my lifetime. I jot down my website or tell people all the time about my blog here when I meet them at places...but, frankly, and sadly, you have been the only one (to my knowledge) to have the decency to follow thru with saying you'd "take a look". But I digress. Tpanner stated he was under the impression you (perhaps a worker there), hadn't met me and were just watching me at Fresh Market from afar, which would be kinda creepy...you must admit. Now, I cannot speak for tpanner, but since he is a long-time player of my humour website...I would venture to say many of the things he says as a retort to my blogs are meant to be of the "comical" or "sarcastic" variety and doesn't mean any harm by them in the least. He is not my personal protector...and of all the people in the world, and of course no one would automatically know this...I have no idea who he (I would figure he is a he...he could be a she) is...as the majority of the people who play my site do so anonymously.

    Which brings me to anonymity. I actually enjoy the fact that people can reply back to these blogs anonymously. I am sure no one would really comment unfavourably if they had to disclose their names. Personally, if something I said annoyed someone...I'd also like to hear that as well...not just the "nice" comments. So, I hope the comments of one person here, clealy not knowing the circumstances before posting, would not deter you from making comments in the future to my blogs...or any other blogs for that matter. I personally enjoy having comments made to my blogs any way I can get them...even if I have to "accost" people at the coffee bar at Fresh Market to do so. ;)

  8. Holy crap! I had no idea that an off the cuff remark, intended only to be humorous, should have created such a ruckus. I intended a more detailed response with, to be honest, some frank suggestions for "anonymous". But, after reading Mariann's thoughtful and concise reply I can see this is largely unnecessary. She nicely outlined, to my satisfaction, the details of any concern I had that there was a misunderstanding.

    Of all of us, I think Mariann is the one who feels most obliged to be the diplomat, and I thank her for her efforts. It's not easy to come up with all this stuff(the blog, HMO) that we get to play around with and bang our heads against.

    I can only speak for myself, but I approach Mariann's offerings like a kid playing in a sandbox. I get a chance to shift the sand around in unexpected ways and maybe even toss a little outside the box. But, and I am speaking directly to "anonymous" here, I would never even consider making an effort to exclude anyone from playing in the sandbox right beside me. Quite the contrary, I would welcome even an adversarial relationship. These are exactly the kind of exchanges that bring a blog to life. How boring would life be if all we did was pat each other on the back. And it is largely to these ends that my comments to Mariann might seem contrary or controversial or even without any merit whatsoever. I apologize to "anonymous" for being hurt by them, and strongly encourage him to continue contributing to this blog.

    I don't think anyone should get the idea that they are a third wheel butting in on a special relationship between tpanner and Mariann. Mariann has plenty of contributor email to deal with. Ask her yourself. The idea here is to get everybody to butt in - to get everybody to contribute. In Mariann you have a brain that is overflowing with words and ideas just looking for an outlet. So let's give her an outlet dammit! "Anonymous", "tpanner", everybody's welcome. That's the whole idea!!!

    Always remember that wandering into a totally unsecured, unregulated, global computer network is a little like wandering into the wild, wild west. Don't be surprised if you get winged every now and then.

    Much peace...

  9. I can't leave you kids alone for a minute, can I?