Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Last week this very elderly woman sat next to me on the bus. I have a soft spot for the oldies, probably because I have no grandparents left and my mom has worked in a nursing home for the past 20 years.

So I spent the greater part of my ride wondering two things:

1.  Should I offer to pull the stop cord for her as a courtesy?
2.  Does she think my iPod is a magical piece of moden witchcraft?

The second thought is obviously cruel, since it assumes this woman is not only helplessly out of touch but also incapable of embracing technology. Then again, I remember trying to teach my grandmother to play Super Mario Bros. once.  It did not go well.

But back to the first thought.  I went back and forth on this one.  Would offering to perform such a basic task make me seem like a respectful young lady, or would it imply that I feared that the simple act of reaching up would snap her brittle bones? 

Before I could make up my mind on this contentious issue, the woman stretched her arm behind me, yanked that cord like a mofo, and then managed to accidentally whap me upside the back of the head on the return trip.

At least I think it was accidental.  Maybe she was a mind reader.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pulling My Hair Out

Let me begin by saying that this blog in no way intends to target specific people and make fun of them, at least by name. Most subjects are (and thankfully remain) anonymous. However, in this particular case, I can't help it.

Every day, my bus passes a house with a large canvas flag out front advertising an at-home beauty shop. In itself, this is a fine idea. What has bothered me for the last three years, and what continues to bother me (to the point that I feel the irrepressible need to rant about it) is the name of the business. The sign reads: "What The Hair Is Going On With Deana?"

This isn't a cute tagline. It's the actual name of the shop. There are so many things wrong with this, I don't even know where to begin, but here are the two biggest problems.

First, the length. How many people find it necessary to use an entire sentence, complete with punctuation, to describe their trade? I'm a small business owner. I didn't name my company "Courtney and Jen Make the Best Greeting Cards Ever!" No, my good readers, I did not. I named it Green Couch Cards. It's simple, it has personal meaning, and it lends itself to a charming graphic.

Second, the "play on words." I have to put this in quotes, because I don't think it can accurately be described as such. Presumably, "hair" is standing in for "heck," or for those of us with potty mouths, "hell." Nowhere in the English language does "hair" even remotely sound like "hell." I've tried it in several different accents. Now, if she had gone with "What the gel?" we're getting closer to clever. How about "I Don't Give a Snip" or "Tress to Kill" or "Comb Sweet Comb?"

Now, I checked out the website, and the woman actually seems pretty cool, despite her lack of marketing technique. She mentions she's a huge movie fan. So how about "Curl, Interrupted" or "Eyes Wide Cut" or "My Hair Lady?" Even "Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby Pin" would be an improvement at this point.

Of course, some names could be taken the wrong way. "Dirty Hairy" might not work, nor would "Scissor Me." And you'd want to steer clear of anything with the word "blow" in it, unless your goal is to receive numerous phone calls with nothing but heavy breathing on the other end.

The bottom line is this: I'm not saying it's not a good place to get your hair done. I'm just saying a little more thought could have been put into it. I spent ten minutes on it, and (copyright limitations aside) I came up with several options. I can think of three actual salons with great names, if you're into legitimate wordplay: "Shape, Wrap & Roll," "Curl Up & Dye" and another one on the same street, "Foiled Again."

Deana, it's not too late. I have faith in you. Your business is dyeing for a name change. 'Do it now. Make it permanent.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hey, You Kids! Get Off My Lawn!

Last weekend I helped my sister celebrate her (first annual) 29th birthday. It was a tasteful affair, about 30 people lounging in the reserved section of a restaurant, munching on appetizers, indulging in cake, drinking moderately, and chatting for about four hours. 

Afterward, I went out with my sister and four of her friends to a local downtown bar. It was packed to the brim with hordes of drunken twenty-somethings gyrating to conversation-drowning club music. Oh, and smoking. Did I mention I was in South Dakota?
Long story short . . . I have never felt older in my life.

There is a very limited window in which a person can happily stand (because there is no place to sit) in a crowd of scantily-clad girls selling suckers and draped in penis paraphernalia (because that bachelorette is getting MARRIED, bitches, so whooooo-hooooo let's get a few more shots in before we have to help her paint her new house and throw a baby shower and then support her through the divorce). 

This is the window in which young men, in varying states of boredom and over-zealousness, either brood or swagger their way between potential conquests while shouting about sports stats and calling each other gay.

This window has firmly shut for me. Not that I ever stared through it for too long -- I may have peeked over the sill once or twice, but I can't remember the last time I "partied" that wasn't beers at happy hour or cocktails after the theater.

I know what you're thinking ... "What is she, 80?" No, but the careless expenditure of energy I witnessed last Saturday just exhausted me entirely. My first thought: "I want to give every girl in here a jacket and a ride home." My second thought: "The only guy who's going to hit on me will probably be picking up his daughter."

I think it was about the time when I looked out on the dance floor and saw the blow-up doll hoisted in the air and bobbing to the techno beat that I realized I was officially done. My inner 80-year-old was yelling, "Close that window, you're letting in a draft!" 

Indeed, grandma. Indeed.