And the Oscar Goes To…

I used to be a big movie-goer. In the early nineties I watched lots of movies, and a fair share of them on the big screen. That’s why I always looked forward to the Oscars, I had seen most of the movies and had my favorites and predictions, etc.

That’s not the case any more. I just went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens with my dad on Thursday. The last time I went to a movie before that was to take my daughters to High School Musical 3, in 2008. Even when it comes to watching movies at home I’m not very active. We don’t even own a television anymore, and I only occasionally watch DVDs on the computer. To illustrate my infrequency of watching movies consider this, my friend Rob gave me a 3-DVD set of the first three Bond films with Daniel Craig for Christmas 2014. I’ve only seen Casino Royale. That’s why I don’t watch the Oscars any more, little interest and even less time.

But my 16-year-old really wants to see Mad Max: Fury Road win for Best Picture. That’s her horse in the race. But she hasn’t seen the movie. Nor has she seen ANY Mad Max movie. She doesn’t care about George Miller, Tom Hardy or Charlize Theron. Heck, this 16-year-old girl doesn’t even care about heart-throb Nicholas Hoult. So, why does she care about the movie? Well, her answer is similar to why some non-football fans select a Super Bowl team by which one has the prettier uniforms.

You see, my eldest once had a crush on Ross Lynch. However, he was demoted from future-son-in-law to ex-future-son-in-law when he began dating Courtney Eaton, who has a role in the film. I don’t even know if she talks in the role, but if the movie wins she’ll be happy; which will make Ross happy; which will make my eldest happy.

Yeah, not a typical reason for rooting for an Oscar film. But I guess I can be glad that she’s rooting for the film which stars her ex-future-husband’s girlfriend. After all, I rather her not be vengeful and wish ill upon the hussy that stole her man. Instead, she shows this young lady support and moves onto a new crush. (Look out, Corey Fogelmanis, you’re in her sights.)

What Day Is It?

It seems like there’s always a new National something day popping up. As a bakery manager for a retail market I have been preparing for National Banana Bread Day tomorrow. We are selling our Banana Nut Bread buy-one-get-one free for one day only. The most aggravating part of this sale is that Banana Nut Bread is one of eight, yes EIGHT, varieties of nut breads which are currently available in our store. So we know customers will constantly ask or argue with us about all nut breads being part of the sale. Because whenever we put all varieties of nut breads on sale and completely separate them from the six varieties of pound cakes, people always assume both pound cakes and nut breads are part of the BOGO deal. Oh, yeah, the full BOGO nut bread sale begins the day after tomorrow.

And next month we will be selling our apple pies discounted $3.14 for Pi Day! (Get it math neophytes, pi=3.14.) There was even once a National Zucchini Bread Day.

I propose we have a National It’s Not National Anything Day Day. It would make sense, after all the majority of us working schmucks just have day after day of the same boring crap anyways…why not celebrate it with nothing at all. Yeah, let’s pick a day and make it the National It’s Not National Anything Day Day.

You know, today was National Margarita Day. Maybe I should’ve had one, then maybe I wouldn’t have this headache from thinking about all these days.

Not My Fault

It was December 11th. My youngest daughter had fallen asleep on the couch and I was just starting to doze with her when the phone rang. I sprang from the couch as quickly and quietly as I could to answer the phone so the ringing wouldn’t wake her. It was one of my baker’s calling out for the following morning – she had been at the ER with her daughter who injured her knee. That was no big deal as another baker was due in at the same time and I could just go in early to explain everything and we could adjust accordingly.

That’s where the first flaw in the plan hit…in my urgency to answer the phone quickly I kind of kick-started my body into alert mode. It was just past 10:30 and I was wide awake. Although my daughter slept through it all – including my carrying her to her bed – I didn’t fall back to sleep until some time after 1:30AM. The morning baker starts at 5AM. I’m in my forties nowadays, so dragging my butt out of bed with that little sleep has become too difficult. So, it was after 6 before I arrived at the store.

I didn’t expect too many problems, though. After all, the other baker scheduled at 5AM probably came to the conclusion her co-worker was out and jumped in to baking within 15 minutes. That’s where the second flaw in the plan hit…when I made my way back to the bakery (6:20AM) she hadn’t started any baking and was only working on the original task she was assigned, which is greatly dependent upon the 5AM baker. I quickly explained the situation and asked if she’d rather take over baking or continue her other job. She said she was having abdominal pain and didn’t think she could handle the physical aspect of baking. (Yes, there’s a very physical aspect to the AM baker job at my store.) So, I took over at 6:26, almost one-and-one-half hour after the job should’ve been started. It was not going to be a fun day.

Twenty minutes later, the other baker came into the kitchen and said, “I think I need to go to the hospital…and someone’s going to have to take me.” I arranged for our courtesy clerk to take her and while that was happening she clutched her stomach and grunted in pain. She also was embarrassed by wetting her pants in the process. So now I was down two employees, one whose health I was greatly concerned about, and 1:30 behind schedule. Yes, this was not a fun morning.

But the rest of us got into a groove by sharing jobs and just accepting the fact we’d be behind all day. I had placed calls to get people in early or in on their day off, but was playing the waiting game at the time. And it was hard to get help from other departments as the manager informed me there were 3 other call-outs in the store that day. So, while I was in the freezer it was no wonder I heard her telling the next manager that it had been a surreal morning. Little did I know how surreal it really was…

It turns out our baker who was taken to the hospital had a baby. AND SHE DIDN’T KNOW SHE WAS PREGNANT! Apparently when the nurse effectively caught the baby popping out of her told she just had a baby her response was, “NO!!”

I find it fascinating that no one could know they are pregnant. My wife deals with morning sickness, nausea, constipation, insomnia and any number of other pregnancy-related problems, including long labors, and my baker didn’t know anything about her own. In fact, my wife was pregnant at the time and was on intravenous fluids for 4 weeks. It was our fifth child and every pregnancy had it’s share of hardships.

So, after picking my jaw up off the freezer floor I asked if she was okay. Yes, baby and mommy were both healthy, happy, and very stunned. I also was happy for my baker, after all she no longer need be embarrassed about pissing her pants…it was just her water breaking. She’s probably also thankful that her water broke when it did because she had been in the very same freezer just minutes before and she would’ve gotten stuck. However, given the fact that I was a proud father of four already I think she could’ve let me help with the delivery and not missed the rest of her shift!  I mean, if anybody at the store can to it, it would be me. After all…

Like I said, we were pregnant for the fifth time – a fact which earned me the nickname, “The Impregnator,” from our seafood specialist. Of course he was the first person to make the smart ass comment, “What did you do to your baker, bump into her?” Clever and witty though it was, that little joke only started an avalanche of other wisecracks at The Impregnator’s expense. The only defense I had was that she’d had a boy, and I could only produce girl offspring. But one month later even I lost that excuse when my wife gave birth to a boy.

And none of my co-workers have looked at me the same way since.

Happy Valentine’s Day

I’ve been a bakery manager for more years than I wish to count. (The longest temp job I’ve ever had.) But it always makes me crazy that we sell so many chocolate covered strawberries for the holiday. I mean, c’mon people, try to be original.

I never buy my wife chocolate covered strawberries. I like to think myself a more original and creative thinker than just succumbing to the ordinary. So this year I gave my wife three Valentine’s Day gifts: gloves, a scrub brush, and toilet bowl cleaner.

This is what we call thinking outside the box. Because once you give your wife those gifts on Valentine’s Day, that’s one place you won’t get in anytime soon.

Yes, I’m back to writing! Look out.