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A Ronulan Tale: Cowboy Slim

Ron is a real person who dated my sister. A Ronulan is someone who possesses Ron-like qualities. A Ronduh is someone who is dumb enough to put up with them. Here’s today’s story – Happy Ronday!

It had been a long several days. My old car had died and my replacement car had started acting up with some of the same symptoms. After days of frantic phone calls, mixed messages, and a few tears, I was done. D-O-N-E. Done.

But finally my new car had been repaired and picked up, and my boyfriend and I had decided to grab dinner at the Cracker Barrel next door before heading to our homes to crash. We loved Cracker Barrel but this was not a normal night. Tonight was “Rising Star” night (evidently) – as none of our normal waitresses were on site and the folks who were there were all wearing aprons without names on them, or only 1 or 2 stars. (The more stars, the better the waitstaff, or at least the longer they had been there. New staff have “Rising Star” sewn on their aprons while they wait for their personalized aprons to arrive). One 3 star waitress was frantically overseeing the crew.

Our waiter for the evening was Cowboy Slim. He was a grizzly, lean older fellow with bowed legs like he had been riding too long in the saddle. He had a cock-eyed grin when he greeted us as if he wasn’t quite sure he understood our cityslicker English, but he was sure going to try. He took our drink order (2 waters) and then ambled off. We noticed him pushing in some chairs and straightening some tables on his way and then twenty minutes passed.

The frazzled 3-star waitress noticed us and came by in exasperation and said, “Has nobody waited on you YET?”

We let her know that someone took our order for 2 waters but that nobody had been by in quite some time. She shook her head and said, “I will get you help – I’m so, so sorry.”

Less than 2 minutes later a beautiful metrosexual black man approached our table. He was tall, lean, with a starch crispness to both his outfit and his demeanor. As he elegantly placed each water glass in front of us, he stated, “I don’t know who your waiter was before, but I am here now and I will take care of you.”

With a flourish he took out his order pad and pencil, and I just felt this wave of relief wash over me. Now things would be better.

And that’s when I spotted our Cowboy Slim sidewinding back up the aisle towards us and wrassling our beautiful waiter out of our way. “These are my folks,” he said, “I’se gots ‘em.”

Our waiter glided away with a shrug and I wanted to shout after him to come back – but it was too late. He was gone.

We placed our orders with Cowboy Slim, and when he asked us if we wanted cornbread or biscuits, I hesitated. I have celiac’s disease, so the biscuits are a no-no. But my boyfriend likes the biscuits, so usually we ask that they put my biscuits with his. Slowly, I explained to Slim that I wanted the biscuits, but on a separate plate so my boyfriend could eat them. I stressed that the biscuits can’t go on my plate, that if they touched my food it would be cross-contaminated and I wouldn’t be able to eat it.

Slim nodded his head and with a hitch in his walk headed purposefully towards the kitchen. When he finally returned, he held his tray aloft like it won first prize at the county fair. He set my plate first in front of me, and then my boyfriend’s in front of him.

Finally, he held aloft an enormous platter.

“Now, little lady,” he began. “I listened carefully to whatcha said about them biscuits not touching cuz you were allergic. So I think you will like what I have done.”

And with that he placed the platter on our table – with one biscuit in each of the 4 corners of the platter.

I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, hoping he was joking. But he was serious and plum tickled with how clever he was.

I didn’t have the heart to explain to him that pull-apart biscuits didn’t magically become non-allergic because you pulled them apart from each other. And quite frankly, it was all I could to do not to burst out laughing or crying. So I just avoided eye contact, thanked him, and waited until he left before looking at my boyfriend. And then we both started suppressing our laughter so hard, the tears ran down our face.

There are just no other words.

I cannot take credit for the following writing – I lifted it directly from a local paper in my hometown. Trip the Munchkin (name changed because . . .y’know) was my sister’s husband. A fact that was left out of the following story: at the time of my sister’s death, she and Trip had been separated for quite a bit of time and she was living in her own place.

There are so many snarky comments I want to include – but my readers are intelligent and can insert their own punchlines where appropriate. Happy Ronday!

On [date redacted], a state police detective working for the [City Redacted] District Attorney’s office arrested Trip the Munchkin after linking him to over $70,000 in counterfeit $100 bills and travelers checks. Trip the Munchkin was convicted in April 2007 and sentenced to two years of probation.

“It’s something I expected would come up,” Trip the Munchkin said.

The saga started back in 2005 after the death of his wife. Trip the Munchkin moved back in with his parents but later found himself on a dating site looking for companionship.

“It was a rather emotional time of my life,” he said. “And I met this person online. This person was being really sweet to me and I found out she was from Africa. That really didn’t put out any bells and whistles — I had dated someone who had come over from Africa before. I wasn’t quite as savvy as I am now.”

His new friend asked him for a favor: she asked if she could send him traveler’s checks in the mail, which he could cash at his bank before sending them on to another friend through Western Union.

The traveler’s checks cleared, and Trip the Munchkin figured the arrangement was legitimate. He later discovered the checks were counterfeit but his Nigerian friend reassured him that she had been scammed as well.

The next packages contained what looked like $100 bills, which were later revealed to be created from uncut sheets of $1 bills that were washed and remade as higher currency.

I thought the bills were real,” Trip the Munchkin said. He acknowledges, however, that he had suspicions and thought perhaps he could continue along to collect evidence.

I was out about $4,000 myself,” he said. “She swore she’d pay me back.”

A friend at his bank set him straight — the money he was receiving was counterfeit. Trip the Munchkin said he was planning to contact state and local police when he received the fatal knock on his door: the Secret Service and state police were there with a search warrant.

According to [City Redacted] District Court records, the warrant was obtained after an investigation into the counterfeit $100 bills. They opened 27 Federal Express packages which had been shipped from Trip the Munchkin’s [city redacted] home and discovered a total of $69,000 counterfeit $100 bills and money orders.

On searching the house, the records state, an additional $5,000 in counterfeit $100 bills were seized along with Federal Express shipping packages of various sizes, several Federal Express tracking slips and counterfeit American Express checks.

Trip the Munchkin said he cooperated with the investigation and officials eventually believed that he had nothing to do with the actual counterfeiting. Trip the Munchkin said he served out his two years of probation properly, paid his fines, and has since stayed away from imported funds.

“I got myself in the middle of something I didn’t understand,” Trip the Munchkin said. “I was a dope. It was a vulnerable time of my life.”

Ron is a real person who dated my sister. A Ronulian is someone who possesses Ron-like qualities. A Ronduh is someone who is dumb enough to put up with them. Here’s today’s story – Happy Ronday!

RonKiki had been working as a contractor through a temp agency for several months but was starting to have attendance issues.

When her staffing manager reached out to her about this, RonKiki confessed that she was a bit homesick and asked if she could apply for assignments in her hometown through the same agency. Although highly irregular, the staffing manager agreed and RonKiki took a week off from her current assignment to go home and see what jobs she could get.

The agency was able to present her to another assignment, and after a brief interview, she was offered the position. All she had to do was pass the background check and the drug test. This was great news!

RonKiki had already been through an extensive background check and fingerprinting for her current assignment, so the agency knew she would pass that. And she went in to her drug testing the next day, so everything should be in order soon.

Except. . . she failed her drug screen.

When asked about it, RonKiki didn’t flinch – she totally admitted that she did drugs and figured she would fail. RonKiki was stunned when the agency informed her that now she wouldn’t be able to return to her current assignment either.

But they don’t require drug tests!” she wailed.

That’s right,” the manager explained. “But we are your employer and now we know that you have failed, which is a violation of our policy.”

“You guys are just being mean to me on purpose.” She declared.

Yes, RonKiki, the law is a mean, mean thing.

A Ronulian Story: The Lump

Ron is real and the inspiration for the Rondays.  Ronulians are Ronlike.  Ronduhs put up with them.  Happy Ronday!

My friend Dave is a very big-hearted guy, and last year when a new friend of ours, Malcolm, was relocating to the area, he offered to let Mal move in as a roommate.

Everything was great at first, Mal found a job and was doing really well. Then Mal had an injury and was laid up on the couch for a couple of weeks trying to recover. Only, Mal started enjoying being laid up so much that he didn’t return to work, just sat like a lump on Dave’s couch. So much so that he actually carved out a butt-shaped permant dent in the couch. He would actually watch whole seasons of tv shows on Netflix in one sitting – even watched whole series from that position – so we started referring to Malcom as “the Lump.”

Not that Lump wasn’t looking for jobs. He’d tell anyone who’d listen about all the jobs he’d applied for. I actually work for a staffing agency, so I tried to give him some pointers about job-hunting, resume writing, and the like. I never went so far as to offer him a job though – because I didn’t think he would be able to transition me from friend to “boss lady.” It’s not like I hid it from him, I just avoided bringing up that I was hiring.

However, Lump came across one of my online job postings and excitedly messaged me on Facebook. In his head, just knowing me got him the job. I politely promised to review his resume but explained that we were a little slow at the warehouse.

A week or so went by, and I had been scraping the bottom of the barrell for new temps to hire for the warehouse. And feeling guilty, not for Lump’s sake, but for Dave’s, I decided to pull up Lump’s online application and see what I could. Only, I couldn’t find it. . .

I messaged Lump on Facebook and told him I couldn’t find his app. Lump went by a few different nicknames, so I thought maybe i had his real name wrong, or was spelling his name wrong, or something. He messaged back the correct spelling and even copy and pasted the text from our website confirming that he had applied. I looked again but still couldn’t find it. Not having time to mess with it, I moved on and hired some other people. Another week or so went by and Lump was getting Lumpier. The couch cushion was getting flatter. Poor Dave was getting more and more stressed out.

Finally, against my better judgment, I decided that I would find that application if it killed me – and give Lump a job – just to get him off Dave’s poor, oppressed couch. I searched every way I could (understand, I had hundreds of online apps to look through) and then finally decided to go back and manually go through each online app. Still nothing under any version of his name. Finally, I decided to go to just the day he first contacted me and open every online file from that day.

AND THEN I FOUND HIM!

His name on his application? Charlotte North Carolina.

With all the hundreds of applications that boy filled out – can you imagine if every one of them was filled out so ineptly? No wonder why he wasn’t finding a job.

Happily, by the time I found his application, Lump had decided to move out of state to mooch off, I mean, live with other friends.

And now, whenever we talk about Lump, my ex-boyfriend calls him by his new nickname. . . Charlotte.

Ron is a real person and the inspiration for Rondays. A Ronulian is someone who is Ronlike.  A Ronduh is someone who put up with Rons. Happy Ronday!

Sharon was an engineer I worked with back when I was a document control specialist for a government contractor.

Every week, the engineers had to submit this excel spreadsheet report to my department. And every week, Sharon would have a problem getting her spreadsheet to work.

Now, I’m going to show my age a little here, but back when Sharon and I worked together, our computers were still using 5.25” floppy disks. So every week, I would put a copy of the excel spreadsheet on a 5.25” disk and give it to Sharon. She would do her report, print it out and turn it in. Then next week she would try to access her disk, and the file would be corrupted.

My boss and I couldn’t figure out what the problem was, so I was sent to personally deliver the disk to Sharon and make sure it worked. I watched Sharon as she opened the file and entered her information. I watched her enter and save the spreadsheet. I watched as she printed it out. I watched as she took out the disk. I made her put it back in and try to open the file again. I watched as the file opened up without any problem.

“Isn’t that the way?” she joked. “It always works when someone is standing over your shoulder and watching.”

I laughed with her. Then I watched as she took the disk out of the computer and stuck it on her metal file cabinet with a magnet for “safe keeping.”

“Uh, Sharon?” I began. “I think I figured out the problem . . .”

A Ronulian Story: RonDonna

Ron is real and the inspiration for Rondays.  A Ronulian is someone who is Ron-like.  A Ron-duh is someone who puts up with him.  Happy Ronday!

During pre-wedding counseling, the officiating pastor made it clear to us that there was to be NO flash photography during the more sacred parts of the ceremony (prayers, readings, vows, etc.) He also informed us in no uncertain terms that he would not tolerate anything intrusive to the ceremony, and was not afraid to stop the ceremony until said distraction stopped.

My future (ex) husband and I looked at each other and said: “Donna.”

Donna was his older sister. She was a tiny woman who still believed that frosted blue eye shadow up to your eyebrows was in, and that polyester would never go out of style. She fussed a lot, and did not think rules applied to her. Plus, she was an amateur photographer and we knew she would think nothing of flashing through kingdom come.

So I devised a plan. I asked my sweet, quiet cousin Mark to take the photos, and asked Donna to work the video camera. This was the perfect solution: no one’s feelings would get hurt and the pastor would not reign down fire and brimstone.

On the day of the wedding, I had only one request: I didn’t want to know what time it was. If I needed to go somewhere or do something, my maid of honor just told me – never mentioning the time, and never letting me see a clock or a watch. “Let’s leave for the church now!” “Let’s go put your hair in rollers” “Let’s get our dresses on” It was wonderful – I didn’t get edgy or stressed. We got dressed in the nursery of the church, and my maid of honor was helping me do my hair and put on my makeup. This was the first time even a flitter of nervousness started to appear as the moment grew closer.

My (ex) husband’s mother and sisters and niece came over to where I was getting dressed to say hello, and I said hello back – even though I couldn’t see them because the MOH was putting on my eyeshadow. When I opened my eyes, there was Donna’s face – TWO INCHES FROM MINE.

“Hello,” she said.

I jumped back with a screech and closed my eyes again. “Sorry, I just need to get ready. Can you back up a little?”

Next thing I know, the entire nursery is empty except the maid of honor and me. Guess I scared them all away. Now I really was panicking. I just “yelled” at my future sister-in-law on my wedding day! Greeeeaaat.

But I took a deep breath and tried to return to the peaceful, ignorant bliss from before. My bridesmaids returned and we all headed upstairs to the sanctuary and one by one walked down the aisle. The ceremony started and everything looked beautiful.

Then I saw her.

Donna was not with the video camera. No, she had somehow delegated that duty to her brother, and was now walking around the church flashing pictures. I looked at my (ex)husband with wide eyes – but he had evidently done shots right before the wedding (gives new meaning to shot gun wedding) and was very . . .happy.

Donna kept inching her way up the aisle. Oh my god, she wouldn’t. But here she came. Closer and closer.

And then. . .she disappeared.

I was trying to pay attention to my wedding, but I could not fathom why she would leave the sanctuary.

Until I saw her.

Directly behind the pastor, she suddenly re-appeared. She had found her way to the choir loft behind and was now weaving through the choir pews, just 10 feet from the pastor, who was giving his sermonette.

Desperately, I tried to do a psychic mind meld with my eyes to beg her to stop and think. I mean, it was all over the programs – “No flash photography during the sacred portions of the service.” There was even a sign at the entrance to the sanctuary. I had mentioned it to her. It was all over. Oh my god, why?

She raised her camera. She focused in on us, and I tried to mouth to her “No!” without the pastor seeing. She . . .she . . .she. . .

Flashed.

The pastor stopped, mid-sentence. The church got dead quiet. No programs rustling, no children talking.

Like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, the pastor’s head seemed to turn towards Donna, his body hardly moving. He stared at her for a long moment, and suddenly she felt the whole church’s gaze upon her.

She backed up in to the pew, almost falling over. She grasped the camera in front of her chest with both hands, as if for protection. And then as suddenly as she appeared, she was gone again.

The pastor calmly turned his head back towards us and picked back up right where he left off as if nothing had happened. People shifted and sighed and the normal white noises returned. The flowers in my bouquet stopped shaking.

And Donna didn’t use her flash for the rest of the ceremony.

Amen.

A Ronulian Story: RonJeff

Ron is a real person.  A Ronulian is someone who acts like Ron.  A Ronduh puts up with him.  Happy Ronday!

Jeff and I met in college. We were in the same performance group, and often got paired together on stage – so we struck up a camaraderie that went from a light-hearted friendship to an off-and-on dating relationship. No commitments, we just accompanied each other to some on-campus events and had occasional meals together at the campus dining common.

I took a job in town after my junior year, and Jeff went to Nova Scotia for the summer. When Jeff returned for his senior year, he met some of my summertime friends, including someone I had gone on a few dates with.

Strangely, each meeting the other brought out their competitive nature, and the two of them were suddenly asking me on dates every weekend. It was slightly flattering, until you realized it was just one-upmanship vs. actual ardor. This went on for several months until I decided to move back home to help out my mother.

I talked to Jeff occasionally on the phone, and we would sometimes write, but we both moved on with our lives and returned to our friendship status.

Then, almost 7 months after I had moved away, Jeff called and announced he was coming to visit me. He was making a road trip with 2 other stops on the way, and would be at my house in a week. I hung up the phone and went down to tell my mother.

“Why is he coming?” my mother asked.

“I have no idea,” I admitted.

When Jeff arrived, there were hugs and smiles. We chatted about our lives and I introduced him to my mother. He told me about his trip so far, and the people he had stopped to visit along the way: a girl from college whom he had dated off-and-on but had broken his heart, and another girl he had met through the first girl, and with whom he had started a long distance friendship. And now he was here.

My mom and I looked wordlessly at each other across the table, and then went back to eating our meal. The three of us played a few board games after dinner before calling it a night.

The next morning after breakfast, I took Jeff for a walk around my town. Once we were about a half a mile down the road, I asked him, “Why are you here? Not that I’m not happy to see you – but what’s up?”

Jeff smiled and said, “Well, now that I’ve graduated from college I feel like it’s time to start my life. Y’know – find a wife, get a job, settle down. So I figured I would take a trip, visit my three top choices and see which one I should marry.”

I thanked Jeff for including me as one of his “three top choices” but informed him kindly that I was disqualifying myself because I just didn’t care for him that way.

“Okay,” he accepted graciously. “I was a little worried because of your weight anyway. But I was willing to overlook that if everything else seemed workable.”

Girls, can you believe I let him get away?

Ron is real and the inspiration for the Rondays.  A Ronulian is someoen who is Ronlike. Happy Ronday! 

My intern was going back to college the last week in August, and my new assistant wasn’t starting until the 2nd week of September. So I had a one-week gap where I wouldn’t have extra help, and it was during the launch one of our bigger marketing campaigns. So I asked HR to provide me with a temp.

Wally had just finished up an assignment in another department. I had him for 3 weeks to overlap the intern /new assistant.

On Wally’s first day, I explained that we had a 3-piece mailer that had to get distributed internally to 500 employees. I was going to be in and out of meetings all day, but the intern understood the project and could answer any questions Wally had.

There were 3 parts to the mailer:
· An internal memo
· A copy of the newspaper ad
· The sample postcard

Each part was coming from different places and at different times, and it would be his job to make sure to make/grab 500 copies of each and put them in the pre-labeled interoffice envelopes.

I knew it was confusing, but as I explained, Michael the intern understood the entire project and could answer any questions.

The first piece of the 3-piece mailer was the memo. I needed it copied on to letterhead once, and then 500 copies of the letterhead memo made (trying to save the letterhead, but still get the logo)

I came out of the meeting to find 500 copies of the memo all made, but no logo.

“Oops, Wally. Looks like we forgot to copy it on to letterhead. That’s okay, I know it was a little confusing. Michael can show you how to copy the logo on them.”

Wally looked confused. “It is on letterhead.”

It was clearly not on letterhead.

“No, I mean, the letterhead with the company logo on it. See the space at the top? That’s where the logo is supposed to go.”

“The logo is on the memo,” he insisted.

I double-checked then looked curiously at Wally. Maybe it was like the emperor’s new clothes, because I didn’t see diddley or squat of a logo. Michael (my angelic intern) swept in and handled it while I rushed off to the next meeting.

As I left meeting #2, I saw that the newspaper ad had been faxed over.

“Here’s the second part to that 3-piece mailer, Wally,” I said as I handed it to him. “We still need the postcards, those will come from the printer later today. But in the meantime, just make 500 copies of this and put them in the interoffice mailer with the memos. We’ll add the third part to the envelopes this afternoon.”

Michael swooped in again to make sure the fax was copied correctly and I went off to my 3rd meeting.

Then it was lunchtime. My whole department liked to eat together – and we invited Wally along. He was finishing up a few things, but he’d been working at our location for a while, so I assumed he would just catch up with us in the downstairs cafeteria. We headed down the hall when I heard this panicked cry of my name.

I turned to see Wally running at us. Expecting to find out that we’d hit an iceberg or something, it became obvious that he just didn’t want us to leave him behind.

As we headed down the stairs, he asked me: “On the interoffice envelopes, do you prefer that the string be wrapped in a loop around the 2 red circles, criss-crossed in a figure eight pattern, or just all around the bottom loop?”

I looked up with a laugh, assuming he was making a joke to lighten up after his struggles this morning. But he was dead serious. I swallowed carefully and then answered, “Whatever works best for you, Wally, is fine with me.”

At lunch, we were all talking about the horrendous traffic that morning and other problems with the local highways. Wally joined in with, “Yeah, like last night? My girlfriend and I went out for dinner and when we got home the cat was sick all over the place.”

(pause)

(because we were waiting to figure out what that had to do with traffic.)

Wally went back to eating and so did we, trying to cautiously sneak glances at him for signs of alien matter when he wasn’t looking. On our way back to the department, I decided to check in the mailroom to see if the sample postcards had arrived from the printer yet.

I sent Wally up with Michael and walked past the reception desk. One of my co-workers stopped me. “I see you got our Wally.”

“Omg,” I said. “Is he always like this?”

“Oh yes,” she said. “We didn’t want to hurt his feelings though, so we just told HR that his assignment was finished so that we could get rid of him.”

(pause because I don’t want to talk about the tears I wept then.)

I decided to shake it off and head on to the mail room. I mean, really, how bad could it be? And hurray! The postcards had arrived for the 3-piece mailer! I grabbed a few samples and headed back to my department.

“Wally, the postcards are finally here for that 3-piece mailer. Michael will go down to the mailroom with you so you guys can grab the boxes and start putting them in the envelopes. I’ve got one more meeting and then I’m headed off-site for the rest of the day.”

Wally nodded his head slowly, and then waited for Michael to return from the bathroom so they could head down. I went in to my office to check emails and faxes for a few minutes. I heard a knock at my door and turned around to see Wally standing in the doorway.

“Umm, other than these 3 pieces, are there any other pieces for this 3-piece mailer?”

I looked Wally in the eye. “Nope. Other than those 3 pieces, those are the only 3 pieces for the 3 piece mailer.”

Wally sighed. “Okay then. Because I chose the figure-eight pattern to seal the envelopes and now I have to undo them all.”

That was Wally’s first and last day working for me.

Ron-side Seats

Ron is real.  That fact alone should scare you.  Happy Ronday!

As you may recall, Ron and my sister had bought Garth Brooks tickets using the money from when his car payment had bounced.

That was the final straw for me as far as helping my sister out financially. I would buy her groceries, I would give her rides, I would help her look for jobs and apartments and help in other ways. But I just wasn’t going to give her any more money, even as short-term loans.

My father and stepmom felt the same way and felt like it was time they learned a little truth and consequence. So when they got the inevitable call from my sister that she and Ron were broke again and they really needed money, my father proposed a plan. My father would buy the concert tickets from them, enabling them to get the money they so “desperately” needed.

Of course, this was not fair to either Ron or my sister. Give up concert tickets so they could have food and gas? Eschew luxury for practicality? Heresy! But after a few days, they took the offer and the exchange was made.

Now, my father & step mom had no interest in seeing Garth Brooks in concert –but now they had tickets to go see him. They couldn’t give the tickets back to my sister, because they would not be proving their point.

So one day, my father hands me the tickets. My husband at the time and I lived in the town where the concert was being given, and liked a few of his songs well enough. What was I to do? We went to the concert, never saying a word of it to my sister. The man put on a great show, even from our nosebleed seats.

A few weeks later, Ron and Sis came to dinner. Ron being Ron, he thought nothing of poking about our bookshelf and found the concert program.

“Aw man, you guys got to go? We had tickets y’know.”

I tried to maintain my best oblivious face. “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, and they were primo seats too. As close to floor seats as you can get without actually being down on the floor.”

“Wow – those sound like great seats.” And nothing like the seats we sat in.

“Yeah,” he says, growing confident. “Y’know, I have connections with the [local arena].” (my translation – Burger King evidently must serve there . . .)

I nod, trying hard to maintain. My husband at this point excuses himself to attend to “something important.”

“Yeah, well, your dad and mum really wanted them so we gave them the tickets instead.
“But,” he added, leaning forward in his Ron-on-the-prowl way. “Had I realized you guys wanted them, I would have given them to you.”

If you only knew, Ron, if you only knew.

Ron-duh Rememberers

Ron is a real person, and the inspiration for Rondays. Ronulians are people are Ronlike. Ron-duhs are people who put up with them.   Happy Ronday! 

My sister, God rest her soul, was one of the messiest, most disorganized people I know. Every place she ever lived in always looked like a tornado hit it – her cars were always full of trash. It’s just the way she was.

There was a period of time when I would go weeks & months without hearing from her and then when she did call it would be something quick like, “What’s Curt’s phone number? Ok – thanks, bye!” or “When’s Alycia’s birthday again? Okay, thanks!”

I used to yell at her that I was NOT just her address book/calendar. I was her sister and an occasional, “Hi, Joey, how are you?” would be nice.

Anyway, she made this big deal about me emailing her all the birthdays/anniversaries/addresses for our family. And with 24 of us, that wasn’t just a quick thing. But I put it all together and emailed it to her. And then she lost it. And so I sent it to her again, to a different email address. And she lost it again. So I printed it out and handed it to her and she said not to worry because she had a new electronic organizer and she was entering everything in to it and would never lose it again.

Until she lost her organizer.

So I sent it to her again, and this time her fiancee swore that he had it now and it would never be lost. And then a few weeks later I got the call. You guessed it, they had lost it again.

So I had it.

Getting an evil streak, I printed out the list and addresses and had my assistant make 25 copies of it on a variety of colored sheets of paper. And I instructed her to mail one copy of the list to my sister every day for the next 5 weeks.

My sister didn’t say a word about it and neither did I. We happened to see each other again at a barbecue at my Dad’s house. She still didn’t mention it. But her fiancee finally broke down and asked me how many more of them they were going to receive. I just smiled.

It was at least a year before she asked me for that list again . . .