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My Life is like a Banana Peel

By janelspiegel All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Humor

Always In Mischief

Some days you just find yourself staring at the screen of your laptop, your smart phone, your ipad, ipod, television, computer screens. You just sit there and stare at them: in the grocery store, at work, in the bathroom (why?), in the doctors office, at the dentist, during the birth of your child, if you are trying to avoid eye contact with the creepy man who keeps giving you googly eyes from across the room at the doctors office. You will look at anything. Even if you have to just scroll up and down on social media just so you don't have to look up and then later at night you realize what an asshole you are because now your neck hurts and your eyes hate you. They blame for you for not just looking at another human being and saying "Hello." You may find that talking to people can actually be fun even if you are an introvert. I have an aunt who is in her eighties, she is a lot like my mother. They talk and talk and talk and love to talk some more about talking! They have stories for everything and some times you think are they just talking because they like to? No, they actually make a lot of sense. While sitting in a restaurant with my moms aunt, the owners son comes walking out with a ladder and of course Aunt B had tons to say but she waited for the owner to climb up the ladder. She chatted some more with the staff and the owners son and then she looked up at the owner as he was fumbling around with the vents in the ceiling! "Hey G, did I ever tell you about the time my brother fell off a ladder and cracked the back of his head? No, no, no appropriate right now B, I am on a ladder. Well, no problem she said as she took a sip of her black coffee. The trouble was, now that she started the story it peeked everyone's attention. What happened to him B? Oh, he died. She said, yup he was up on that ladder and he fell and died. G simply did what he always did when she told one of her true life stories, he shook his head and waved his hands. The Sicilian in him was difficult to hide. Some days we sit for hours at the restaurant because of all Aunt B's talking and funny stories like the time she thought her son was coming home but then realized it was not him and she saw the front door knob turning! She called for her husband but he continued to sleep so she got up and ran downstairs and opened the door and said "what the hell do ya want?" They took off running and she woke up her husband finally and he simply said "Are they gone?" "Yes they are gone!" "Well, B after hearing your big mouth they are not gonna come back!" He rolled back over and went back to sleep! It is pretty much the same with my mom. She often tells the same story about her "heart problem." I was in the hospital just a few days ago and my mom advised that if I have any heart trouble, it is not from her! "I have a heart problem." She says it so convincingly you actually feel bad for the poor sucker who is taking in the story. The nurse and the doctor looked deeply concerned. "Half of my heart is on the right side and half of my heart is on the left side. It's broken." The look of bewilderment and wonder come across their face until it actually hits them, its a joke! 

My entire life bad stuff has happened yet it seems funny afterwards. One night my mother and I were coming home from the hospital and this woman who looks like Sasquatch comes up and as my mom opens her car door, she says "I need your car now! My moms in the hospital and I am taking your car!" I heard the woman say all this and I looked at my moms face, I know that face. Its the you pissed me off, now I am gonna have to kick your ass even though I am only five foot four and have two knee replacements and a torn achilles tendon! The woman did not expect to get jacked up against the car! My mom managed to get out and I was already out of the car looking at her and I said right to the woman "You picked the wrong person to hijack tonight!" My mom got out and was now on her feet and this chick was about six feet tall and overweight. My mom grabbed her shirt and kind of threw her into the car and said, you are not taking nothing. You are staying right here and then my mom looked at me and for some reason I was in hysterics, not crying! LAUGHING! "J, call the cops!" I called, but I was cracking up laughing as I called. This woman was pleading with the police when they arrived. They asked us all the usual questions and then advised she has an accomplice who is a man who usually knocks his victims out and steals their purses and cars. Well not us! My mom watched as she practically ran to the cops, "please help me, help me, this woman is trying to get me!" Even the cops were laughing! As she strolled down to the corner to talk to the cops my mom yelled at her again and said "And I don't ever want to see you in my hood again, you understand me!" We never did see her again and her mom had died a long time ago, it was a story she used over and over again to steal! 

We cannot leave out me trying to be a grown-up! Remember shoulder pads? I know some of you do. Well I decided at a young age that I wanted to be an actress, a model, a doctor and a singer and a vet and I need big boobs to do this. I took a pair shoulder pads out of a sweater or shirt and stuck them in my bra and came downstairs in the living room and realized that now I can do it all! I can be this wonder woman I wanted to be. Well, not so fast J, you cant be because your shoulder pads just fell our from under your shirt and they are now on the floor. I was embarrassed for about ten minutes and then realized it was funny!

When I was a child I had an obsession with Wheel of Fortune. My mother was Pat and I was Vanna White. Every night faithfully my mom had made alphabet cards for me and sitting down with the other kids I realized they just did not have the pizzazz to be Vanna and Pat so my mom participated in my madness. I would raid her closet and dress up in her clothes and high heels and come downstairs and prep to become Vanna White, letter turner extraordinaire. My mom was Pat and whoever was living with us at the time were the contestants and they would ask for a letter to spell words and Pat would say "Vanna do we have any H's?" In my fanciest way of turning the cards over I promptly revealed an H and walked to the other side of the coffee table. I would take this with me into adult hood and into several jobs as I would do displays and presentations I would not even realize it but my hand would come up in perfect display mode and then at least one person would always says Ohhhh you are like Vanna White. I smile and laugh but inside I know I have prepared for that type of stuff for many years. 

One day I was leaving work, I had a head injury so my short term memory gets fuzzy but I remember being in the parking lot and it starts snowing and I look next to my car door there is a banana feel staring at me. It felt like the biggest joke ever. Standing in the already snowy, icy parking lot with a banana peel! 

I hate chewing tobacco! Why? why? why? you ask? I will tell you. When I was a kid my parents divorced when I was three but I guess because my family was so weird my father sometimes still lived with us? I am not sure why? He would chew, chewing tobacco and then spit the gross, nasty stuff into a regular cup when I was a kid. Well, one night he was doing just that and I did not know and took a sip! I thought I was going to die. Just die. I look at now and wonder how I am even alive. But I did it and it was too late but I never lived it down!!!

Another thing I will never look at Ex-Lax the same way. When I was little if you could not go to the bathroom, well if the grown ups could not go to the bathroom they would eat Ex-Lax. Well I was hungry one day and saw a yummy chocolate bar in the fridge. I grabbed it out of the fridge and ate it! A short while later, I hear my mom, "Hey, where is the Ex-Lax?" Then she asked me, "J, did you eat the stuff in the silver wrapper." "It was chocolate mom!" It was good. Well, I didn't think so after about a half an hour, I spent the rest of my day in the bathroom. 

My childhood was different. I never felt like I did not know anything or I could not ask questions. I used to sit with our neighbors and they would be smoking weed. I learned pretty young what it was and that to stay away from it, but alcohol was still just the stuff in the bottles in the fridge when we had it. My mom is an amazing mom, probably the best a kid could ask for but sometimes I got myself into things I just could not get out of. One night me and a bunch of my friends were hanging outside on my front porch stoop because that is what you did after a long day of causing havoc and chaos you "chilled" on the front porch. My friends all came to my house because it was the "cool" place to be. Everyone had their own mug and I ventured into the house and knew my mom and stepdad were not home so I could pretty much grab what I wanted but I was also still very young and little. I grabbed the glass bottle in the paper bag! This will be enough for all of us I thought! All my friends will have their own drink. We won't have to share! You know because of "cooties!" DUH! But, what I grabbed, was Colt 45 in a 40 oz in a Brown bag! I gave all my friends some and I poured myself some! As we all sat outside and started to drink not really realizing what we were drinking the buzzkills came at us with force! These would be the adults, my mom, stepdad and the neighbors coming to collect their slightly buzzed kids. Even as a kid, like every good alcoholic I had an excuse! I didn't know what it was MOM! "Mom, come on, my friends are I are thirsty!" "This is alcohol, it is for grown-ups." Well you live and learn!

I learned also at a young age that I like boys, I liked boys a LOT! So much so that about the age 8 or 9 I wanted Playgirl magazine because Richard Grieco was on the cover. I didn't realize what it was and it would be filled with naked men but I always had a thing for the bad boys. I loved Fonzie and wanted to marry him and have my own leather jacket. I even had my own little Fonzie shirt but my Mom says I would get shy and blush when someone would mention Fonzie around me. But Richard Grieco in his prime was a fine looking man and on the cover of Playgirl so I probably drove my mom insane (sorry MOM!) and she actually went to the store my father would take me to that I was only allowed to stand in one spot because it was actually a porn magazine shop and I didn't realize it till I was about 12. "J, Dad has to talk to this guy and pick up some stuff, stand right in this spot and don't touch nothin!" Yeah, well my mom got me Playgirl and I was so excited because this man that had these dark eyes and dark hair was on the cover and then I opened it up and HELLLOOOO!!!!!  It was naked men galore and Richard Grieco so what do you do? The obvious thing, you go show all of your friends and all the neighbors. "Look what I got, look what I got!" I had a crowd of my friends gathered on the porch looking at Richard and well all the naked men in the magazine. We had to learn some way! Eventually we got caught after my mom and several of the neighbors spotted the crowd of astounded young girls standing in a circle staring. "Hey, give me that!" "You are not allowed to take that outside and show people." Well, we all saw some stuff that day! 

My first day of school was no better. I was confused and the only kid with divorced parents to go to a Catholic school. I was already on the bus to hell. It was like I was collecting parking tickets or amusement park ride tickets. 1 for divorced parents 2 for having borders and people living in your house with your non-married mother 3 for having a father with twelve girlfriends and a fiancee. My mom took me to Catholic school and on the first day I met Sister Anne who was also the Principal of the school. I did not know what that meant, I thought she was a big penguin supporter. My mom explained to me that I had to go to school and learn and have fun, be with friends and I had thought she was leaving me here in this dark, lonely place with no windows. It had windows but inside the classrooms. Sister Anne was very serious. I was confused and upset and thought my mother was leaving me for a minute and I never even watched the movie ANNIE to learn because I grew up watching Horror movies, I figured she may be a pod person and try to use me in a experiment. 

She looked at me and said "J, you will either walk to class or I will carry you. You must decide right now." No way was this woman dressed like a penguin taking me anywhere so I put up a fight, a skinny, tall kid and she picked me up over her shoulder after I kicked and punched her and took me to my classroom. I had lost the battle, the pod people were going to get me but, hey this isn't so bad. There were lots of other kids and fun things to do and learn so I wound up liking school. I also felt like I was going to hell for everything but I really liked school. I will never forget apparently I was also the only little girl with fancy underwear because my mom made me an potty offer I could not refuse. "J, if you wanna wear cute, sexy panties like mommy wears then you must use your potty." So, of course I did and this led to my fascination with having cute underwear and apparently one of the boys was dared to "look up my uniform skirt" and he did and my friend H at the time pointed it out and he looked at me and said nice panties! See, what all us nice Catholic school going kids learn. I would go to church and sometimes be scared because some days my Mom would pick me up and every once in a great while my father or one of his girlfriends at the time would pick me up so I could already see and hear the nuns saying Hail Mary's for me. I also did not have the normal home life my other friends had and in second grade I got this obsession with writing and hermit crabs. My one friend had hermit crabs and I thought they were the most amazing things ever. I mean, can you imagine being able to just move like that and get a new shell! I thought it was amazing and had an obsession. I wanted hermit crabs so bad. 

We always had animals growing up. My first two dogs were Garvey and Tuffy. Garvey was a bad ass. No one ever messed with him. He was a mixture of everything and my first real best friend since we got him before I was born and of course my father gave him away but my mom threatened to divorce him so he got him back! Garvey was smart and my heart hurt so much when I came home from school and my mom had the look of sadness. I knew and it hurt, it felt like a ton of bricks were crushing me. He even semi taught me how to ride my big wheel by dragging me up the yard with it and he liked to drink. My mom hated this but my dads purpose for Garvey was to be some kind of baseball mascot dog and Garvey would go and get all the hard balls and rip them to pieces and then he would drink and howl like a drunken sailor. He was always with me, I would feed him from my high chair and he saved my mom from an apartment invasion. Some asshole tried to break in and because my father was always missing in action, Garvey got the dude by the ass and well lets say he will never break in another house again! The funniest thing Garvey and Tuffy did was they decided after someone that lived with us at the time left them out and Garvey had a collar but you never touched it except for my mom or me, then he would get pissed and bite. 

Garvey took Tuffy up the street to the Boys Club which was about two blocks from our house and everyone in the neighborhood knew them so they got my mom and the people called the cops but they were chilling in the back of the boys club playing like two trouble making teenagers. Those dogs were amazing! 

I have to talk about Gia now, she is my reincarnated Garvey I think sometimes because she has that same chill, I know I am a bad ass but I keep it till I need to use it behavior. The one house we lived in had patio doors and we had put the screens in and Gia was still young but powerful as hell. She would carry picnic tables around and move the wooden bars that kept the mulch in place. Well, one day Gia saw something and the screen door was closed and it was just too late. Gia saw someone and took off like a bat out of hell. She ran like the wind and crashed through the screen door taking the whole thing down! It was like something out of a movie and all we could all do was laugh! I didn't care about the door. I checked Gia to make sure she was okay and she was fine but the screen door was not! 

Another dog we had that always loved causing trouble was Bianca. She was amazing, we got her from the animal rescue league and she was smart from the get go. We lived in the same house with patio doors and Bianca learned how to lock them so a lot of times just to show she could do it, we would walk over to the neighbors and one night we forgot our keys and came back and Bianca had locked the door and she and Gia were standing at the door like Ha Ha humans. You didn't take your keys! We had called a lock smith who looked like Elvis and later admitted he got into being a locksmith because he used to be a thief. "I am helping you out now, instead of robbing you!" That was okay though, everyone has to make a living! He could not get in the house so we had to call the cops, the only problem was the cop would have to be able to be faster than Gia to get in the window and to my door on the other side of the house to open the locks. Gia knew the house, the cop did not! His first attempt to go in the side window didn't go to well as Bianca had helped Gia open the door and when the cop went to climb in Gia jumped and he flew back wards into a butterfly bush. 

The second attempt he decided to let the locksmith take my air conditioner out of my window and because it was smaller he would fit through and be able to run to my patio door and open it! Well, he had to beat Gia and Bianca before Bianca would turn the handle and let Gia loose. Bianca loved mischief. She was the queen of it! Finally after the neighbors, the cops and the Elvis locksmith look-a-like finally jumped as fast as he could into my window and dashed through my room, opened the lock and ran like hell. I think he was so bewildered he didn't even charge us. He also advised he never met a lock he couldn't crack so there was no charge. Five minutes after being in the house Bianca jumped up and showed off her skills on how she would push the lock shut! I miss her and Garvey and Tuffy. Sometimes your heart just hurts but you remember those times and all the stuff they did that just makes you laugh. 

When I am tired  I also have the habit of getting in other peoples cars. My car looks like a lot of other cars and often I am not always paying one percent attention but I try. One day I was leaving the store and I walked out to my car and got in and just sat down and then I realized there was a big bag on the floor and no rosary beads and why was my seat so close? Oh shit, this isn't my car! This is, well I don't know whose car this is but I gotta get out of it! So I did and I looked right next door and there was car. Another time I did it there was a guy in the passenger side and I clicked my car and I assume this car was already open but I didn't see the guy at first and then I stopped because I saw numbers on the handle, it was an alarm on the car, I looked in the window and the dude goes oh did my friend send you out, can I get your number? I said no and laughed and then said "I thought this was my car but I am having a long day so it is not!" 

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and when I was little my mom was a nurse aide and worked a lot  before she got her knee replacements and tore her Achilles, my friends and I would go trick-or-treating in a bunch of different neighborhoods and we never had fancy buckets or action hero baskets, we had pillow cases. We would go out and just fill pillow cases up with candy! That was what Halloween was about, watching scary movies, scaring your friends and collecting so much candy you had it for Easter. 

Horror in my life. One year this guy that liked me a lot and he worked at one of the Halloween stores had a six foot tall Leatherface stand up. "J, for real, I am going to throw it away, they don't want it back, you can have it." So I checked with his manager and he and I carried this amazing six foot tall Leatherface to my car! I had no problem with it but some people gave me odd looks as I had him propped up! I brought him home later and my mom had a gun and has her permit to carry. She heard a noise coming from my office and she slowly opened the door and turned the light on and staring back at her was this six foot tall Leatherface! "You almost shot my Leatherface, hasn't he been through enough, I was practically pleading with my mother over a cardboard cut-out! Leatherface would have had a hole in him and so would the windows in my office at the time. 

Headbanging! Music has always been important in our house. My mom loves music and I love music and one night we were all sitting in the living room before my mom had surgery and I was still little and we were just jamming and rocking out to Metallica and my mom was always told she looked so cool her spiral, black hair and she looked like she could be Slash's sister and she was head-banging away so much, she flew off the sofa! That is extreme home head-banging!  

My drivers test! Okay so my moms mother said it was very important for me to drive so I am never stuck anywhere! My mom would take me in her big green car and I would drive in cemeteries because my mom "You can't kill anyone in a cemetery they are already dead!" So I learned to drive in a big car, a neon and with my race car driver cousin who usually did a 140 to New York and if you kept the windows open you had a completely different hairstyle. I figured it can't hurt to learn to drive from different people. I would pass the written test easily and then I failed the first time for speeding because I took my test in a Camaro. The instructor was holding on for dear life acting like I was killing him! At the end as I parked my Camaro, he looked at me like I ruined his life and said "You failed for speeding!" So I had to go back again and this time I went with my mom and my step-dad cause I figured I could use them for a fear factor in myself. Well, I grew up in the city and we slow roll at STOP signs. You know you inch up as close as you can to see cause there are parked cars blocking your way and I did that and he instantly screamed, "you went through a STOP sign!" "I did not go through it, I was surveying for cars!" I tried my whole Alicia Siverstone thing but he was not feeling it! Three times a charm! My mom and my stepdad went with me again and this time I did everything I was supposed and even obeyed the speed limit, stopped at the stop signs and with the fear of God, I paralleled parked like a BOSS! 

The driving instructor got out before me as I said a little prayer and he looked at me straight face and I expected him to say something horrible but he handed me my papers and said "you passed!" I was thrilled. The first person I called was my grandmother. She was so proud and said to me "You will always be free now and have freedom!" I never understood that either till I got older. My mom did not always have a car and in our neighborhood you were doing okay if you had a shopping cart parked at the back of your garage. In those days so much was different. I always grew up around so many different kinds of people and I forget that sometimes with all my anger and being sick. I remember living in the city and my mom was never sure how to clean so we had a shop vac and a bucket and a mop and she would shop vac everything and dump water on the front porch and mop it! Who cares! 

Sometimes I still wanna grab a shopping cart and bring it home. Sometimes you miss when things were somewhat okay and just seemed fun! 

Super Market Sweep, I know everyone remembers this show. You would get to grab as much stuff as you  possibly could before the timer went off. Well, some of us took that serious like nobodies business and one day while in the beer distributor, my mom and a bunch of our friends were getting soda, beer and all kinds of stuff and the guy that owned the place knew everyone and we were always in there so my mom and her friend get ready for Super Market Sweep and BOOM, CRASH, all the sodas and glass bottles went flying! If it would have been anywhere else we would been busting our asses trying to clean up the mess they made but hey it was Super Market Sweep. 

Childhood and coffee beans. I had to spend a lot of time with my mom and I feel bad about that because it seems like she never got a break from me so when I was little she taught me how to set my own little table and clean my table so it would not be a mess and then she would take me with her to the grocery store and I discovered the most amazing things ever. First off I tried to steal packs of gum which some people would laugh about and others would get pissed off but my mom always corrected me and then I was left to wander one day and I wandered into the coffee aisle. I found the coffee beans. They were all trapped inside fairly large containers and you were supposed to take a bag and fill it with coffee beans and then ground your coffee. Nope, not me. I saw that as tons of fun. I walked by one after the other and pulled the release handle. I was freeing the coffee beans! The entire aisle in the grocery store was covered in coffee beans. My mother discovered me and we had to haul ass out of that store. I am surprised they allow me in grocery stores today? 

Calling for help! So, it is pretty well known at times I have some health problems and I am a tad bit accident prone and I have a total hip replacement which makes it worse sometimes. Well, one day during winter we were coming home and I just happen to slip on black ice, go figure me of all people. I was in nursing and so involved in medical stuff, I wanted my pants cut open at the knee, I felt blood but the best part was my poor mom was trying to call an ambulance because at first I could not get up and they got me up on a stoop and I see and hear my mom going what is wrong with this phone? 610-911.... 610-911 She was so upset and nervous and she normally is the most calm, cool collective one of the bunch. Our neighbor at the time came running over and God was he was good looking! Memories of him walking into his house in his hot, sweaty construction clothes. A fine man. But I digress. I was still laying there on the stoop with wet pants and could have sworn there blood gushing from my knee. Finally my mom hands me the phone before the neighbor even came over and says "Call 9-11 for yourself. I cannot do it right now." She was upset and granted having me for a kid I am surprised she is as amazing and sane as she is! But the ambulance came and I was fine. I just had to make an appointment with my hip doctor in which he says "Okay, whats next? Sky diving? We really want to check the endurance of the hip." Sure why not? 

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