What's Not to Laugh?

Almost everything about aging–except grave illness and death–can be funny as well as disturbing. I try to find the funny and help us all get through it!

Archive for the month “May, 2015”

Nothing has changed

Rather than refer to this post as another rerun, I like the term classique, used by copywriting guru John Forde in his May 22 e-newsletter. So here’s a classique that is as accurate today as it was in July 2010, with a brief update at the end.

Murder She Watches…and Watches

I’m ready to admit I have a problem and should get myself to a meeting of True Crime Addicts Anonymous (TCAA)—if only someone would establish such a group. I love, love, love true crime shows like: 48 Hours Mystery, Cold Case Files (the one narrated by Bill Kurtis, not to be confused with the overly dramatic, fictional show), Dateline, The First 48, Forensic Files, and Snapped, to name a few.

I am drawn to stories about husbands who kill their wives and, sometimes, wives who kill their husbands. They always start out as a deliriously happy couple with their adorable children, pillars of the community and their church—and then, mayhem and murder. What I love most is the moment the DNA matches, an alibi falls apart, or a long-lost witness finds God and comes forward. Then, at last, the detectives nail the SOB! Sweet.

I have also read many books by Ann Rule, the former policewoman turned crime writer.

If there were a TCAA, here are the 12 steps I would probably have to go through, one by one:

1. I admit I am powerless over tuning into these programs. I’ve even watched reruns of 48 Hours Mystery and then watched them again when they became 48 Hours: Hard Evidence on cable.

2. I confess to watching particularly juicy stories, like the Scott/Lacy Peterson case over and over. I freely admit I have told myself I’m just going to see the part where Amber finds out what her seemingly single boyfriend was up to, but I keep watching anyway. I am sorry about this waste of time.

3. I solemnly swear I have no intent to murder my spouse and I’m not gathering ideas by watching these shows. I apologize to said spouse for making him nervous.

4. I promise to erase any memory of words like ethylene glycol and cholino-succinate and other sneaky poisons used in so many of these cases—and sometimes discovered only when, or if, the body is exhumed.

5. I apologize to any friend or family member who has called me during the last 15 minutes of one of these shows. I apologize too for my reaction at the first ring of the phone (“Who the hell can that be?”) and for saying, “I’ll call you back later,” when I do answer it.@

7. I am sorry if I silently offended owners and operators of self-storage facilities, as well as those who rent the units. The only time I accompanied my husband to our newly acquired storage space, I shuttered as we walked past all those metal doors, wondering if any of them housed dead bodies sealed in oil drums. (I’ve seen quite a few episodes that end like this.)

8. I will make amends for all the food that overcooked or languished in the microwave while I stood in front of the TV waiting for the jury’s verdict.

9—12. I own up to the fact that I won’t take the time to declare the last four steps because I think an episode of Forensic Files comes on in a few minutes.

Update, May 29, 2015: I discovered yet another true crime show: Cold Justice. It may be off the air for the season, but it’s usually shown on Friday evenings on TNT. It features Kelly Siegler, a former Texas prosecutor who first caught my eye in one of the other true crime shows. She was fascinating to watch and a bit formidable. Her nickname was “giant killer.” Kelly and partner Yolanda McClary, former Crime Scene Investigator for the Vegas police department, offer their crime-solving services to police departments around the country with cold cases on their books. It’s not an action show; in fact, it’s pretty slow-paced. But it’s interesting to watch the process of elimination of suspects and what re-interviewing witnesses years later can uncover.

Bottom line: I’m still addicted.


Penelope: I’m bored

Can't you tell I'm bored?

Can’t you tell I’m bored?

I don’t expect anyone reading this to actually help me fight boredom, but since whining (kvetching) is what I do best, I had to write this post. I’m a growing girl (I’ll be 4 years old in July…I think), so I have lots of energy and need lots of stimulation.

And speaking of growing, I’m hearing not-so-kind talk from my owners these days. “She’s getting fat!” is practically a daily announcement. Can I help it if you feed me several times a day? Is it my fault that you put treats in my bowl? Do you hear me distinctly saying, “I’m hungry” or “I need a treat”? I didn’t think so. Nevertheless, if I am putting on the ounces, that’s all the more reason I need outlets for my energy.

For months, I was happy to chase a little red laser beam around the house. It was fun, even if I could never quite catch it. Then, suddenly, it wasn’t fun anymore. I realized the futility of it and decided to give up.

Then there’s the game She’s named Mousie. She tosses one of dozens of catnip mice (I managed to bat most of them under the refrigerator, so there are only a few accessible) across the room, and I run after it. Sometimes She tosses it right at me, and I catch it! I can jump high into the air to make the catch, and She always claps afterward. But then she spoils the moment by adding, “I’m afraid you’re going to get hurt jumping like that!”

I still like playing Mousie, most of the time.

In the bedroom, I have a small cardboard box that’s open on both ends so I can crawl through it. I can also roll around in it and even try to catch a rope that She or He dangles over my head. That’s still fun.

Now that it’s spring, I get to sit by the window and watch the birds dart from tree to tree. If only there was no window screen and window between us, I’d show that feathered creature who’s boss. I also watch as cars drive by and people walking their dogs pass the window. Those dogs think they’re so privileged, getting to run around outside and breathe fresh air. I’ve been outside—when I was homeless on the mean Chicago streets—and it’s not so special. And inside I’m protected from nasty fleas and ticks. Cats have it better! But I digress.

So I have things to do. But…it’s not enough. Please don’t send in suggestions about some of those “self-amusing” cat toys shown on TV. We’ve had a few of them, and I chose to ignore them. What good is any toy without a devoted human to interact with me? I want nothing less than constant attention. Except when I’m napping. Or eating. Or using my litter box.

Most important of all, don’t dare suggest that our household needs another cat for me to play with. I am the only Princess, Cutie Pie, Sweet Patootie, Kitten Kaboodle, and any of those silly names my owners call me. And I don’t share.


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