Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rio

La Netta, Mike and I were driving around on Friday with the radio on Star 101.3 when I heard the words "cherry ice xxxxx smile" at the beginning of a song. "Blechhh!", I said.

La Netta turned the radio off. "Why did you say that?", she asked.

"Didn't you hear the song?"

"No, what did it say?"

"It said, 'cherry I-word smile'."

"Cherry I-word smile? Who'd want to have a cherry I-word smile? It must be wrong. They must have said something else."

I proceeded to purge in he back seat anyway. I got the taste of forest black cherry ice xxxxx in my mouth while I was purging. I could taste the cherry all the way through.

Then I got finished. La Netta did not bother taking me to a restroom.

When I got home, I googled the words "cherry ice xxxxx smile". I got a matching hit for the song "Rio" by Duran Duran. I looked at the opening words:

Moving on the floor now babe you're a bird of paradise
Cherry ice xxxxx smile I suppose it's very nice

Those were the lyrics!

From the looks of the Google hits, it looks as if "cherry ice xxxxx smile" is a pretty memorable image from "Rio".

I'm glad I purged, even though La Netta said they couldn't be. I would have kept the word swallowed down and it would be too late to purge it off otherwise.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A mishearing in the restroom

Today while we were driving to Wal-mart, I heard Rosa saying "axx oxxx the pxxxx". I growled.

I quickly unbuckled my seatbelt. I figured that if I could purge it off immediately, it wouldn't be a problem.

"Did I hear your seatbelt snap?", asked Rosa.

I put it back on. Then when we got to Jolene's house I purged off "all"s and "over"s and "place"s. Then Rosa opened the door fully so I zipped up.

I asked for silence because Rosa and La Netta kept talking. They were silent for about 30 seconds before the conversation started up again.

I continued to whine throughout the drive to Wal-mart. The word "call" was spoken several times. I asked for silence again and got it -- for about 30 seconds.

Then they started talking again, and I whined again.

"We're almost at Wal-mart", said Rosa.

Finally, we got there.

"Are you going to be quick in the restroom?", asked La Netta.

"I don't know, you've been eoing an awful lot of talking. I may need to spend an awful lot of time in the restroom."

"Well, if you do, Jolene might start getting restless", said Rosa. "Maybe we can take you to a park?"

"If we wait until we get to the park, then it will take even longer."

"How about the office? 'Cause then you can spend all the time there you like."

We entered Wal-mart and I said, "Let's start with the restroom."

"I thought you were going at the office", said Rosa.

Rosa took me in. I purged off several "all"s, and did "adolover, adolall adolover the pladolace" and "pladolace, adolall adolover the pladolace" a few times just in case someone had said those words and I had missed it.

I heard Rosa outside. She said, "Real fast, then we'll go".

"Real fast?", I asked.

"Yes."

Was it, finish up real fast? Or wash my hands real fast? Probably wash my hands.

I finished up purging off "axx oxxx the pxxxx", with a Spaghetti-O's taste coming back out of my mouth. Then I washed my hands. I came out.

"Jolene?", I called.

I heard Rosa's voice. I walked down the aisle with my hands cupped over my eyes. "Rosa? Jolene?", I called.

Finally I stood in the middle of the aisle and said to no one, "Excuse me, have you seen a woman in a wheelchair?"

"No, I haven't", a man said. "What's her name?"

"Jolene."

"You stay right there. I'll page her."

Then Rosa came up. "James! You didn't see me? I thought you'd wait for me. I told you I'd be in the restroom real quick and then we go."

"I didn't hear that", I said.

"I'm sorry."

"I thought you said, 'Wash your hands real east'."

"Oh." Rosa laughed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas party

We were on our way to the annual Christmas party this year. La Netta was in the middle row, while Rosa was driving.

"I'll let you drive, and you can just drive with your exes closed, like you're at home", said La Netta.

Then in Rosa's next sentence, I heard Rosa say "pajxmxs". I couldn't make out the rest of the sentence, but it seemed as if she was saying that she could feel herself at home in her pajamdras.

I growled, and told La Netta I had to get to a restroom quick. "Is there a restroom at the Christmas party?", I asked her.

"I don't know; I've never been to this place", said La Netta.

"Rosa did say the P-word, right?", I asked La Netta. I couldn't be sure when I couldn't even make out the other words in the sentence.

"It was an accident!", said La Netta.

"But she did say it, right?"

"It was an accident!"

"Did she say it, yes or no?"

"Yes. You heard her, didn't you?"

"I can't hold it in!", I cried.

I tried so hard not to think the word "pajxmx" in its mispronounced singular form. I thought a few "pajxmx"s that rhyme with "llama", and a few "pajxmxs"es in the mispronounced way, though.

The traffic was stop-and-go, and there was difficulty finding a parking place at the site of the party. La Netta made a call to Lita, asking her where it was. Right then they found a parking place.

As soon as we parked, I jumped into the middle row and went out, so I wouldn't have to wait for Lisa. I followed Rosa and La Netta to the entrance of the building.

Edward had just come out of the men's restroom, so I could go in.

I locked the door and started purging off the mispronounced plural and correctly pronounced singular variations on "pajxmxs". I also purged off the word "pajxmxs" itself quite a few times. I felt a knock, so I let Jose in.

Jose tried to talk to me. He sat down on the toilet seat, and I turned my back to him and purged facing the wall. "What's your name?", he asked.

"My name is James Landau", I said.

Jose said "haffel".

"Hassle?", I asked.

"Haffel."

"Heffalump?"

"Haefel", he said, pointing to the sink.

"Bathroom?"

"Yeah."

I continued purging.

"Man, that's sick!", said Jose. That I understood.

Jose was still on the seat by the time I finished purging and I walked out.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A trip to the clothes section

At the Wal-mart in Concord today, we hung around the sections that sold shoes and also looked at toys Rosa or La Netta might want to buy for Christmas. But then La Netta took me to somewhere else.

She looked at clothes. "Close your exes", she told me. We must be in the pajamdra section, right?

I stood there hoping to leave soon while La Netta just looked and looked. After a while, some near us said the word "pajxmxs". They pronounced it the way La Netta does.

"La Netta!", I said. "Did you hear that?"

La Netta came closer to me. "You might want to close your exes", she said.

"They said the P-word!", I told her.

"I'm looking at loungewear", she said.

"I'm going to need to get to the restroom. I can't hold it in!"

"How long are you going to be?"

"Not very long."

La Netta walked me over.

I came into the restroom and purged. That potato taste came out. This time the baked potato had sour cream on it.

I washed my hands and left. "You might want to look at loungewear on your own time", I told La Netta. "Where are we headed now?"

"We're going to the juices", said La Netta.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A day in the city

Today we had Robert in the van when I walked in and sat down. When we got to Mike Williams' house, La Netta and Rosa were afraid Mike was going to fight with Robert. Mike addressed Robert as "Bradley" when he got in.

After he entered the van, Mike started insulting his sister. "That die-fast lying-ass sister is no good", said Mike.

"James", said Robert. "Who bought your sunglasses, your mom?"

"Yes, yes, she ordered them from New --", I began.

"OK, OK, we know that already", said Ken.

"You no-good orangutan-face", said Mike.

La Netta and I laughed really hard.

"What's an orangutan?", asked Rosa.

"Isn't that a kind of monkey . . .?", asked La Netta.

"It's an ape", I said. "A reddish-brown ape. It lives in the rain-forests of places like Indonesia."

"Does Target have popcorn?", asked Robert.

"Yes, Target does have popcorn", I said.

"Saintly praise!", said Mike. "There's more!"

We hit the Golden Gate Bridge and drove to San Francisco.

"We're headed for the bridge," said Mike. "Keep your exe on the road."

"Ewwwwwwww!", I said.

"I'm sorry, James", said Mike. "I won't do that again."

One or two minutes later, Mike said, "Keep your exe on the road."

"Ewwwwwwww!", I said. "Mike! You said you wouldn't do that again!"

"But he doesn't know about all those", said Rosa. Then what the hell did he think I was saying "ewwwwwwww" for?

We were soon in the city. Rosa stepped out and went into a store while I stayed in the van with La Netta and Jolene.

"Do you like San Erancisco?", La Netta asked me.

"Yes, I do", I replied.

"Do you like looking at the people there?"

"I sure do." I began purging off "eye" sounds in the back seat. I avoided looking outside so I wouldn't see hundreds of human eyes.

Rosa hopped back in. "How much does soda cost, one dollar?", asked Robert.

"At the dollar store it costs $1.00", said La Netta.

La Netta gave Rosa the directions to drive up to TJ Maxx, whereaeter La Netta went in.

I purged in the back. Soon Ken came out. "Robert was up to no good", said Ken. "He was asking customers questions."

"That is not OK", said Rosa.

The group came back in, and La Netta chastised Robert.

"Does Target have headphones?", asked Robert.

"Yes, but when you have headphones you break them", said La Netta. "People are probably not going to buy you headphones."

"Is a holiday coming up tomorrow?", asked Robert.

"On the twenty-second is Chanukkah", I said. "And then on the twenty-fifth it will be Christmas."

Robert continued with his inane questions. "Where's Rodney stay?"

"Rodney stays at my group home."

"Who bought your radio?"

"Lamesha did."

We stopped in front of Rosa's house. I got out and unleashed a big stream of saliva from my mouth where the plants were planted.

We stopped in front of Burger King, where Robert asked Rosa about the Italian chicken sandwich featured on the poster in front. Rosa told La Netta that it cost $4. He kept asking her whether it cost $1.

"Since you don't have any money, you don't need to ask about it", said Rosa.

We then stopped at Fernandez Park. "Bathroom, James?", asked Rosa.

I got out and purged off both of Mike's "keep your exe on"s. Robert came in while I was using the restroom.

"When's Santa coming?", he asked.

"Santa comes on the twenty-fifth -- that's one week from now. And if you've been good, he might bring you headphones."

When Jolene was done changing, La Netta told me we were ready to head back to the van. I finished purging and stood outside by La Netta. "How about a hug for my shower last night?", I asked.

"That sounds good", said La Netta, and we embraced.

We dropped Mike home. "Thank you at home for watching", said Mike. "Bye-bye."

We made our next stop at Ken's house. Robert asked about the holidays again. "Is a holiday coming tomorrow?"

"Well, tomorrow is Chanukkah. Do you know what people do on Chanukkah?", I asked.

I heard Robert say "pancakes".

"Right. They eat pancakes, called latkes."

"Did you say 'presents'?", Rosa asked Robert.

"Yeah", said Robert.

"Well, that's right, people open presents too", I said. "One for each of the eight days. And they also eat latkes -- potato pancakes."

We discussed latkes and knishes for a while. I told Rosa that I didn't enjoy latkes.

"You're lucky, Rosa", I told her. "Your ethnic group gets tacos, burritos, fajitas, chimichangas, enchiladas, quesadillas . . . We have bagels and lox and latkes."

La Netta came in and I told her about our discossion. "What food do African-American people eat?", she asked.

"Soul food."

Jerk and an idiot?

On Wednesday, we were parked at Kennedy Grove when La Netta made a call on her cellphone.

". . . They're probably going to ask for ice xxxxx", she said.

"Blechhhh!", I said.

"Sorry, James!", said La Netta. "Here, go out and use the restroom."

I found my way to the restroom. I purged off the I-word. While I was purging, Ken came up.

"Robert's a jerk and an idiot", said Ken.

"He is a jerk and an idiot", I said.

I purged some more, then La Netta said she was ready to go. "Let me wash up", I said.

I finished purging and washed my iands. My hands must have gotten frozen being washed off in that unheated water on that cold day. I dried them off, then shivered with freezing hands all the way back to the van.

"James, were you calling me a jerk and an idiot?", asked La Netta.

"We were talking about Robert", I told her.

"I thought you were talking about me!", said La Netta.

"Ken was talking about Robert. He said he was a jerk and an idiot."

"Because I was all . . . James! Is that what you think of me?"

"I love you, La Netta."

"I'm glad."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nasty rap

I got out of bed this morning when La Netta arrived. I applied deodorant and combed my hair. Then I turned off my white sound machine.

When I got out of my room, the television was not on, but rap was playing. I noticed the rap said, "Look axx oxxx the pxxxx".

"Ewwwww!", I said.

"La Netta's waiting out there for you", said Santina.

The rap song said it again.

"Ewwwww! That rap song said the A, O the P words", I said.

I went to purge them off in the restroom.

"La Netta's waiting for you", Santina said.

"I know!", I replied.

I purged on.

Then I heard Santina saying "come on". I yelled back what I always do when people say "come on":

"LET ME DO THINGS AT MY OWN PACE!"

Finally, I got done.

I met La Netta. La Netta said, "When you do this, it makes us late picking up other people".

"Well, I had to do this", I said, "Or I wouldn't be able to hold it in in the van."

La Netta told me that Jolene would be waiting outside her house in the rain.

Then we got to her house and she wasn't.

Later I told La Netta about the rap lyrics.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The day I purged off "Irish stream"

On Friday, La Netta told me that if I came straight out on Monday morning she would take me to Target first thing in the morning.

Well, this morning I came right out to the van. I even skipped deodorant to make it that fast. La Netta struggled with picking up Robin and Emanuel. Mon was not on the schedule.

She took a long time changing Jolene. Then she told me I could get my juices when we went to the Dollar Tree today.

Shortly after we walked into the Dollar Tree, I heard a song singing "ice xxxxx".

"Blechhhhh!", I said.

"What's wrong?", asked La Netta.

"Didn't you hear that song?"

"No."

"The song said the I-word."

"Well, I've been so busy listening to all the talking out here."

"Can you get me to a restroom?"

"Their restroom is out of order."

"It was, but they fixed it, remember?"

"It has an OUT OF ORDER sign on it. I saw it."

"Then get me somewhere else."

"Does that mean you don't want to get your juices?"

"I still want to get my iuices, La Netta."

I listened more to the song. It sang "I shall return".

We finally got to the juice aisle. However, since the word "juice" had the letters ICE in it, I couldn't look at the juice bottles before I purged off the I-word. La Netta read them off to me. I chose one cranberry and one ruby grapefruit.

Later, she found a tropical punch from the same manufacturers and we added that to our cart.

La Netta asked whether I wanted to "price the towels". The word "price" would be more rubble-clearing before I got to "ice xxxxx", but we couldn't find any towels.

We finally checked out, then we hit a bank, with me having to hold in the I-word.

I held it in some time longer, whining all the way. Then I got to a burrito truck.

I spent $3.00 for a tongue Super Burrito, then used the burrito truck's restroom.

"I'll give you five minutes", said Rosa.

Someone knocked after a while. "Let me wash up", I said.

Just afterwards, Rosa knocked. "Let me wash up", I told her.

"OK", said Rosa.

I came out, then we drove to Miller's Knots. I spent the whole time in the restroom. I had spelled out I-C-E, then I-C-E-C-R-E. . . several times in my head. The purging was long. I had to do rubble-clearing for such words as "screaming", "cream waeers", "iced tea", "price", "I still", "I see", "I said" and "I saw".

I finally got down to the I-word. While I was purging that off, La Netta asked if I was ready to go.

"Almost", I told her.

I finished up and got out so Jolene could change herself. Then we made our way home.

Oh, and that song? Turns out it was a Dido song, and the words were "Irish stream", not "ice xxxxx". I had gone through all that struggle of holding it in and then making the purging feel just right for nothing.

What a funny day. I get out of my room really quickly to get to go to Target, then we eon't go to Target. We go to the Dollar Tree instead, and I spend my time wishing we had stuck with Target because they said the I-word. Then I learn that they didn't say the I-word after all.

Life, I suppose, is like that.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A week with no Wal-mart

I came to program Friday with Stan having given me my money. It turns out La Netta was supposed to drive us to Oakland and we were supposed to go shopping for clothes there.

"We had two Targets and a Wal-mart on the schedule this week", I said. "What happened to that?"

"Well, Target or Wal-mart is nowhere on the schedule today", said La Netta.

"How I am going to get juice then?", I asked.

"Why can't your staff drive you there?"

"I don't want to have to drive in the van with other clients telling each other to do the SC-word over and the radio on."

"Then maybe you could just drive with Stan."

"I'll hear Stan's cellphone."

Rosa talked about African-Americans with big butts. "Their butts . . . pxking out", said Rosa.

"Rrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Bubble butts", she said.

"Steatopygia."

The topic changed to Christmas. They talked about buying clothes.

"She bought me one of those little bxtty tops," said Rosa.

I growled again.

"I got a little mini-top", she said.

La Netta took me to the burrito truck. I figured that if I drank one of my Safeway juices over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, I could drink the other on Friday and Saturday, and have my Bar-pac mix on Sunday.

I ordered a chicken burrito and paid for it, then I was back in the van.

We got to Fernandez Park where Jolene changed. I told La Netta I was going to need to go to the bathroom.

"What's wrong?", La Netta asked.

"Don't you remember?", I replied. "Rosa said the B-word."

"I didn't hear her say that."

"She said it when she said someone got her a little B-word top."

"I didn't hear that."

I got out and made my way into the restroom, where I purged off "bxtty" and "pxking out". That I came back to take my pill.

"Jolene," La Netta said, "You remind me of my grandmother."

Just then, Jolene shocked La Netta. She reached out to La Netta's head and grabbed the hat off her head, putting it on.

La Netta and Rosa laughed out loud. Then they LOL'ed some more. And some more.

We made it home, me carrying my chicken burrito with me. Santina was there waiting for Stan.

"When Stan doesn't come on time it causes a lot of problems", said Santina. "The other day we were waiting for Stan and James was asking a woman what he said because he thought he heard a word. He was chasing this woman down the street, a woman talking to her kids and pushing a stroller. It was a real mxss!"

"Ewwwwwwww!", said you-know-who.

"I'm so sorry! See, even I don't know all the words."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ken says the A, O the P words again

Yesterday when I got home, I asked Stan for money. He didn't give it to me.

This morning, I told my staff that I needed money, and she called Stan. Stan said he would bring it to me at the office.

Today La Netta took us to the office. She said I could check for my money there, but no such luck. Stan had not brought it in.

Williams' Health Food was on the schedule, so La Netta told me to count my money in coins. I discovered I had at least $5.00 worth in quarters, dimes and nickels. So we could go in.

As we headed towards Williams, however, we found the parking lot was full. Therefore we went on to Big Lots.

I told La Netta I wanted to go to the hygienic product section. "Again?", she asked.

"Yes", I replied.

I looked at the soaps, and at the Spring Water Spa shower gel I looked at last time. I saw it was by Tri-coastal Design in East Hanover, NJ. I kept that in mind for writing the rhyme. Then I looked around for other New Jersey products (I wanted to use "NJ" to create a rhyme with "BodyFX, Moraga, CA"). "Are you looking for something for yourself, or is this a gift for someone?", asked La Netta.

"It's not a gift", I answered.

I found something called Palmer's olive butter. I checked the label. E. T. Browne, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. I could use that as a rhyme.

As I considered which one to use, I asked La Netta for paper and pen so I could write it down. She didn't have them with her. Then she said I could buy the olive butter.

La Netta was delighted that I was interested in lotion. She decided to buy a bottle for herself.

"Do you want a bottle too?", she asked. I capitulated and put my own bottle in the shopping cart. I could have this to write down.

La Netta poured some lotion on my hand and showed me how to rub it in. Then I made my $3.25 purchase.

At the burrito truck I bought a Super Taco for $1.50, having about $1.75 plus some pennies left.

Then the group ate lunch at Pinole Valley Park. After a while, we did drops.

Ken said "axx oxxx the pxxxx" as we were driving to his home. I growled. "Sorry, James", said Ken.

"I'm going to need to use the restroom at Ken's house", I said.

"Jolene have a doctor's appointment that she needs to be at", said La Netta.

"Ken's staff isn't here, right?"

"Right."

Rosa and La Netta talked, and I said, "Some silence might be of some help."

They stopped, but were soon talking again.

Ken's staff finally arrived. I said good-bye to Ken and we made our way to my house.

Rap was playing from our neighbor's radio. It was loud. I hoped the rapper wouldn't say any trigger words while I waited outside my house for Stan. There were probably a few "all"s, "over"s or "place"s in the mix.

They turned the radio off, but Rosa and LA Netta (and Jolene) continued talking. I was going to have to do a lot of porging when Stan finally brought the key.

At last Stan got here. I entered the door, and went into the restroom with my Super Taco. I purged off several "alls", then a few "over"s and "place"s and then got to the meat of the phrase.

Stan apologized for not bringing me my money. He said he was sick. I entered the office and he handed me a $20 bill. As I signed for it, he asked me whether $8 plus $121 minus $20 was $109. We worked it out right.

Was Don listening?

On Wednesday, Don came to pick me up. He said he'd just bring me to La Netta at Vincent Park.

The radio was tuned to Alice. After Gavin Rossdale's new song finished, the DJ's started talking.

I was listening when I heard a DJ say something that sounded like "Pxkey rowwww". (That's "row" as in a fight, not "row" as in a sequence.) Was that "pxke around"?

"Don, did they say 'around'?", I asked.

He give a noncommittal response.

"Was that a yes or a no?", I asked.

"Yes", said Don.

"What was the sentence that it was Don?"

"I don't know. I really wasn't listening." Don turned the radio oee.

"Don! You have to be listening. Did they say 'boki'?"

"I don't know."

"Yes or no, did they say 'boki'?"

"Yes, I think they did."

"What word did they say before they said 'around'?"

"Jumpin'", said Don.

"Jumpin' around? Oh good."

So Don did hear enough to know that the P & A words were not spoken. But the radio still should have been turned off after the song ended!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A day with Don

At 8:58 this morning, I was woken up and picked up by Don.

He had both Emanuel and Robin in the back seat, so I sat in the middle row this time. Then Don picked up Jeremy.

"How old are you?", asked Emanuel.

"I'm 29", I told him.

"Are you still young?", asked Emanuel.

"Yes, but on my next birthday I won't be young anymore."

"30 is yoong. How many basketball players can you name who are 30?"

"Well, they'd be born in 1978 . . . Kobe Bryant was born in 1978."

"Kobe Bryant's 30! Damn! He doesn't look 30! Who else was born in 1978?"

"Besides basketball players?"

"Yeah."

"Well, Tia and Tamera were born in 1978."

"Who are they?"

"They play the girls in Sister, Sister."

"Them? They're 30? No way! I'm 27. So I'm still young. You're 29, right?"

"Right."

"How old do you feel?"

"17."

I told Don I had spoken to Lita about Barnes & Noble. Don said Lita hadn't spoken to him. But he said we could go to Barnes & Noble after the trip to the office.

"Could we have 106?", asked Emanuel as "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" played.

"We're trying to get something on the radio for everyone", said Don, "and what Jeremy likes is this Christmas chrap."

We went to the office, where people could use the restroom. Then we dropped Emanuel off in Berkeley. We switched the station to 101.3 immediately thereafter.

After a while, we hit a commercial break. "Commercial break!", I shouted.

Don flipped stations. I belted it out like an opera singer with my ears plugged as he flipped through stations so I wouldn't hear a station that was doing traffic.

Finally I stopped and Don was still flipping stations. "Off, Don", I said.

Don flipped another.

"Off!"

And another.

"Off!"

He turned it off.

"Don, when I tell you to turn it off, the radio has to go off. That means no more trying stations."

"OK", said Don.

He went to Davis Park because he thought Robin was going to use the restroom there, then got Robin and Jeremy something to eat. After that, he stopped at Barnes & Noble.

I spent twenty minutes in there, looking at CD's by Smashmouth, R.E.M., the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Platters and Rammstein. Then Don came to get me.

"Jeremy" by Pearl Jam played on the radio. "They said, 'Jeremy has spoken'", said Don.

"Did they say C-word pie?", I asked Don, with my mouth full of spit.

"Pardon?", asked Don.

"RRRRRRRRRRR! Old man!"

"Ha, ha, ha, I know!"

"I asked did they say C-word pie?"

"No, they said, 'Jeremy has spoken'."

I asked for a paper towel when we hit a stop. I wiped off all the saliva foaming at the sides of my mouth. Then I purged off Don's "pardon" in the back seat.

"Chasing Pavements" came on the radio. That song has the word "t-ngle" in it. I asked Don to switch to 101.3.

"This is 101.3", said Don.

"This is Alice", I said.

Don switched stations. Star 101.3 was playing "Breathe (2 a.m.)".

"Janet Jackson", said Don.

"Don!", I said, "This is Anna Nalick!"

We decided to go for Chinese food. I said I wanted to go to Chef's, where La Netta takes me, but Don didn't know where that was. I told him it was the place with the food labeled in both English and Spanish.

Don called Lita, who didn't know, then Lita asked everyone in the office, and no one in the office knew. Don took me to Asia Delight.

We buckled the Chinese food (chow mein, salted fish, and mixed vegetables with shrimp) in the back of the van in a cardboard box. Then at 2:37 we drove home.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Spring Water Spa

As I rode in the van to Mike Williams' house, I closed my eyes. I took special care to cover them after La Netta said to close them. La Netta said something about "that eggnog shxke". I gagged.

I heard La Netta on her phone call saying "those little bxtty bottles". I growled. Then she spoke again and this time she said "those little pretty bottles".

"Those little pretty bottles, you said?", asked La Netta to her cellphone interlocutor.

Afterwards Rosa asked La Netta what kind of bottles she was talking about.

"Those little pretty bottles", said La Netta, and described a kind of bottles she was buying for the holiday.

On the way to Mike's house, Rosa was talking about doing the laundry. Then she said, "t-ngling". I growled.

"Why did you say the word that rhymes with 'single'?", I asked Rosa.

"What did you say?", asked Rosa.

"Why did you say the word that rhymes with 'single'?"

"I was talking."

"But why did you say it?"

"I said it by accident, because I forgot that that was a word."

"No, why did you say it?"

"I was talking about the hand lotion, and it made my hands do that." So finally she answered the question.

We picked up Lisa. I asked La Netta whether we had passed Frosty Freeze, er, Foster's Freeze, or gone an alternate route. La Netta said we drove an alternate route. I got out to clear my throat of phlegm.

The first program site was Krispy Kreme. I went in the restroom. Since I wasn't sure whether La Netta was trying to cover a "bxtty" with her "little pretty bottles", I purged off "bxtty" first. Then I used the bathroom to purge off "t-ngling". I had heard a little bit of "Jingle Bells", so I needed to purge off the "jingle"s before I could get to "t-ngling".

Rosa called twice, and finally I was able to finish that word.

Our next site was Big Lots. The group looked at toys, while I kept my exes closed. Rosa said her son Ricky wanted a bxke, a skateboard and some other things. The word "bxke" got caught in my navel. They noticed me picking at it. They also looked at juices. I continued to ask them where they were headed next, but they never asked me where I wanted to go.

La Netta said we were about the head out the door. "La Netta!", I objected, "You never asked me where I wanted to go!"

"Oh, I'm sorry, where do you want to go?", asked La Netta.

"I wanted to look at the hygienic products."

We looked at the soaps and I finally selected a new hand soap to replace my empty bottle. Now if any speck of bug got on me, I'd be able to wash it off. I also looked at all the products for inspirations for my play. I saw a soap manufacturer called Spring Water Spa from Hanover, NJ. It's going to go into a song.

The group stopped by El Pollo Loco. Lisa asked for a frok, and the group asked the drive-through lady for three froks several times. The lady was very hard of hearing.

La Netta asked whether I was able to take my pill, and I said no. Once we got to Berkeley Marina, I headed to the restroom. "Shadolake, shadolake, shadolake", I said. "Fadorork, fadorork, fadorork, fadorork, fadororks, fadororks, fadororks, eadororks, fadororks . . ."

When I came back I was able to take my pill.

We got Lisa and Mike home. When they pulled up to my house it was 2:47 and Stan still wasn't there. Then Stan pulled up and I was home with a new bottle of soap.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Better getting beaten up than purging

At CIWP today, Stan had not brought in my money. I asked him yestereay, and the day before, but still, no dough. We waited to go into Grocery Outlet, and Stan had still not brought in my $20.

Finally, we could delay Grocery Outlet no more. "Who wants to go in?", asked Rosa.

"I do!", I said.

Ken, Mon and Mike Williams all wanted to go in. La Netta said she would stay in the van with Jolene.

While I was in the store, I heard a woman saying, "Pardon?", and growled.

With only one dollar bill in my pockets, I searched the cookie aisle for pfeffernüsse, hoping they were available for $1, but sadly they had none.

I was listening for "pxk(ing) around" while we walked the store. Just then, I heard a man passing by uttering sentences. He said something that sounded like "program".

Oh no! Was it really "pxke around"?

"Rosa? Did he say 'program'?", I asked.

"Let me get to you in a second, James", said Rosa. Shortly thereafter, Rosa came over. "OK, James, what was it you were asking me?"

"Did that man say 'program'?"

"I don't know. He just walked by so fast."

I walked closer to the man. "Sir! Sir! Sir!"

"James," said Rosa. "If you do that, I won't take you here anymore." I stopped for a while.

Then I thought thrice about it. "I've got to find that man", I told Rosa.

We passed by some other guys talking. "Is that the same man?", I asked Rosa.

"No, that's not the same man", she said. "This man is Asian. That man was African-American."

We stopped at the check-out. "I've got to find that man", I said.

"That man already left the store", said Rosa.

"D'OH!", I slammed my forehead. I began to run out the door.

"James, I'm at the check-out. Wait for me, please. I'm almost done."

I growled at the "please". Then I ran out. I saw Ken standing there. Ken had wandered off from the group in his typical way.

At the door was an African-American man. Was he him? "Sir, did you say 'program'?", I asked.

"I don't know what you're talking about", he said in a thick African accent. Then I saw his security uniform. Probably not the same guy.

I passed my several plastic snowman boxes whose pictures showed the snowmen with their exes closed upside-down. I scraped them then looked for African-American men. I walked all across the sidewalk, then stepped off to search for them. Then I saw some cars coming, so I stepped back on the sidewalk.

Just then La Netta was calling my name. La Netta and I walked up to each other and I got in the van.

"Did you see an African-American man?", I asked La Netta.

"I saw several", she said. "They all drove off."

Rosa and the rest of the group later came into the van. "Did you find that man?", asked Rosa.

"No", I replied.

"That is not OK!", said Rosa. "Don't walk off to ask people what they said! From now on, I'm not going to come with you into a store. If La Netta's not coming, you're not coming!"

"I didn't have a choice!", I said. "If he said the wrong words, I have to purge!"

"You do have a choice!", said Rosa.

"Rosa, I'm going to need you to use the best of your listening and recollection abilities. Did or did he not say 'program'?"

"Yes, he did say 'program'", said Rosa. He said, 'This must be a program'."

"Good. Now I don't have to purge."

"What does it matter?"

"I needed to make sure he didn't say the P&A words. DO YOU REALIZE HOW HARD IT IS TO PURGE OFF THE P&A WORDS?"

"That still doesn't make it OK."

We turned on some Christmas carols on KOIT, then the conversation turned back to today's incident.

"What's the worst thing he could do to me if I asked him what he said?", I asked. It wasn't like he would get out a gun and kill me in the middle of a soburban grocery store.

"He'd punch you in the mouth", said Ken.

"The man would beat you up and start cussing at us", said Rosa.

"So the worst that could happen is I'd get beaten up?", I asked.

"Yes."

"I'd rather get beaten up than have to purge."

Rosa stared with her mouth open, incredulous that I would rather get beaten up than purge.

Later that day, La Netta was in the van with me, and she said, "I'm sorry you couldn't find that man to ask him."

"Thanks, La Netta", I said.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Don't call it Frosty Freeze

We were driving down the road to pick up Mike Williams today when I asked, "Should I close my eyes"?

"Not yet", said Rosa.

La Netta was on her cellphone. I closed my eyes and covered them with my hands, just in case.

We hit a bump in the road, and then I yelled, "Whoa!" as my eyes flew open. I covered my eyes again, but don't remember whether my eyes flew off them again.

Then we hit another stoplight. I heard a car radio and plugged my ears. The van moved again, and my eyes were perfectly closed and covered from then on.

"You can open your eyes now", said La Netta.

"Did you say I can open them?", I asked.

"Yes."

"How come you didn't tell me when to close them?"

"I forgot, and La Netta was on the phone", said Rosa. "Did you have your eyes closed?"

"Yes."

"Then you don't need to worry about it."

"My eyes flew open when we hit that bump. Was Frosty Freeze after the time I said 'Whoa'?"

"Yes", said La Netta.

"My eyes were closed then", I said.

"Then you don't need to worry about it", said Rosa.

"Did we drive by Frosty Freeze after I heard the car radio?", I asked La Netta.

"What did you call it?", asked Rosa.

"Car radio?"

"No, the place."

"Frosty Freeze".

"It's Foster's Freeze", said Rosa.

"La Netta calls it Frosty Freeze."

"That was what I always thought, but I was driving by there the other day, and I saw the sign and it's Foster's Freeze."

"So was it?", I asked La Netta.

"Was what?", verified La Netta.

"Did we drive by Frosty Freeze after I heard the car radio?"

"I didn't hear no car radio."

I began to speak to La Netta again, but Rosa said she was on her cellphone.

When La Netta finished, I asked her, "If it wasn't a car radio, then what was it when we stopped and I heard those words?"

La Netta turned up the volume and the jazz station was playing. "It was our radio", she said.

"So was Frosty Freeze before or after I heard the car radio?", I asked.

"It was after you said, 'Whoa'", said La Netta.

"It was between when the car stopped and when you said, 'You can open your eyes'?"

"Yes", said La Netta. "I wouldn't tell you to open your eyes before we had passed the place, would I?"

"Yes", said Rosa. "We've already established this three times, haven't we? You didn't see it!"

"Well, my eyes were open!"

"Well, it was after you said, 'Whoa'", said La Netta.

I saw now. La Netta and Rosa thought I was still asking about the "whoa". Did they think the stop when I heard the car radio was the same one where I said, "Whoa"?

I waited until the coaches parked at Jolene's house to bring up this subject with La Netta again. Unfortunately, La Netta and Rosa just talked and talked without picking up Jolene. "Are we early for Jolene?", I asked.

"No," said Rosa.

"Why aren't we picking up Jolene?", I asked.

"James, you are just a grouch today!", said Rosa.

Rosa went out of the van to help Jolene in. I had La Netta all to myself now.

"La Netta," I said, "When I asked you whether Frosty Freeze, I mean Foster's Freeze, was before or after the car radio --"

"It was!", said La Netta. "It was between the 'Whoa!' and the 'You can open your eyes'!"

"Let me finish. When I asked you, I wasn't referring to the bumpy stop where I said, 'Whoa'. I was referring to the last stop before you said I could open my eyes."

"It was between that too", said La Netta.

"Oh, good. That means I didn't see it."

I could breathe knowing I was safe from that ice xxxxx parlor for one more day.