Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pet Peeve Number 2: Life Jackets (A Bad Girl Mostly-True Story ...yet more proof that tragedy is the root of comedy)

  There are sporty girls. There are petite lassies.  And then there are those gals for whom serious undergarments are a necessity.

We’re the same gals who can’t wear button up blouses.  So why did I ever think it would be possible to buy a life jacket?

Me, in specialty sports store in front of a wall of marina gear:  “Do you have anything for women?”

Clerk (who is just out of diapers. Honestly, he can’t be more than eight.):  “Yes!  All our styles are unisex.”

Me (sighing):  “Yeah, here’s the problem with that.  I am not Unisex.”  

Usually males can tell this.  I’m taking this as a bad sign.

Clerk (handing me a life jacket):  “Try this universal one.  It’s adjustable.”

I look at it.  The only things adjustable are two straps that wrap all the way around.  Which means that if I were a barrel, it would fit me perfectly.

Me (shaking head):  “Nope.  No place for the suspendibles.”

Clerk:  “Huh?” 

(I flummoxed him with my command of language.)

Me, trying it on:  “See?” 

I do up the top strap. The thing balloons out like an isosceles triangle.  No way are those bottom straps coming together.  There’s a mountain range in between.

Me:  “Don’t you have anything that bends in the middle?”

Clerk (scratching nonexistent beard):  “Maybe try only doing up the bottom strap?”

I demonstrate.   Strap rides up to my waist.  Jacket rides up over my face.  I could do up the top strap, but then I couldn’t talk.  It might also be hard driving the boat.

Clerk:  “What about cut-outs?”

Me:  “You mean deface the product by cutting out two custom sinkholes to fit around the twin Rockies?”

Clerk (with far too much enthusiasm): “That’s the idea.”

Me:  “Won’t that affect the buoyancy of the product?”

Clerk:  “I don’t think you have a problem with buoyancy.”

Revising estimate.  Kid may be older than I think.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

WORST DATE EVER! Books are shipping to stores NOW

Ever have a really bad first date?  I did!
On September 5, the official launch date of WORST DATE EVER, you'll find out my worst date ever.  Yup.  It's right in the book.  Guess which one?  (check this blog on September 5)

Here are the first two editorial reviews for Worst Date Ever:

"This is great for adult newcomers to reading or the English language, as well as anyone who enjoys zipping through a lighthearted read in a single, short sitting."

"Worse Date Ever is one of the best of this genre. Like all her novels the dialogue is the driving force. This tale is funny, but Campbell finds the sad notes, the desperate moves and the gentle poignancy when two people realize that what they wanted was right in front of them.

Finding a complete story like this in a novella form is rare. When I read it a second time I found myself replacing characters in the book with people I knew. This rapid read is more than a good read."


Friday, 4 August 2017

BATHING SUIT HELL or My War with the Madonna Suit (reprinted with permission from the places that pay me)

By Bad Girl (Melodie Campbell, who may or may not have a flask in her hand, as shown)

Last week I had to do something that engenders the kind of enthusiasm that might be associated with a mass accident on the Gardiner Expressway.

I went shopping for a bathing suit.

Now let me make this absolutely clear.  I have been a bank manager in a low rent district where the con artists are trained at birth.  I’ve taught rowdy all-male classes of engineers.  I’ve taken two kids to Wonderland and positively laughed at the lineups.  So I’m pretty hard to intimidate.

Except in a swimsuit shop.

“Do you have anything with winches?”  I say to sweet little Clerkette.

“Is that a brand name?”  She squeaks back.

It is obvious from the start this isn’t going to work.  Clerkette looks all of sixteen.  She comes back with a two piece that might possibly fit a Barbie Doll.  A real one, not life-size.

“Let me make this clearer,” I say patiently.  “Things have happened to my body in the last twenty years.  I may be a little hard to fit.”

“No problem,” she says cheerfully.  “We have just the thing.”

I look around the store.  Walls of colorful bathing suits on racks, all looking about size 2.  The price tags, however, are size 20.  Why is it that the smaller the article, the greater the cost?

Clerkette comes back with a couple of fuchsia ribbons hanging from her fingers.  “Try this,” she says.  “It’s a Tanga.  They fit everyone.”

I squint at the ribbons.  “Where is it?” I say.

Men don’t have to deal with this.  No, indeed. Here’s what happens when a man goes into a store:

Man:  “I need a bathing suit.”

Clerk: “Do you want blue or red?”

Man:  “Blue is good.  How much?”

But back to Clerkette.  I try again. 

“Do you have something that is a little more structured, if you know what I mean.  Something that ‘lifts and redistributes’.”

“Ah!” says Clerkette.  “You want our ‘Madonna’ model.”

She hands me a steely black suit with hard cups that looks something like a medieval torture device.

“Perfect!” I say.  I go into the wee change room to try it on.

What ensues is a monumental fight between me and the suit that lasts about fifteen minutes.  (Shoppers: 0, Fiendish Designers: 1)  Finally, various bits of me have been forced into the chambers allotted to them.  Breathing is possible, barely.  I look in the mirror.  The result is not bad.  I look like an escapee from a Wagner opera, or an extra from an 80s music video, minus the hair. Take your pick.
Like I said, not bad.

Which is a good thing, because there’s not a chance in hell I’ll ever get out of it.