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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Step Right Up, Little Lady


There are a number of things that I’ve discovered I cannot do.

For instance, I cannot do percentages. Honestly, I think I was sick that day. If something is priced at 40% off retail, I am compelled to take 10% off the price four times. If it’s 45%, that’s four ten-percents and then half a ten percent…

This is the reason you often see me in stores sitting on the floor with my socks and shoes off:  I'm working out the end price of something.

Another thing I cannot do is listen to – or tell – the same story more than three times. I am terribly interested the first time, compassionate the second, polite the third, and looking for an exit on the fourth telling. This goes for Timmy Jr.’s first words, the time that guy followed you all the way to the parking lot, and that freaky dream from last week. I’ve only got so much time on the planet and then it’s The Great Hereafter – do we really have time for repetition?

And I cannot bake.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I can bake.

I just shouldn’t.

And when I say I shouldn’t, I’m not talking about what it does to my pants or the seam impressions it causes said pants to leave on my hips and thighs.

I’m talking about the burns. Because oven mitt or no oven mitt, I am going to burn some part of my hand (usually the left hand, on the top) at some point.

Each time, of course, I vow to be more careful; and each time, this careful-ness lasts the first ten minutes and then is relegated to the degree of attention I give the other things I have vowed to be more careful about, things like my savings account, getting birthday presents to people on time, staying on my side of the road whilst driving...

I am looking at my hands today, having made lasagna last night, and am contemplating what the carnie judging my age would tell me.

They look at your hands, you know, the carnies. The hands speak, as they say, giving away your age. And mine? Well, while my right hand remains a model of pink and slightly dimpled competence, my left hand speaks of the great pyramids, of the first domesticated dog.

I wasn't there for the building of the great pyramids, of course, but judging by my puckered yet blistered hand, I may have been invited to the grand opening.

I should totally go to the carnival today.

Alas, the carnies are all in Florida or some other southern state, plotting their penny-toss strategies and perfecting the casual leer.

And me? Oh, I’m sure I’ll have baked something again by the time the carnivals roll back into town.

And I’m gonna win me that giant stuffed poodle yet.

34 comments:

Douglas said...

It's clear to me that, with the huge amount of money from your new book, you should hire a cook. One that specializes in baking fat-free, low (or no) sugar, gluten free treats.

I solved the burning problem myself by purchasing oven mitts that reach my armpits.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I used to love the local carnival, back when they came to town. I used to flirt with the carnies. Got free rides on the tilt-a-whirl. Carefree youth, no burns on the hands...yet.

Eva Gallant said...

I don't stop at my hand; my arms have scars from when I've reached into the oven and managed to hit the top part!

Pat said...

Yes Douglas's oven mitts are a great idea.

Sioux said...

Yeah, just keep your right hand in your pocket, they'll judge you as way older than you really are, and you'll win the prize.

(And no, the prize is not being called an old lady. That is NOT a prize.)

esbboston said...

When it comes to teaching young children to count with their fingers and toes, I try to encourage them to eXpand their capacities and use the gaps between their metatarsals, metacarpals and phalanges. This way you have 18 numeric place holders with just two hands, an 80 percent increase, and you can do exciting things like base 9 and base 18 math. The Mayas have nothin' on me. I am stiLL curious about fingernails though, early this morning I was wondering about their mechanism of biomechanical growth process. For the reaLLy adventuresome folks looking for a govern-mental job, switching to binary with 36 spots would allow you to accurately count as high as 68,719,476,736 - which is large enough to comfortably count anything that the folks at the Census Bureau would hand you.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Keep your hands in your pockets when you approach those age guessing specialists. Oh, and wear a turtleneck sweater.

jabblog said...

I'm with you on percentages. Sometimes I even have to start with 1% to make sure I've got it right. As for baking, I shouldn't either but for totally different reasons - cakes and pastry remain a mystery to me and a source of indigestion and horror to those foolish enough to partake;-)

Lin said...

Do the calculating on your phone. Everyone has a phone with them, right? Or I multiply the cost x 4 (for 40%) or 6 (60%) to get an estimate of what the savings would be. i.e. $10 x 40% would be $4 dollars off. $20 x 60% would be $12. see? 2 x 6 = 12. Does that make sense. Awwwww....just use your phone.

Get some long-*ss oven mitts. We have some that go clear up to your elbow. My kids love them for that very reason.

Geo. said...

In California, tipping twice the 7.5% sales tax (to get 15%) was long-considered the mathematical constant of the universe. Now we've voted the tax up. I will just tip more --too old to learn a new calculus.

Joanne Noragon said...

But what is the percentage difference between the age of your hands? That's the real stuffed poodle winner. If the carnie can't get it, of course.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

And let me tell you- those burns never go away. 1986-1988: my forearms. Bun toaster, Ohio Turnpike McDonald's. Word.

savannah said...

wow, i just realized i haven't had enough coffee yet, sweet pea! percentages? burns? carnies? and a stuffed poodle? *sigh*
xoxoxoxox

Perpetua said...

Oh, me too, Pearl. I reckon some of my burns have burns by now! But I persevere and my hips expand...

jenny_o said...

Oh, Pearl, you'll love turning 55, then - think of the discounts you'll get - better than a stuffed poodle, even!

Unless, of course, that's a really special poodle :)

Ms Sparrow said...

Hey gal, you need to get an Ove Glove! They protect all the way above your wrist and they really do the job. Of course, after you have stuck various fingers into hotdishes and desserts, it looks a mess but it still works really well. Save your skin! It's time to start hinting around for a Christmas present.

The Elephant's Child said...

And not only the burns, the cuts and the bruises. Where do they all come from? A mystery to rival the building of the pyramids...

Hilary said...

Oh how I can relate.. to the burns.. figuring out percentages and the frustration of overtold stories. You're might amusing.. even in your pain. I hope you heal quickly.

Antares Cryptos said...

:)

mapstew said...

Isn't that how EVERYONE does percentages? :¬)

xxx

klahanie said...

I'm not sure what a "carnie" is. Deciphering your story and a mention of a giant stuffed poodle, can I thus assume this means a carnival? Or is it to do with some sort of carnal knowledge that can be found in Florida. Yours in confusion, Gary :)

Inspector Clouseau said...

Oh the carnies, how I miss them, and I attended them during the 1950s and 1960s when they were....

A couple of years back, the County Fair was conducted in September, and I wanted to go do the whole thing again, and could not find anyone my age interested in going. So I went alone. It's not the same. Part of the fun was doing it with someone.

Oh well, another time, another place....

Diane Tolley said...

Ummm . . . I do percentages the same way. I thought that was the way to do it . . .
And if you see me in the store with my shoes and socks off . . . just keep walking . . .

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I hope you fool those cheating carnies and get the biggest stuffed animal on the rack! (Yeah, they mighta scammed me out of money a time or two in my youth...)

After you win that poodle, get yourself some good oven mitts.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I love your stream of consciousness in this one. Or would that be unconsciousness? Either way, it's very amusing.

PS You made my list of top 20 blog comments of the year - today's post.

Be well, and let others do the baking.
xoRobyn

River said...

Buy a calculator. Or just guesstimate. Unless you really do want the exact answer down to the last cent. in that case, read my first sentence again.
I have insulated oven gloves that go right up to my elbows. They're really great.
I've never bothered getting any carnie to guess my age. Nowadays, we don't even have those types of carnies anymore.

Tempo said...

No one does percentages Pearl...no one.
One of my daughters (28yrs) told me that she has no idea what a percentage actually is, she guesses how much it might take off the price without any real idea, so I KNOW she was away that day...
I taught her the easy way you use and she was amazed how easy it was to get the price of something...28yrs!

Gigi said...

Percentages make me weep. Now that my phone has a calculator, I'm less weepy.

haphazardlife said...

I do the percentage thing like you do, in increments of 5 and 10%.

You are not alone.

Rose L said...

Wow. I am not the only one who cannot do percentages. I do the same way as you do.
I cried when I turned 55 and now I am 60.

Craver Vii said...

Sorry, Pearl. I didn't know that was you without socks and shoes at the store. I'd have offered to work out the math for you on my flip phone. It has a calculator.

...and they said it's not a "smart phone." Hmph!

Amy said...

It's just one more way you have suffered for your art! That means it was especially delicious.

Roshni AaMom said...

calculating percentages?! No wonder most of us have smartphones now!!

Irish Carter said...

Hi Pearl,

I love this post where a follower can get to know the personal side of you. = )

I am not that great of a baker myself.

What is it that you are wanting help with on your blog?

Irish Carter
Dedicated2Life.com
"Promoting Passionate People"