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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Step Right Up, Li'l Lady! or She's 100, Maybe 102 Years Old...

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, working out the end price of something.

I cannot 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.

30 comments:

Shelly said...

Ride around with that giant stuffed poodle in Mary's giant sized truck. That'll take folks' minds off the cold.

Pearl said...

Shelly, :-)

jenny_o said...

And if you want to be even surer of winning a poodle, take a nice medium brown eyebrow pencil and make some age spots on that poor little left hand. (I'm looking at mine as I say that. Never figgered I'd have 'em, but there you go.)

Camille said...

You were not at the building of the pyramids but probably invited to the grand opening? You absolutely crack me up Pearl. I'm going to carry that one with me all day. :-)

Delores said...

I've got the hands of a 90 year old ditch digger...short fat blunt fingers, skin that fits like a wrinkled old glove and age spots. Hands that spell a lifetime of hard work and competence at something or other...I could totally fool them. Let's go together.

Mandy_Fish said...

I didn't know there was any other way to figure out percentages?

Unless I just round up. Like if it's 40% I just figure out what 50% of it is and decide that it will cost something around there.

Maths! I'm not good at it!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Shopping IS math, isn't it? Explains my aversion to shopping...

vanilla said...

Actually you are using your math skills by calculating four and one half tenths to get 45%, even if you do have to use your toes.

Easier at 45% discount is to calculate one-half of the marked price and and one-tenth of that to get the price you pay. You are welcome.

joeh said...

Hmmm...little patience, short cuts to math, can't bake (probably get portions wrong) I am going to guess you are left handed.

bill lisleman said...

carnie judging ages - is that still a viable occupation?
Here's an idea - enter a baking contest at the fair and then visit the carnies.

wellfedfred said...

Oh, Pearl, you're my hand twin, except for the arthritic knuckles.
Your math reminds me of the time I explained to a public interest group that if they could cut 10% off their expenses their savings would be $xxxx. "How do you know that?"

"Well, I'm assuming you wouldn't have other new expenses."

"No, I mean how did you get that number so fast? How do you know it's the right amount?"

Douglas said...

My secret to figuring out prices that are xx% reduced is to ask a clerk how much it is. That mostly works... especially if they have one of those scanner gizmos with them.

I haven't burned myself in years, mostly because I don't cook, much less bake. Wimmen's work. I am good at eating, though.

Fake an accent with the carnies and make your hands shake... fools `em most of the time.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
...don't remember the undomesticated dog then, or the foundations going in?

Awwwww stuffies - loves me a stuffy toy... go win it Pearl!! YAM xx

Jayne Martin said...

Oh, my dear... This is you in top form. Not that you'd know any other form, that is. Love the pyramid references. I was at that Grand Opening. It was fun.

The Geezers said...

Baking for you is what home improvement repair is for me. Whenever I've been at it and my wife comes home or one of the kids stops by for a visit, they begin immediately looking for the blood that is certain to be found somewhere in the house. My left hand is a nightmare of scars and stitch marks suffered because of the clumsiness of my right hand when it wields utility knives and screwdrivers and chisels and (once) a power circular saw.

Jono said...

Does that extra toe on your left foot cause some of your math problems? I thought so.

Daisy said...

I do the 10% multiplied thing too. Math is not my favorite thing.

Mmmmm...lasagna. :D

Suldog said...

I used to be a carnie. That fact has almost nothing to do with anything, but since I'm likely to be the only one of your regular readers able to make that claim, I thought I'd throw it out here. If I had a giant stuffed poodle, I'd make sure you won it. I like you.

Elephant's Child said...

And what are the feline dominatrixes (what is the plural of that word?) in your home going to say (or do) when you bring home the giant stuffed poodle.

Merlesworld said...

Firstly I just ask the shop keeper what the end price is I don't know how many times I got to the cash register and my bargain turns out to be something someone has moved on to the wrong table and it is not on special at all so I put it back on the right table, and once i came back 10mts later and is moved to the special table again so i gathered it was a ploy for the shoppers not paying attention.
I don't bake cakes now not because i burn myself but because nobody eats them, they are not very good.
And i hope you win the giant stuffed poodle....
Merle............

Gigi said...

Percentages? GAH! The only percentage I ever learned properly was 50% - which, I say with much pride, is half. From their I guess, usually inaccurately, at what the sale price might be. 40% off $20.00? Well, that's less than half so maybe $12 or $13? I'm usually wrong & probably am now too.

As for the hands? Well...since they've looked like old lady hands since I was about 12 I expect the carnies would judge me to about 300 years or so.

Joanne Noragon said...

I wonder what you'll be free associating on when that hand is healed.

HermanTurnip said...

The wife and I have an agreement: She teaches Tyler math, I'll teach him how to write. Numbers and me aren't on speaking terms...

Jen said...

Pearl, it is reassuring to know that you, even you, have something you do not do perfectly. You always seem so competent: getting yourself to the office on the bus, serving at banquets, making people's houses shine. Selling your words.

At first I thought you were going to say that you "shouldn't" bake because of the way the end result turns out, but I should have known better.

River said...

Percentages are easy enough unless you want to know to the exact dollar or cent.
For baking you need a pair of elbow length insulated oven GLOVES. Like mine.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

I think your percentages formula is pretty straightforward except I would suggest taking 50% off and adding 10%, taking away a half of a ten if it's 45% off. Or just rounding, which is my usual, never successful, strategy when shopping under sale pressure. If a carnie looked at my hands, he'd peg me for those drawings on the cave walls. I thought I had lived those down.

the walking man said...

You could just put cigarettes out on the back of your hand if baking is too dangerous for you Pearl.

Esther Montgomery said...

I don't mind percentages unless they are going backwards - "This is the price when 40% has been taken off so what was it at full price?"

I can bake as long as it's a cake or scones. Beyond that I'm stuck.

I don't like weighing things. Every so often I wonder if I should buy a book of American recipes - you measure with cups instead of scales, yes?

Mitchell is Moving said...

Oh, no, go for the giant stuffed frog instead. I really like that one. I'm with you... I shouldn't bake or handle sharp instruments (like knives... and garlic presses)... Oh, wait, I don't.

Danielle L Zecher said...

Between dry winter skin and having taken my devil spawn of a cat to the vet last week my hands look they belong to someone twice my age, who gets in a lot of fist fights.

I do the ten percent thing too, unless it's 50%. :-)