Some Adjustments May Be Required

Posted by: elraymundo at 2:20 pm on Friday, August 31, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Random

When the urinals are occupied a man’s got no choice but to use a stall. Today I discovered that there is an AC vent over the first stall at the Place of Toil and Labor. The air blows so hard the not only can you feel the hair on your head blowing around but you have to adjust your business for windage.

I don’t expect this post makes much sense for the girls, but for the guys it’s critical to know about these things.

And just in case “windage” is not in your vocabulary, see definition #3:

1. the influence of the wind in deflecting a missile.
2. the amount of such deflection.
3. the degree to which a gunsight must be adjusted to correct for windage.

“And forget trying to put one of those seat protector tissues down in that stall…” said Snowy.

You Want Fries with That?

Posted by: elraymundo at 1:37 pm on Friday, August 31, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Random

To: (redacted)
From: Michael W Raymond

Subject: 8/31 Schedule

Good morning!

Clocked in: 8:30
Lunch: 50 minutes
Less approved time for extra time worked: 52 minutes
Clock out: 4:28

Have a great day!


This is what my once happy workplace has devolved to: Burger King.

Jalapeños Up the Nose, Part II

Posted by: elraymundo at 2:44 pm on Thursday, August 30, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Random

I got to telling old stories about my days selling boots at REI and was reminded of a little vignette that I’ll tell before I move on to Jalapeños Up the Nose, Part II.

I used to work with a fellow named David. David was gay in the style of the leather biker guy in the Village People. He was a broad, stocky, solidly-built fellow with a handlebar mustache who talked about “beating back the bear” while brushing at his shoulders with his fingers.

One day David and I were chatting in the warehouse and he was telling me about his recent visit to the dentist.

“I’ve got a problem,” he said. “I’m so used to the taste of latex in my mouth that now every time I get my teeth cleaned I get a hard-on!”

And with that said we’ll move on to our Feature Presentation.

From 1995 - 1998 I sold hiking boots at REI for $6.85 an hour. That’s 5 euros for you Euros. Down the street from the store was a place that sold the best burgers anywhere on the planet: Five Guys. My favorite was a bacon cheeseburger with mayonnaise, fried onions, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, ketchup, mustard, green peppers and jalapeños. I’d carry this arterial plug back to the breakroom in a brown paper bag turned dark by seeping oil and grease, the bag jam-packed and overflowing with Cajun fries made from fresh potatoes grown in places like Sun Valley, Idaho and the Pennsylvania Dutch country. To eat the burger you had to smash it together with your hands because, pre-smashed, it was about four inches tall (10 cms). Even smashed you had to unhinge your jaw like a snake devouring a bowling ball in order to eat it, but it was worth is because that first bite of meat, bacon, cheese and all them other fixins…mmmmm…hoo Lawdy! Glory!

One day I sat in the breakroom enjoying my fully-loaded Five Guys burger when, in mid-bite - with my mouth full of food - a co-worker made a joke. Everyone in the room, including myself, laughed. I laughed so hard I fought not to spit my food out - and in the process snorted a juicy sliced jalapeño up the back of my sinuses and lodged it in some deep, inaccessible and forgotten place somewhere in the middle of my head.

Ye gods, it burned! My eyes watered; my sinuses were a fireball! I began to sweat and to flail my arms. My face glowed red. The jalapeño had gone China Syndrome.

I hacked and snorted and cried and laughed and burned and a crowd gathered at the door of the breakroom to see what all the fuss was about. They stood and laughed, pointing at the long-haired hiking boot salesman, tears rolling down his face, snorting and hacking to extricate the jalapeño and put out the fires.

It was a devastating, cataclysmic moment matched only by the time I accidentally snorted whisky.

After five or six hours minutes of titanic struggle I gained the upper hand and the jalapeño surrendered, lost its grip and dropped down the back of my throat. The fires died, my sweat dried and my co-workers wandered back to the sales floor to assist shoppers with bug repellant, trail mix and female urinary devices. In the breakroom I leaned back in my chair, laughed, and dried my eyes. Then the curtain fell on my little opera and thus endeth this little tale of the jalapeño.

Jalapeños Up the Nose - Part I

Posted by: elraymundo at 5:13 pm on Friday, August 24, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Lotus Blossom

La Raymunda was chopping jalapeños for a tequila jalapeño-glazed chicken dish when juice from a chili squirted up her nose.

“Ooh!” she said. “That stings!”

A few minutes later the chicken was in the oven and Debra had joined me at the kitchen table. I was reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (I’m a little slow coming around on the whole Harry Potter thing) while she drank a glass of ice water. I looked up from Mister Potter’s adventures with a hippogriff in time to see Debra fishing an ice cube from her glass with her fingers. She caught one - and then jammed it up her nose.

Then Debra noticed I was watching her.

“I want to put ice in my nose,” she explained. “It helps the burning from the chilies.”

I looked at her with an expression that said, “My wife has stuffed an ice cube up her nose. Yet, somehow, I love her.”

Debra saw my expression; tears welled in her eyes and she dissolved in laughter. “Why are you looking at me that way?” she said. She took the ice cube out of her nose, turned it between her fingers, looked at it, giggled, then stuck it back up her nose.

I flipped over a shopping list and began to write on the back of it.

“What are you writing down?” she demanded as I scribbled, the ice tightly wedged between her fingers and her nostril.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “It’ll be on the Internet tomorrow.”

Feeling she should justify the ice as a technique to soothe the burning sensations of jalapeño juice on tender sinus tissues Debra cried, “It feels good!” Then, “Uh oh, water is running down my arm.”

I continued to write on the back of the grocery list.

“It helps!” she exclaimed, justifying further. As she twisted the ice cube in her nose, looking up at me like a guilty puppy who’s just peed on the floor, Debra asked, “Are you disgusted by me?” If she had a tail she would have wagged it.

“Not at all,” I replied. I waved magnanimously. “Please, “ I said, “carry on. By all means, shove ice cubes up your nose.”

“It really helps! But then…it doesn’t really help.” Debra turned the ice cube half way around and giggled. I imagine she caught a mental image of herself with an icy stalactite dangling from her nose because she suddenly cried, “Oh my goodness!” and tears of laughter streamed down her face. She doubled over in her chair and laughed and laughed and laughed.

An hour later we ate dinner. The tequila jalapeño glazed chicken was über-tasty. And eventually the chili oil ceased to burn and Debra survived to smell another day.

Debra Really, Really Hates Mosquitoes

Posted by: elraymundo at 8:15 am on Tuesday, August 7, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Lotus Blossom

Mosquitoes bite normal humans and a small red bump appears. The bump itches, there is irritation and mild cursing and a few days later the bump disappears and life return to normal.

Mosquitoes bite The Debra and several small red bumps appear. The bumps itch and then swell to large boil-like lumps. There is loud wailing, endless complaint and salty cursing as the lumps turn into welts. Her skin turns red and the air turns blue…it’s quite a colorful experience. In a day or two the raised welts make Debra look like she’s been whipped like a chariot horse in Spartacus.

Debra and I sat out on the screened-in deck (the recently violated screened-in deck - more on that tomorrow) at lunch this afternoon and a mosquito came by for a nibble. It went straight for Debra, of course - she has a natural magnetism for biting insects - and hummed around her legs.

“How do I tell if it’s a mosquito or a fly?” she said, squinting to see the insect.

“Is it zipping around or kind of lazily drifting around back and forth?”

Debra raised her hand and floated it in the air like a cork bobbing on water. “It’s moving like this,” she said.

“That’s a mosquito.” I took a bite of my tuna fish sandwich. Eyes wide, Debra locked her gaze onto the mosquito, stalking it, waiting for it to make a fateful mistake.

“I’m going to smash his (fornicating interjection) guts,” she said.

“Such language!” I teased. But Debra didn’t hear me. She was hunting.

Then the mosquito landed. Debra struck. She set her jaw and slapped her thigh with the flat of her hand. I chewed my tuna fish.

“Did you get it?” I asked after swallowing my food. Debra raised her hand slowly from her leg and looked at her palm. Plastered to her skin was the flattened black remains of the luckless bloodsucker.

“Well?” I asked.

Debra grinned and her eyes widened. Gleefully she said, “I smashed his (fornicating interjection) guts!”