Stupid, Stupid Me


So, I got really lucky the other day.


One of my jobs is a personal assistant for a rather busy, Christian businessman— actually, this guy is so busy, I’m his personal assistant’s assistant. He gets more done in one day than I get done in a week, and that’s really not an exaggeration.

One of the projects I’m helping him with is preparing some photo albums for him. He’s using his Mac and a program called Aperture to design printable photo albums that he will give away as Christmas gifts. It’s kind of a fun project, and I really enjoy it. The only downside is that until this project I had never even touched a Mac computer, much less used one, so I’ve had to do quite a bit of learning in order to be proficient.

So, now that you have that backstory, let me introduce the other part of a backstory.

In order to supplement my income, I sell things for people on Craigslist. They drop it off at my house, I take the photos and do the marketing, and deal with the flaky, flaky public. In exchange, I keep a percentage of the sale.

This all sounds like a nice, fun little side job, until you hear the next part:

Right now— right this very second— there is a stripper pole and stage in my front patio.

I’m serious. It’s got a sturdy, black and white checkered stage, and removable little sides so you can put mood-enhancing LED lights and whatnot under it.

You know, I’ve had a lot of random crap in my yard at some point or another, but I have to admit— this is a definite first.

When you combine the fact that this is in my front yard:

with the fact that my mom is staying with us for awhile, well to put it politely there has been some tension.

The stripper pole (and stage!) was delivered while she was gone during the weekend, and I couldn’t figure out how to break it to her. Dear Abby never gave out advice like this! Do you call, and try to drop the bomb during the conversation?

“How was your weekend? I’m out sweeping the front patio– you know how hard it can be to get the areas behind the stripper pole and stage— huh? Oh, yeah. Stripper pole and stage. What? I didn’t tell you about that?”

Do you send a text message? Leave a little note? Seriously, how do you break news like that when you’re living with your very uptight, uber-conservative, status-conscious Mexican mother?

I don’t know how you would do it, but I took the chicken way out— I turned out all the lights and pretended to be asleep when she came home. Yaaay for cowardice!

Anyways, yesterday while I was working on my boss’ photo albums, whenever the computer slowed with a heavy task I tried to work on a very, very convincing sale ad for the

that is living in my front patio.

I had a gmail chat with my husband, The Bean, up as a pop-out. We were laughing and commiserating about the situation, because my mortified mother had just texted me about her humiliation in having to tell the gardener how to trim the bushes around the stripper pole.

The Bean: Did the stripper pole come up in conversation again?

Me: She sent me a text message telling me the story she told the gardener trying to explain why it was there. I realize that she will not be able to rest until it’s gone…. We have a very limited time for that thing to be there without straining the relationship. And I don’t want to throw down the gauntlet over a stripper pole. It’s just too much for her. Some things I can expect, some things I cannot. She flipped out when someone saw her messy studio over the weekend. She now has a stripper pole in her entry way that she has to explain to everyone, including the gardener.

The Bean: What she should have told the gardener about the stripper pole was “you should have been here for the party Friday night..It was OFF THE CHAIN!!!!”

And then the computer froze.

The computer froze with my giant Stripper pole— and stage! Craigslist ad right there in plain view.

It froze with my giant gmail chat box with my husband right there, taking up the majority of the space on the computer screen.

It froze with the words STRIPPER POLE repeated over and over, dancing about on the screen, and screaming for attention.

Horrified, I tried to “Alt + Tab” my way back to the Aperture screen… to no avail. Apparently “Alt+Tab” doesn’t work on Macs like it does on PCs. I texted my computer friend, begging for her help.

You have to help me! The computer is stuck and won’t respond, and there is a giant Stripper Pole for sale ad on the screen! I’m at my job with the Christian boss! What do I do?”

“Ha, ha… Becky, you always have the best stories.”

“No, I’m serious! This will be funny later! But it’s happening right now! What do I do?”

“Control, Alt, Delete?”

“This is a Mac! All fancy, with a wireless mouse!”

“Is the mouse not connected? Try turning it off, and then back on…”

Eureka! Problem solved! I restarted the mouse, fingers twitching anxiously as I waited for it to respond. I actually felt little beads of sweat creeping up at the back of my neck.

Naturally, right then was the moment my nice, Christian boss stepped into the office to check on the work. All I could think was:

As he made his way over to the desk, someone called him from the hallway. He stepped back to the doorway, and began to talk with them briefly.

Thankfully, the computer screen was facing away from the doorway. I began furiously texting The Bean.

Help! The computer’s frozen, with our STRIPPER POLE chat right there, and the boss is coming in. Type something else REALLY fast, before he comes in and notices it! Make it about computers, and resizing photos. PLEASE!

I love my sexy, quick-thinking husband. Almost immediately this popped up in our chat:

The Bean: It is easier if you take the redeye out first and then do the grayscale balance. It will save you a lot of steps in having to revert to old changes and whatnot. Remember that if you save the changes you cannot go back and undo them, so only save once you are sure you want to keep the changes.

The mouse finished reconnecting with the computer, and I clicked out of the Craigslist ad, just— and I mean JUST as my boss finished his conversation and came over to take a peek at the computer screen. The screen now showed a nice, innocent little Aperture program, slowly saving a large file over into PDF format, and a chatbox with a loving, helpful husband full of loving, helpful, innocent suggestions.

“How’s the project going, Becky?”

“Oh, you know… computer’s a bit slow in responding. But it’s going well. The program’s a nice program! Lots of photos to look at, ha-ha! Photos, photos, photos! Just tons of family photos, ha-ha!” I’m sure I sounded manic, and more than a little unhinged. He mumbled something in sympathy, and wandered back to his office, and I slumped down in my chair.

Stupid, Stupid, STUPID.

Oh, well! Lesson learned.

Now, does anyone out there want to buy a stripper pole and stage? Please?


7 thoughts on “Stupid, Stupid Me

  1. Veronica, I told the Bean that we ought to install one near the fridge, so that we can hang on it when we reach into the back-back of the refrigerator. I think it just makes sense.

    RuckusButt—would you believe 500 freakin' dollars? Isn't that crazy? The new ones go for over a grand. I'm thinking that selling stripper poles might be a good business.

    Selling the used ones, though… not so much. Used. Stripper Pole. < ---words that are dirty on their own, but when put together they reach a whole new level of grossness.


  2. When I lived in Town (as opposed to living in the City, which preceeded living in Town, which preceeded moving to the Farm) we had a couple of 25-year old neighbors. Great kids, really sweet, the kind that would help me move ungawdly heavy items from the back end of the truck to the second-story office without being asked.

    They had the brilliant idea to build a STRIPPER POLE AND STAGE in their living room. And they did it, too, out of some recycled cyclone fencing posts and some decking materials.

    Then, JZ's mum came to visit over Easter weekend, bringing flowers and some egg-based casserole dishes….

    I think you can guess what was out on the curb with the recycling the next Tuesday morning. I only wonder what the truck drivers thought of it.


  3. One man's trash is another man's treasure…..NOT!!! That is soooo funny but, being a mom of adult children myself; I think I would kind of turn a blind eye. You know, like what I do not see I do not know. Now the gardener, I think he may be wise to do the same..


  4. Just found your blog and I love it!

    Anyways, next time you have a Mac issue, the “alt” or the “crtl” key is pretty useless as you already know. Mac uses the apple key, you know, the one that looks like an apple instead. So to copy and paste something, after you highlight it, hit “apple” and “c” simultaneously instead of “control” and “c”.

    We're a bunch of Mac users in this house. I love Macs, esp since I have a teenager. Viruses don't get wrote for Macs. It's been a lifesaver!


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