Saturday, September 24, 2011

Burn This

HUGE article here in the paper, an entire page, about how for the first time FREE armored safes are going to be made available to the public, for only $281. I know it's real, too, because the byline was from the UMS, the Universal Media Syndicate, a well-known arm of Bite Me Industries. Plus, the offer is being made by World Reserve officials. That would be the World Reserve Monetary Exchange, Inc., on Freedom Avenue in Canton, Ohio. Pay no attention to the tiny "advertisement" lettering at the top of the page: this is the real deal.

"World Reserve officials confirm early morning reports that every safe being delivered to Portland area residents over age 52 are in fact loaded with a bag of money." It ARE? It's almost too good to be true. When I was a kid I used to dream about finding money on the street, in the form of piles of coins. That's what I imagined was stored in the vaults of the First Bank of Sofa, and I had enough imagination to invest my dream piles in Three Musketeers futures, but paper money was beyond my ability to imagine. These armored safes, now, are guaranteed to contain bags of money including rare coins such as the 1909 cent that is now worth "a whopping 350 times its face value." Free money! In a little jingly bag.

Not only that, but the safes are only being made available to people born on or before 1959 who live within a 50-mile radius of Portland. Why--that's ME!

The safe is designed to replace the ubiquitous "important stuff" shoebox that we elderly keep underneath our beds. I don't have one of those boxes. Most of the stuff I think is important at any given moment is in my refrigerator. The sorts of things they're talking about would be your wills, your financial information, your maps to the treasure. I have no idea where I put all that stuff. It couldn't be safer. There is a will in the house somewhere, and our heirs will have to trip over it at some point, but there isn't a one of them that's going to raise a stink over it. Don't tell me I could be mistaken--I'm not. They're all good kids, and one of our life strategies has been to appear to be worth more alive than dead.

The kinds of things I might want to quarantine in an armored safe used to be the nude photos, any one of which could have kept me out of public office anywhere other than Italy. My attitude towards the photos has changed over the years and at this point, when my best cleavage is in my neck, I'm thinking of publishing them on the internet. What I do not want to see survive is my early writing.

I even remember some of it. In fifth grade there was a tiny copse behind the school and one day I sat in it and wrote a dreamy essay that started out "The Beech is the queen of the forest" and rolled downhill from there. I squoze everything I could out of that royal metaphor. If I'd known what "raiment" and "diadem" meant I would probably have shoveled those in, too. The only thing that should have been obvious was I didn't know a beech tree from a beach ball, but my fifth-grade teacher, who also couldn't have recognized a beech, nearly swooned over it. She cut me from the herd and funneled me into the creative woo-woo class where (this is true) I daydreamed we would be graded solely on our booger collections (mine was under my desk). This may seem immature, but keep in mind my skills in musical flatulence were not well-developed at that point.

It got way worse later on. By high school I was excreting lyrical logs of pretentious poetry that made no sense whatsoever. To this day no one can read my handwriting; back then they couldn't even read my typing. Maybe a free armored safe would be a good idea if I could afford it, but I figure matches and lighter fluid are still cheap.


  1. Heh - I myself was a prolific contributor to our local paper's "Junior Dispatch," where elementary grade students got their first taste of the thrill of seeing their writing in print. Now, as my elderly aunts are shuffling off this mortal coil, clippings of my earliest works are being bequeathed back to me. Is it terrible that re-reading gems such as "Scary Sights Give Fright in the Night" pains me more than my aunts' passing?

  2. I tried to write a Western once in mid-elementary school. I am not sure I ever got past the first page and hope it has been destroyed. I shudder to think.

  3. At a forty-second high school reunion, someone passed out copies of the last senior issue of The Tiger Rag, our school newspaper. The biggest feature was the Predictions column, a satirical roast of the prospects of all the members of the graduating class, penned by Anonymous. And read it aloud to the sixty year olds gathered in the old school library.

    It scathed liberally. I'd forgotten all about it, but Anonymous was pissed at all the people I was pissed at and went suspiciously easy on my closest friends. I think I recognized the flights of snark and even the telltale tracks of a wayward thesaurus. I'm afraid more than a few of my classmates suspected me, too. Will I feel that way about my old blog posts some day? Horrors!

  4. When my dad passed away, I took on the task of cleaning out his home office. In an old filing cabinet, besides tax returns from the 1940's (he was a CPA) I found folders of my letters home from college in the 1960's. Apparently I went through many years of being a Pretentious Twit without even noticing it.

  5. FB just let the cat out of the bag: Happy Birthday, Murr!

  6. Roxie
    Pretentiousness, like adolesence, is just something we have to outgrow. And, like adolesence, it will never fail to embarass us. My theory is that you have to write at least a million words of pure crap before you can get to the good stuff. So when you turn out a piece that is just packed with crap, pressed down and running over, then you are that much closer to the good stuff. Or, as the optimisstic kid in the stable said, "With this much horseshit, there's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"

  7. This safe thing must be going around. According to my newspaper, I am qualified for one as well and I live a hellova long way from Portland, unless there's a Portland, GA I don't know about. Steel for $281? What a steal.

  8. Another great post. You never fail to make me smile.

  9. Latest marketing scam for useless "inventions."

    Here in NM, beginning of the summer gave us a similar scam for a "portable air conditioner" (description sounded like a fan that you loaded with ice - the only question being, when did it start leaking? The condensation issue was already obvious.)

    I'd lay odds on that "safe" being smaller than the shoe box you mentioned.

  10. Murr, I'm with you. No shoebox for me. We have wills, but where are they???! Everything I need to know is posted on my frig. Loved this!

  11. When I was a kid my friends and I decided to start a neighborhood newspaper. We had access to a mimeograph machine so, with a couple of us as reporters" we set about finding some stories.

    We did as one of my reporters reported that his parents were getting a divorce. The "scoop" was published wherein after one issues, our newspaper was shut down.

    My next project was a small AM radio transmitter from an electronics project kit.

  12. Murr, I am outraged and will be calling the Better Business Bureau on this company. I also live within 50-mile radius of Portland, but I was born 2 years too late to take advantage of this amazing offer. This is age discrimination!

    Thank you for continuing to look around for inspiration in an attempt to create.

  13. A few years ago, a friend sent me a letter I had written to her in high school. It was an apology for I have no idea what and I also had illustrated it---with a drawing of me (presumably) with my foot in my mouth. The letter itself was full of high-fallutin language, very formal, very pretentious, and I think I must have meant it to be funny. At least I hope I meant it to be funny!
    Is it your birthday? Mine was yesterday. So Happy Almost Same Birth-day!

  14. Where's my safe?
    As we age we begin to think about ferreting through our stash of junk kept hidden for many years to see what we might want to destroy so that our children or grandchildren will not come across it after we are gone. It could be embarrassing, more for them than me! I know I do not have any nude shots of me, just a couple of me scantily clad trying to look alluring (a better way to say sexy).
    Imagine your kids finding a nude shot of you..."Who is this? It kinda looks like mom. OH MY GOD! I think it is mom!!"
    They would ponder whether mom was a looker or a hooker. LOL
    As I started going through my "stuff" I found it rather boring. Reading old love letters I discovered they were leaning towards "like" letters. Hmmm...maybe I should write up a couple passionate ones to hide away so when my hoard is being picked through they will think I had a more passionate life at one time and not be the boring old lady they know me as. LOL

  15. Darn, I live more than 50 miles from Portland!

    Happy Birthday, by the way!

  16. First and foremost, Happy Birthday Murr. Your 38th perhaps, or 39th?
    When I first saw reference to " armoured safe" I wasn't thinking of steel, but of s*x, and steel safes. Don't know how that would work. Strange what happens to my mind at this time of night.
    In comparison, we are terribly organized. Over organized. Disgustingly organized, even. All them papers are in one bag, that we can grab and run if there's a fire. Or deluge. Or Second Coming.

  17. In my high school Advanced Placement English class, we were given an assignment to write a short story. I was a naive girl, never been kissed, let alone know anything about male or female anatomy. For some reason, though, I thought it would be a good reason to write about a rape.

    Written on my returned paper was my teacher's comment, "This is the funniest thing I have ever read!" I guess describing the victim's breasts as looking like plump chickens wasn't a good idea.

    In a college creative writing class, I decided to write a story based on my first experience having sex. My professor made me read it aloud. There was a silence, and then he said,"Well, I guess we know Susan will never be a writer."

    I actually did become a freelance writer, and I think my best piece was giving instructions on how to write a good thank-you note.

    Now I stay home and watch t.v.

    We share a birthday....hope yours was happy!

  18. Happy birthday, Anonymous and knittergran! I've been out all day looking at ducks and herons and then sitting around in my Julie Zickefoose woodcock underwear eating ice cream. Fifty-eight today. It seemed older on my mom.

    Seems like mine is a common experience. I'm getting the idea from a whole lot of you (all?) that I should just be grateful that I wrote jack-doodly from age 18 through 54. That much less to regret, hey what?

  19. "when my best cleavage is in my neck" - oh, yeah, that made me laugh.

    And happy birthday!

  20. What do you mean you never dreamed in paper money? Weren't you exposed to MONOPOLY? Maybe we could put our cleavages in the safe before they drop beyond market value.

  21. "Couldn't even read my typing," put a nail in my coffin.

    I had to look up copse... I thought it was a typo, but wasn't sure how you could sit in corpse.

  22. Followed you here from I Think Therefore I Yam and have decided that I would really like to vacation in your head.
    We bought our daughter one of those armoured lock boxes. It works well. She can't get it open.

  23. You are so welcome, mybabyjohn/Delores, to vacation in my head. It's a shabby little cottage but the view is nice.