Laxatives, Mammograms, Chimney Sweeps and Obnoxious Bicycle Bells

This is going to be one of those posts in which I purge all the random, strange and sometimes criminal thoughts that’ve been bubbling in my cranial cauldron for the past few months.

And now that I sit down to write, I’ve got nothing. NOTHING! I sit. I stare. I wait. And nothing happens.

Oh, here’s one.

  1. Why hasn’t someone invented a brain laxative for writers? Maybe I’ll pose that challenge to the Technology Club at our local middle school-the one that builds functioning 3-D printed hands for amputees. If those little geniuses can replace limbs, then surely they can find a way to transform the fodder in my mind into award winning prose that flows like an uncrimped garden hose. IMG_5252

2)This was an actual question on the paperwork at my obgyn’s office. Sorry if you’re repulsed. But, seriously! Who keeps a spreadsheet of this kind of thing?

This is the same obgyn who asked if I knew where I got my last mammogram. Not “where did you get your last mammogram?” But “do you know where….?”

They expect me to keep a record of every tampon I use, but remembering where I got my last mammogram would somehow overload the brain?

I mean…it’s a mammogram! Not a slushie from some nameless gas station on a cross-country road trip. Maybe things are different up here in Virginia. I’m still figuring things. Maybe you can get mammograms at convenience stores making it easy for women to forget where their last one was done.

“Hmm, I think my last one was at the Circle K next to Chesterfield Towne Center. Or was it the Flying J right off the Interstate.”

“Let’s see. I’ve got two Red Bulls, a tin of Altoids, a bag of pork rinds. Oh, almost forgot! I need a bag of ice and a mammogram.”

I took a selfie this time for confirmation.


I never realized how sharp the bridge of my nose is. Did you?

3. Did you know that most chimney sweeps don’t wear black top hats anymore? That’s the most disappointing thing I’ve heard all day. We have to have one come out and unclog the chimney next week. I’ve requested that he wear a hat, but the receptionist wouldn’t make any promises.

chimney sweep

I just read that in the UK, it’s considered good luck for a bride to see a chimney sweep on her wedding day. In fact, some chimney sweeps even hire themselves out for cameo appearances at weddings. That’s according to

“Hey, Dude, are you a real chimney sweep? Or do you just play one at weddings?”

But I digress…

Okay, here it is: According to Weller’s Chimney Service website the wearing of top hats tradition boils down to pride. Way back when being a chimney sweep was considered lowly and dirty, some forward thinking, and perhaps grandiose sweep decided that his profession needed a makeover. Black top hats and coats with tails were the ultimate uniform of success, a fact those in the mortuary industry had already noticed and begun to abide by.

“It is said that chimney sweeps would get discarded clothes from local funeral directors.” This begs the question, discarded how? I can’t help picturing an industrious chimney sweep lying in wait behind a bush at the village public baths where all the local morticians went for a swim everyday at 5.

As chimney sweeps rose in status, funeral directors across Europe became mentally ill with clothing theft paranoia.

If the sweep who comes to our house next week does happen to be wearing a hat and tails, I’ll be sure to ask which mortician he stole them from.

I was planning to tackle way more topics in this post, but it’s almost 2 pm, time to go for a run, where I’ll surely get annoyed by the bicyclists who flock our neighborhood paths, dinging their obnoxious symbols of entitlement “get-out-of-the-way-because-I-own-this-trail” bells.

I’m going to buy my own bell and start ringing it back at them while refusing to move out of their way. Maybe I’ll become the Rosa Parks of the pedestrian civil disobedience movement. There’ll be marches and clashes and history will be made.


That’d be a good way to ring in 2016. (Yes, pun intended.)



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1 Response to Laxatives, Mammograms, Chimney Sweeps and Obnoxious Bicycle Bells

  1. So impressed with your contortionist abilities with that self. When I get those “when did you have your last period?” questions, I like to make up a date like January 21, 1509. I haven’t had one since a little surgery a few years ago. Hallelujah! And I knew it was good luck to shade the hand of a chimmey sweep. I’ll have to click on that link to see why. I can’t imagine you’d end up with anything more than a little soot on your palm. xo


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