Tuesday, July 19, 2011


'Tis the season. Flu season is a major topic this year in the news and in our lives. To get the shot or not, that is the question.

We've made adjustments everywhere. My piano students use Clorox wipes over the keyboard before playing. Large bottles of hand sanitizer stand guard right beside our church ushers at every door. Our pastor, at the request of some members, even stopped our usual greeting by handshake for awhile.

Doug's creative suggestions ranged from fist bumps to waves across the sanctuary. From the church keyboard, I've come up with my own alternatives for flu season, sanitary greetings. I've blown kisses to the women, winked at the kids and even done the Miss America wave. (Actually I think it was the queen of England's wave style first, but we'll claim it for America.)

I headed for Curves one day for my workout.


One place I regularly squirt sanitizer into my hands is at Curves after my workout. Wish I'd bought stock in hand sanitizer!
Recently as I rubbed my hands together about to leave, a voice in my head said, “Hey! You could have some fun with this stuff.”
Immediately a kinder, gentler voice said, “Don’t do it, Kathy. It might not be fun to anyone but you.”

I listened to the first voice. I scurried back to the bottle and pressed hard to get 3 good dollops overflowing in my palm. Then I strolled into the office to tell Jackie, the owner, goodbye…sorta. She was hunched over the computer with her back to me.

“Hey, Jackie. I’m heading home. Whacha playing?” I asked, noticing the game on the screen.
Her eyes glued to her screen, she told me a bit about it. I pretended to be interested with, “Sounds like fun and you're getting pretty good a..ah..ah-CHOO!”
Right on sneeze cue, I flung the clear, cold goop over her shoulder, hitting her cheek, forearm, hand, neck and shirt. It was the perfect spray!

Her screams muted my apology, “Oh no! Jackie, I’m so sorry...I’m so sorry.” I stifled my laughter, hoping the tears in my eyes looked sincere and repentant. But she was way too busy gagging, yelling not so nice things at me.
She bolted straight up from her chair. I remember being called something similar to toilet paper but I won’t share her exact words.

Finally I guffawed and told her it was just hand sanitizer. But she kept repeating, “Oh, oh, I think I’m gonna barf! I gotta go home and change shirts! Oh, I think I’m gonna be sick!” All her expletives were punctuated with a genuine gagging reflex.

I tried to hug her, still explaining the joke but she pushed me away and moved into the workout room, arms flailing in circles out to her side. The other lady in there knew what I was up to. By then we were both cracking up.

"Jackie! It's hand sanitizer!" I repeated. "You're cleaner than you were a minute ago!"

Gradually Jackie joined us in the laughter but it took awhile for her brain to decipher my words and realize she was totally germ free, despite the feeling all over her left side. She hugged me back at last and congratulated me on getting her good.

Her next two thoughts were back casting what she’d just called me and forecasting who she could do it to herself. “Oh, Kathy! Did you hear what I called you?”

“Oh yeah. I heard. My daughter got her last spanking for calling me that many years ago.”

She thought about telling her own daughter but quickly self-corrected, “No. If I tell her, she’ll do it at school and get suspended.”

Next day I poked my head into Curves gingerly. “Come on in, Kathy. You’re safe. I’m still laughing about it. My husband thought it was hilarious when I told him.”

So I didn’t lose my membership. After all it was all just good, clean fun!

All photos were reenactments by the actual characters. No one was injured or infected by the events or depictions thereof.


(Below is a P.S. mid-week blog I posted last weekend. The 2 videos are part two of the story of Oops!)


  1. You are so crazy! Hey, why don't you do one called "Crazy Aunt Kathy!"


  2. Silly little brother! Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt, as you well know. I AM, however, working on one called Normalcy is Overrated. Want to contribute some fodder, lil brudder?

  3. My whole life is AB-normalcy. I did find a way to tell our RU students Friday night about this latest episode and they loved it. Life is never dull when you're around!

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  5. E-beth says; funny i heard a simple version of it but you wrote it much better!

  6. I have read this blog comment and give it the curves seal of approval! Silly lady! See you next week!

  7. Marian Reece wrote (after 2nd posting of this blog):

    My husband about choked to death laughing when I read him your story about the hand sanitizer. I said that's Kathy.