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Friday, April 29, 2016


 A cranky opinion for


The following is the opinion of a cranky old man who is an expert on this topic.  Opposing opinions are welcome, but they are wrong! As always, please no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid head.

I just learned a new term…Manspreading.  Manspreading is intentionally taking up space on a train or bus depriving others of a seat and forcing them to ask you to make room, something many people are loath to do. 

I learned this term when I read that San Francisco was contemplating a law to make Manspreading illegal and a fine-able offence.  Ordinarily this is the kind of government interference that I find silly.  Not this time.  I commuted by train for forty years, and though we didn’t have a name for it, Manspreading used to piss me off.

There are several Manspreading techniques.  Some just spread their legs wide or cross them so that they invade the space next to them.  When a passenger approaches looking for a seat, the Man spreader will dig his nose in the paper or concentrate on the Penske file he brought home from the office.  He will not make room unless asked, and when asked will act as if the requestor was the one being rude.

Elbows out is another space taking method.  Extra annoying is when the Manspreader plops his briefcase or other object on the seat.

The end-seat sitter used to really shrink my shorts.  This asshole would sit on the end leaving the window seat blocked.  The Manspreader relies on making others uncomfortable with asking them to not behave like an animal.  I was not one of those “others.”  I wanted to make the Manspreader as uncomfortable as possible.

“Excuse me, did you pay for a ticket for your briefcase, cause I’ve been on my feet all day and I did pay for a seat.”

“Oh…ah sure” as the asshole tried to make it seem like making room was an imposition.

If it was just legs and or elbows taking up space, I would just take the seat and let elbows or legs be damned.  I refused to politely ask for him to make room.  Rudeness does not deserve manners…fuck him!

I asked the end sitter, “Excuse me, is someone sitting in that empty seat.”

Sometimes the asshole would not say anything and just move over.  REALLY?  Could you be more obvious that the only reason you sat in the aisle seat was to block the window seat?  Asshole!

The Manspreading technique I could not defeat was the coughing, sneezing asshole.  I know sometimes the cough was just a fake, but I also know some assholes will go to work half dead, I’ll be damned if I’m going take a chance and suck in their germy exhales for forty minutes.

So yes, I hated Manspreaders.  I am in favor of giving drivers and conductors the authority to fine Manspread violators.  Maybe it is time to start cracking down on all bad manners.  Feet on a seat…that’s a fine.  You smell because of poor hygiene…that’s a fine.  Cough or sneeze without covering up…FINE!  Talk to a stranger who is reading or otherwise occupied…FINE!  Talking loud on a cell phone…FINE! Cursing out loud just to make others uncomfortable…FINE!

There are so many examples of poor manners that perhaps should be fine-able, but we have to start somewhere.

I say we start with Manspreading.  GO San Francisco GO!

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Shark Teeth and Gold Flecks

Shark Teeth and Gold Flecks

My youngest child graduates from high school this June.  He is headed to college in the fall.  It does lead me to reminiscing.  They grow up so fast.  Sometimes you don’t want them to grow up.  Sometimes neither do they.

When Spencer was but a bit of a thing, we went to the beach every summer.  I would plant myself in a chair and soak up the sun while he gathered items of interest on the beach.  One time he brought an old broken shell to me.  It looked a little like a tooth.

“Daddy, look at this, is this a tooth?”

“Hmmm, why yes, I believe it is.  Sharks lose their teeth and grow new ones, every once in a while one washes ashore…it is rare, but I believe this is a shark’s tooth…from a mako I think.”

“Here, save it, I’m going to look for more.”

Spencer found sharks teeth all summer, and I identified and saved them.

“Oh, this is a good one, from a great white.”

He found sharks teeth from tiger sharks, sand sharks, leopard sharks, black tip, lemon and thresher sharks.  He learned a little about each shark.

When he got tired of hunting shark teeth, I showed him how if you sift through sand, you find an occasional yellow fleck of sand.  These flecks were gold.  A single fleck was not worth very much, but if you find enough of them…

We collected shark teeth and flecks of gold for several years. 

At some point he figured out the teeth were just broken shells and the flecks of gold were just flecks of yellow sand.  He never called me out on the hoax.  I never knew at what point he believed, or when he just went along with the game because it was a fun game.

Anyway, he goes to college this fall and he knows a lot about sharks and the value of gold.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mrs. Cranky and the Lady Step-crank

Mrs. Cranky and the Lady Step-crank

The lady Step-crank (Cassie) dropped buy for a day this weekend.   Mothers and Daughter’s can be fun when they don’t have a Dr. Phil intervention relationship.   It is always a trip when these two get together. 

Mrs. C claims to be a cold-hearted mom, and in ways she is, but her progeny seem to gravitate to her for advice and a shoulder; especially Cassie.

First, a little background:  Cassie is a college graduate, under 30, very pretty, very talented and living in NYC on her own.  She is a terrific young lady, even if she sometimes phones and wakes up the house at 2 am looking for some motherly advice.  When she visits, I think she looks for a little pampering that she does not get in the City such as a nice breakfast served to her on a platter and a nice shower with plenty of hot water and a bathroom without apartment-roommate crowding.

I think she also looks forward to a little mother-daughter conversation.  As an innocent bystander, I also enjoy these talks.

For instance these gems all occurred within a 12 hour period of time.

Cassie: “Years ago you told me instead of being a big fish in a little pond; I should just be a fish in a pond.  I still don’t know what the hell that means.”

Mrs. C.  “Just sometimes it’s better to blend in, and no one wants to put you in a net!”

Cassie: “Well that clears it all up.”


Mrs. C: “Someday you‘ll be sitting across from your daughter and thinking ‘what a little bitch.’”

Cassie: “Great, now I get to tell my daughter ‘Grandma called you a bitch before you were even born.’”


Mrs. C: “I remember when we had to clean out your college apartment and SOMEONE had a bad hangover.”

Cassie: “Are you ever going to let that one go?”

Mrs. C: “You’re always complaining about me, give me something!”


Some stuff Cassie had to post on Facebook:

Mom: ...and seriously, don't get into the wrong Uber. I saw a Lifetime movie called "The Wrong Car", and this girl; she got in THE WRONG CAR. So don't get into the wrong car!

Cassie...*She has a point, but I don't think I've laughed this hard at a Lifetime movie reference before.*

And this gem which somehow included me.

Cassie...Mom, are you dancing to Trap Queen* right now?!

Mom: What! It's got a great beat! *dances in the car*

Step Dad: What's he singing about smoking? Bopity-opu?  Does he mean dope? I want whatever he's smoking it sounds fun!

Cassie... *dies in the backseat*

*Apparently Trap Queen is a rap group

Only one day in the sit-com I call my life.