Ask Poops, Please

Putting my two cents in.

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Location: Belmont, New Hampshire, United States

Born and bred in a small New England town, I am convinced that I know something about everything, and that my opinion matters. If only to me. Well, you'll see what I mean. And I love to knit, so you'll see what kind of things I'm doing when I should be vacuuming the living room.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Oh, where to begin today. So much to say, so little blog space.

First up, y’all remember my previous post about the Colonel and his “wee beady eyes,” yes? Well, the Hubster went to Target last night and bought me the last DVD copy of So I Married an Axe Murderer in the state of NH! I know what you’re thinking, and no, I haven’t even broken the seal on it yet. Later today though, you can betcha!

So that was good news.

Second of all, I totally lied about that handwashing I had to do. I said the weather wasn’t cooperative, so it would have to wait, and that part was true. It rained just a wee bit at dusk, even. But I did wash nonetheless, the stuff just isn’t dry. But I will have some pictures for you sooner rather than later.

All my outstanding orders have arrived in the mail this week, and my Secret Pal’s box is almost ready to send out. I also got some wool in from Little Knits so that I can finish up a bag I started but ran out of yarn so it’s been chillin’ in the WIPpile. I might make it into a wee backpack of sorts. Still trying to decide on the top and handles situation. I shall make a decision today and get back to you with the details, rest assured.

And today we’re up freakishly early so that we could bring Larry T. Hubster to work at the crack of dawn. That is so that we three girls might have the car at our disposal. We don’t do this much in the winter because it’s dark and very cold at 6 in the morning, but now that it’s light and warmer, I don’t mind dragging them out of bed. And I’ve got some errands to run, so it all works out. And they got Dunkin’ Donuts munchkins for breakfast, so everybody plays, everybody wins. They decided it’s cold in here and are snuggling whilst watching Spongebob Squarepants. I love that wacky little sponge and I’d happily join them on the couch, but I have business here to attend to. And I have a story to tell you!

But before further eloquence, I want to go ahead and answer my next Blog Contest Question. This one comes to us from Sade, and I’ve been dreading it ever since I looked up the answer.

Sade wants to know, “Is 42 really the answer?”

For the uninitiated, like myself, this involved a trip to Wikipedia to look up The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’ve not read the book myself, nor seen the movie, but I did recognize the quote owing largely to my masterful command of pop culture references. But is 42 really the answer? I did not know.

Turns out, 42 is the answer to the question “What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?” Which is embarrassing because that’s what SarahJanet asked a while back, and I answered with a somewhat straight-faced answer and totally missed the pop culture reference. Perhaps my command is somewhat less-than-masterful at that.

I also found out that 42 is the answer, unless you allow for inflation, and then the answer is actually 47. And that should answer two questions with one answer. Cool, eh? Not that it helps with my embarrassment over totally missing the reference the first time around. Ah, at least confession is good for the soul.

I’m down to just a few slips of paper left in my big mixing bowl. I wonder what I’ll have to talk about when the questions are all gone?

Oh, I know! The big Altar and Rosary Society Coup! You want to hear the story? Of course you do. Sit back, get a coffee. You’ll need it. Try and keep up, ask questions if necessary. I don’t want to lose anyone.

So last summer in August, my church held its Annual Old Home Day Craft Fair and Bake Sale, sponsored and run by the Altar and Rosary Society, the ladies’ guild of our church. I had a booth there, and during the course of the day got to chat with all the members of the A&R (as it will heretofore be referred), and it was suggested—more than once—that Sister and I should join! No, you don’t have to be over 65 to be a member! It’s fun! We have snacks! Whee!

Well, Sister and I had been looking for ways to become more involved with our church and community, and this ministry seemed like a good way to get our foot in the door as it were. So we attended the next meeting, paid our dues, and got our official cards.

The A&R has a board, as do most organizations. There’s a treasurer to keep track of the dough, a secretary to shuffle the papers, and a President and Vice President. Not sure what the VP does, or why one is necessary, unless of course the President is assassinated. Not likely in a setting like the A&R, but certainly not outside the realm of the possible, as you’ll soon see.

The President, or Generalissimo, as she has been dubbed by Sister and me, is my cousin. We’ll call her Ruby, though it is not her real name. Not that she’s stupid, and anyone who knows me in real life knows of whom I speak. But still, it feels all "24" with the alias, so I’ll forge ahead with it. Bear with me.

Ruby is a control freak of the first order. She cannot ever be accused of being wishy-washy or indecisive. She knows what she wants, what needs to be done, and she orders it up fresh and hot. I mean, when she says “jump”, you better say “how high?”

Sister and I would leave the meeting and just shake our heads at the way the group is run. Now, most of the women in the group have been parishoners forever. And I do mean forever. Yeah, most of them are elderly, but not all. Sister and I are by far the youngest members, but the group knew they needed younger bodies and eager hands and sharp minds to come in and infuse the group with much needed energy and spirit. And Sister and I have it—in spades!

We attended three meetings before the winter break. We sensed a trend at every meeting. Ruby would just decide what need to be done, point a finger at who needed to do it, and that would be the end of it. No vote, no discussion, nothing.

Here’s a For Instance. It was suggested by Miss Janet that we, as a service organization, do something nice for the people who volunteer their time as Religious Education instructors. Janet suggested it, and while Sister and I had some reservations (that we kept to ourselves) it was roundly accepted as a plan. Ruby didn’t like the idea and tried to brush it off, but Janet doesn’t back down so easily. She’s been around a long time and knows how these things work. (I have a feeling she’ll be on board with a coup, you mark my words.)

Oh, and lest I forget, it seems we also have thousands and thousands of dollars in our savings account. Yet we are constantly pinching pennies and socking money away at every turn. What rainy day are we saving for? I don’t know, but it factors in in a minute.

Anyway, we discussed what we should serve. Sister and I thought something nice, maybe a pork roast or even a lasagna or something like that. Someone suggested spaghetti and meatballs, and before Sister or I could protest that something more…I dunno…special could be served, Ruby piped up.

No. Meatballs are too much work. We’ll make American Chop Suey. I have the hamburger in my freezer. We’ll make a big salad and that will be that. Mrs. Shoemaker will donate some rolls if we ask her to. We should be able to do it for a couple hundred dollars at the most.”

(A timid hand goes up.) “Um, how about dessert…”

(Ruby…) “I’ll make an apple crisp. If you give them a choice they’ll just take forever deciding what they want. They get apple crisp.”

I know what you’re thinking. American Chop Suey, while comforting and filling, isn’t exactly a treat. And you’re asking people to miss dinner with their families to attend this, as a way of saying thanks, and you offer them cafeteria food. Mmm, you’re welcome! And no choice of dessert! You’ll just waste time making up your mind between lemon cake and chocolate brownies! You’ll eat apple crisp and you’ll like it, Mister!

Sister and I were shocked and appalled. At the same time. And wondering what the thousands of dollars in the savings account, faithfully tended and reported on my Miss Jean, are being saved for. Don’t we hold fundraisers so that we have money to spend on things for the church and the community, like dinners, and food pantry donations, and sending school supplies to our sister parish in Belize? Why are we being so cheap?

But I digress. Sorry.

So then it comes time for handing out assignments. Who’ll cook, who’ll serve, who’ll clean up, and so forth.

Who can come make salad?”

(Poops puts her hand up and is put on the salad-making committee.)

Who can come help serve the dinners?”

(Poops, figuring she’s already here and will have time on her hands once the salads are plated, raises her hand again.)

NO. You already have a job. You’re done.”

(Sister, who had put her hand up to serve with Poops, suddenly has a “fuck it” moment and puts her hand back down.)

Fast forward to the last of the jobs being handed out. The VP pipes up, “I thought we were having cheese and crackers too. Who’s bringing that?”

Ruby scans the table. Before Sister can retract her “fuck it” moment and volunteer to bring the cheese and crackers, Ruby turns to the VP. “You got cheese and crackers. Bring them with you.”

Oooohkay, then.

So we get to the end of the meeting and we’re enjoying a nice snack and some fellowshipping…cake and coffee. Nice. Last order of business…

(Ruby) “Who’s going to bring dessert next time?”

Miss Jane Vespa (we call her that because she has the cutest little tote bag with a cartoon of a kicky girl riding a scooter on it) starts to timidly put her hand up, sensing that no one else was going to volunteer, and not being the type of person to take something away from someone else who might want to do it, but she’s still more than happy to do something for the group anyway. But it’s not to be.

(Ruby) “Lillian. Bring dessert.”

Um, Lillian didn’t have her hand up. Lillian’s already the secretary and has to type up the agenda and the minutes for next time. She’s also the church organist, in several prayer groups, an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist (who brings communion to homebound parishoners), and takes care of her blind twin sister. And she attends mass every day. Lillian’s plate’s full. But yeah, she can make dessert too. No sweat. And she does it too, because unlike her sister Janet, Lillian wouldn’t say shit if she had a mouthful. I love her so.

Anyway, after all that, Sister and I sit in her car in my driveway and hatch our first plans for a coup. Generalissimo Ruby needs to be overthrown for the good of the group, and the good of the Parish. Besides, we were a bit put out to find out that neither she nor the VP even attend our church! I mean, shouldn’t the president of the ladies’ guild be a regular massgoer? I'm just saying.

To make a long story even interminably longer, it was decided that there should be a membership drive starting in the spring. Many members, though we can’t say for sure that the Prez and VP agreed, thought bringing in new and younger members was a great idea. After all, as some of the older ladies reasoned, they’re not as young as they used to be and didn’t have the energy to do all the work they once could. Plus, when they died or moved to Florida (we lose a few every year), who’s going to keep the group going? We have the oldest continual A&R in the area, since 1947 and wouldn’t it be a shame to see it end just because of lack of interest? We need to make it interesting to the next generation. I made up some prototype flyers and volunteered to speak at mass (with Father’s permission) about who we are, what we do, and invite the women of the parish to come and join us for coffee and cake and get to know us a bit. The gang was excited, loved the flyers, and was looking forward to that being our first order of business come Spring.

We take the winter off from meetings because there’s not much going on, and the older members don’t like to drive in the dark, but it was decided that come spring we’d step up plans for ways to get new women interested in joining us.

Which brings us to yesterday.

Sister is at City Hall for a birthday party and she runs into none other than Gen. Ruby. Ruby asks her where we were the night before. How come we didn’t come to the meeting? Sister replies that we didn’t know there was a meeting, how come no one called us? No matter, replies Ruby.

The A&R has decided that they are all too tired to do anything and have decided to take a year’s sabbatical.

This sounds fishy to me. Anyone else? Show of hands? Sister and I suspect that Ruby decided she was too busy to do anything this year, since she’s always complaining that she does more before sunrise than most of us do all day long and that she’s just exhausted. And we’re quite sure that rather than she take a year off and turn control over to someone who’s not too exhausted or too busy, she decided that we all should take a year off. And she is one to take the other members’ lack of opposition as agreement, when I suspect everyone else (all six of them that showed up for the meeting) was too intimidated to argue with her.

So Sister and I are in the planning stages of the official coup. I am going to pull aside some members this weekend between masses and get the poop on things, maybe see if we can get confirmation that we’re right about who wants a break and who doesn’t. See, we really still want to do the Craft Fair and Bake Sale again, and sister and I have some terrific ideas on how to make it just incredible fun and profitable as well. We’ve also decided that we will form our own committee and run it ourselves if need be. It’s not that big a deal. Or that big a fair, if you get right down to it.

I will keep you updated as things progress, and I’m sure I’ll have more to report no later than Sunday night. We’ll call it “Coup Watch 2007”. We may even start our own ladies’ guild and call it the “Alternate Rosary Society.”

Whew. I’m sure there was something else I wanted to mention….

Oh! Any “Scrubs” fans in the audience? I love that show, and one of my favorite parts of the show is Sweaty Teddy’s a cappella band. You too? Check this out…



Blogger Bezzie said...

Love the Scrubs!

Ha ha, I can't wait to see how the coup goes!!!

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Cole said...

I can't believe that Gen. Ruby had a meeting without you. She must have gotten a whiff that you guys could actually due a better job at it and be more enjoyable that she sounds! I hope all goes well and that you can get the lowdown poop about what really happened at the last meeting. You may need a coup to keep the guild going.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does "Alternate Rosary Society" sound like "Lesbian Ladies Guild"? Just wondering...

11:49 AM  
Blogger SiressYorkie said...

Wow. I wonder if there was this much in-fighting in the Holy Roman Empire. Surely there musta been some sort of altar guild back then too. I bet that's why the Empire fell eventually: too much micro managing by Ceasar's wife Ruby.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go for it!! You and Sister should be the prez and vp!! They need the youngblood! I loved your story!!! You are quite the storyteller! Look forward to more escapades of you and Sister! :)ME your SP

3:14 PM  
Blogger Cindy in Happy Valley said...

There must be a A&R manual somewhere that all the Old Guard follow.....sounds appallingly familiar.

Get on with your bad selves. I'm rooting for you.

11:19 AM  

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