The lady who invented Hulk Hogan AND Groucho Marx

I run into the “cafe” across the street to grab a quick bite before my drive back across the state.

I sit at the bar on a stool.  I’m in a hurry.

A lady sits down on the stool next to the empty stool beside me heavily and plops her stuff down on the bar.

In a manly voice, she asks, “Can I have a cup of coffee?” to the little girl waitress.

I glance quickly over to see the title of the magazine she’s rifling through angrily.  Wrestlemania.

She looks up at me.  I nod.

“They stole this from me.  This name, this whole concept was my idea but I didn’t get any credit for it!!”

I nod and raise my eyebrow.

She goes into a diatribe about how that kind of wrestling isn’t the sport; it’s just a show full of drama queens, no real athletes in it.

I nod knowingly.

“You know those movies they said were made in the 20’s and 30’s like Groucho Marx and them?”  I shake my head yes, eager to hear what her mind was conjuring up for this one.  The waitress looks at me apologetically.

“Did you know those were really made in 1976??!!!  They just filmed them in black and white and backdated them to look like they happened before I was born because all of the themes of those movies, all those stars, I made all that up!  But did I get any credit for it?  No!  I made up the character Groucho Marx.  By all rights I should be a millionaire.

And, Hulk Hogan, too!!!  That whole concept was my idea!  I just asked him if he decided to use it to give me a cut, but did he?  No!  He just rubbed my face in it!

Do you see this shirt?  (Yes, it’s very pretty.)  I created the design for this shirt.  Do you know where I found it?  At the thrift store!!!  I have a whole list of jean companies and people who make jackets and shirts who’ve stolen my ideas.

But what can I do against millionaires?  I don’t have any money.

(To the waitress) Can I leave my stuff right here?  I just want to have a cigarette.”

The waitress says, “Of course!”

The lady walks outside.

I say, “Can I have my check, please?”

“Sure.”

I walk outside and the lady looks up and me and says, “You have a good afternoon, Ma’am.”

You, too, crazy lady.  You, too.

For What It’s Worth

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Once Upon a Time.”

There once was a kingdom called Alamery.  In this kingdom there was a king, but there was also a huge conglomeration of princes, knights, lords and all those in service to the lords.  There were just as many or more women, though most of them were ladies or their servants.

One of the lords decided one day to change his agreement with his servants.  You see, every year he sent his captains to evaluate his servants to see if they were keeping their part of the agreement.  However on this day, he told his captains a new way to evaluate the servants.  This new way was stricter than the old evaluation and would most likely mean the servants would have to offer more to the lord than they had prepared for because he had not told them he was changing the agreement.

One of the first servants to be evaluated was a red-haired commoner named Lily White who became angry when told of the new way of evaluation arguing it was unfair to change the agreement without letting them know to prepare because now she would have to dip into her winter reserves to pay her tribute and that would put she and her family in danger.

The captains paid her no heed.  They took what they said she owed and never looked back.

Lily was no stranger to the order of the kingdom having once been in service in the castle of the lord so she consulted an old friend of hers in the court.  When she told him what had happened, he was incensed!  How dare the lord rob the common folk!  He’s sworn to protect them!

Lily’s friend quickly rallied others in the court to her cause, especially the ladies of the court.  They petitioned the lord to stop his evaluations immediately, give back the extra goods he had taken in the name of the agreement and consult the court and representatives of the servants to make new arrangements for the next year after notifying the people of the agreed upon changes to the agreement.

The lord had no choice but to comply.  Too many had rallied to Lily’s cause.

Though she knew the lord, as was fitting to his station, was within his right to change the agreement without notice, she also knew as their lord he had sworn to protect them and had chosen not do so.

As her friend had quoted in the court, “Just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you should.”

Martha

I went to the bathroom at the campground to wash up before bed.

There was a lady there blow-drying her hair.

She began to tell me how her son had died a few years ago in an ATV accident leaving her empty and alone.

Her current husband (the second one) didn’t understand.  It wasn’t his son and he wasn’t a mother.

All the while she’s telling me these things and looking at me piercingly, puzzled repeatedly saying, “I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this.”

One of the times I respond, “People tell me their stories.” She gives me an add look.

She tells me she was a Sunday school teacher at an Anglican church until her father, an atheist, died and the priest came to tell her he’d gone to hell.  She hasn’t been to church since.

She asks me if I’m a religious woman and I tell her spiritual, yes, but religious, no.  I can’t say I’m right and everyone else is wrong.

She says as if suddenly enlightened, “That’s why I’m telling you all of this.”

She has also said she’s telling me all this because I’m a stranger, a neutral party.

About a year after her son died, a friend of hers asked her to go to a spiritual healer.  “I don’t believe in that.”

“You don’t have to. You already have an appointment so please come with me for my sake, not yours.”

She goes.  The lady strokes her head, hair, shoulders.  “So sad,” she says.  “You are the saddest person I’ve ever seen.”

As the healer speaks to her she closes her eyes tight refusing to give a inch-to give anything away.

The healer says, “There’s someone here from the other side.  Mumsie, he’s saying. What do you want to say to him?”

He was 6’4″ and used to gather her up in his arms and swing her around.

She says in her mind, “Why didn’t you give me one last good hug?”

She’s been drinking.  She has tears in her eyes.  She is lonely.

“My husband will be wondering where I am.”

She gives me a hug.

She runs into my husband outside and tells him I was her savior tonight.

I wonder what will happen to Martha tomorrow night.

I wrote a poem once

I wrote a poem once after tripping all night in the freezing cold

It was about grandmother moon
under the moonlight
with a can of bugler
and rolling papers by the bonfire
and tales to pass the night

I got my rainbow name
man, that guy was funny

Shared my tent platonically with a stranger named Pooze

I got sick and Pooze brought me medicinal tea

I traded chocolate for…..EVERYTHING

I saw fairies in the night

I learned to rinse off in the creek and comb out my hair instead of getting three knarly dreads and spending two hours on top of a hill brushing it all out…..bushy

Remembering makes me happy

Even though that girl is gone

But I wrote a poem once

Praise the Lord and Pass the Biscuits

When I was about 11, we switched from the Church of Christ to a Southern Baptist church.  A man from the Church of Christ came to tell me I was going to hell for switching churches.  I told him I’d read the bible and there wasn’t anything like that in there and he needed to get out of my house.

I lay awake in bed one night contemplating infinity and imagining what it would be like to be in heaven.  I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to walk streets of gold forever.  What would you do?  Wouldn’t you get bored?

One night I awoke, hearing a sound like a trumpet.  Suddenly my heart jolted as I waited for Jesus to come.

People Tell Me Stories

My husband said to me (one day after the cashier at our local office supply store passed up four people ahead of us to tell only us all about her divorce), “This never used to happen to me before I met you.”

When I was a teenager, one night the phone rang in the middle of the night.  I picked it up waiting for the yelling to come from my parents’ end of the trailer and ready to kill one of my friends unless she was REALLY in trouble only to find it was a some guy who apparently had been dialing random numbers in the phone book trying to get someone to talk to him in the middle of the night.

He told me all about how he ended up working security at a mine instead of following his dream of being a musician after a wife and kids and responsibilities.  I guess I was just willing to listen.  I felt bad for him. 

One day I was at the grocery store in the produce isle.  I had just dyed my hair a dark red.  I hear, “Top of the marnin’ to ye lassie.”  Thinking I must be going crazy because who would say that to someone in the produce isle of the grocery store in the US, I ignored it.  Again, “Top of the marnin’ to ye lassie.”  I turn around and this man is standing there and now I can’t even remember what he looked like but he tells me this story:  He went to Ireland to a meeting and he was imitating the Irish accent.  The Irish guy hosting the meeting said, “I don’ talk to yew the way yew talk. So don’ talk to me the way I talk” (Irish accent).  I didn’t really know how to respond.  I think I may have grinned, raised my eyebrows and shook my head as if to say, “That’s what you get, I guess.” 

I was walking down the street and noticed a guy in a wheelchair coming my way.  He passed several people with barely a glance but when he got to me he said, “Hey, do you want to buy some pills?”  I put my hands on my hips and looked at that man and said, “I saw you wheel past all those people.  You didn’t say a word to them.  Why are you asking me if I want to buy drugs???!!!”  I scared him.  He muscled those wheels so fast he was gone in a blink stuttering, “I..sorry…sorry.”  I never found out.

Even in England it happened to me.  I was walking the street in this tiny village and a man literally ran out of his thrift store to tell me about a church at the end of the street where the Templars used to hold secret ceremonies.  Now I’m into the Templars, but he didn’t know that.  I wonder if he just knew I was American and assumed all Americans were Dan Brown fans and therefore would like the story or was it just me?

I was working an event one day and this young guy came up and talked my ear off.  He walked away and my coworker came up to me, her eyes wide with disbelief, “Wow.  He never talks to anybody.”  “What do you mean?”  “I mean I’ve seen him here for at least two years and he’s never talked to anyone and he just talked to you forever.”  I wasn’t sure what to think of that. 

These are some of stories people have told me.  There are many more.  It’s like I’m a magic lasso and people can’t resist telling me stuff.  Since I’m fascinated by the fact that this keeps happening to me, I keep listening.  I’ve heard stories to make you cry, scare you to death and make your toes curl.  You might hear some of those or maybe the ones I was involved myself.  You wouldn’t think it to look at me, but I’ve had many different lives, each of them filled with their own stories.  I hope as this unfolds you enjoy some of my tales. I guess I just felt like sharing.